Violence, Order and Justice: An Introduction to Political Philosophy

Course Code: PHIL 229

Academic Year: 2023-2024

What is justice? Is it everyone getting his or her fair share? Is justice everyone having equal opportunities for the good things in life? Or is justice only what we have all suspected at one time or another: the strongest and the wealthiest "one percent" making laws that the rest of us must obey? Since the time of the first democracies in ancient Greece, political philosophers have confronted these questions. They've looked at how rulers use the laws to benefit themselves, how societies use power and violence to maintain order, and how the goods of a society are distributed. And they ask: Is this society just? Can it be improved? Or is it so corrupt that only a complete revolution could restore justice? This course examines the radical ideas of important historical political thinkers like Plato, Machiavelli and Marx as well as more recent arguments about whether the organization of power and wealth in our own society is just.