PHILO315-21A (HAM)

Democracy, Justice & Equality

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences


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Paper Description

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A focused analysis of important current issues in Political Philosophy. This paper examines controversies about how our societies should be organised. These include debates on Egalitarianism, Justice, and the scope and limits of Democracy itself.
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Paper Structure

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This paper consists of one 1-hour lecture and one 2-hour workshop each week. They will be primarily discussion based, focusing on the readings for each week. The lecture, on Wednesdays, will work through the readings for the week and we will lead you through discussion of some of the main topics. The workshop, on Thursdays, will focus on questions *you* have, arising from the reading + Wednesday discussion.

This course is designed to adapt to the goals and preferences of each cohort, so the exact content will vary year by year depending on what you, the students, want to spend time on. Potential areas include:

  • Justice in modern democratic states;
  • The standing and treatment of Children;
  • Crime, Criminals, and Punishment;
  • The status of the Cognitively Disabled;
  • The limits and scope of Democracy;
  • Boundary drawing;
  • Globalisation;
  • Trans-nationalism;
  • The all affected interests principle;
  • Luck Egalitarianism;
  • Prioritarianism;
  • Democratic Equality.

All these issues (and more!) intersect to shape modern societies, and the nexus of theory and practice generates interesting challenges for anyone who wants to see our world improved. In this course, we explore some ways to move towards that better world.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of contemporary issues in Democracy, Justice, Equality.
    • Critically engage with modern academic work.
    • Engage in detailed analysis of current debates.
    • Elucidate and defend their own positions regarding how best to structure our societies.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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You will note that three of the pieces of assessment work together (the question/plan/essay). I will provide significant feedback on both the question development and the planning stages of this process, which should be useful to you in developing your essays themselves. Please feel free to discuss plans with me, as I want them to be useful to you in the essay writing process.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. The Ideal Society (1)
12 Mar 2021
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Develop a question
9 Apr 2021
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Plan your essay
14 May 2021
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. The Ideal Society (2)
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Essay
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
6. Workshop Engagement
  • In Class: In Lecture
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Will all be available through Moodle.
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Online Support

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This course will be provisioned in Moodle. Course readings, assessment information and submission, and other matters, will all occur via Moodle.
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Total workload for this course is 150 hours. There are 3 contact hours per teaching week. The remainder of the hours ought to be spent on reading/preparation, and assignments.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted papers: PHIL315

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