Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

PHIL 321: Ethics and Society

PHIL 321: Ethics and Society

The Generic Catalog Description

Rights, duties, and virtues of the human as an individual and as a member of society; the basic human societies of the family and the state; social justice; international society; war and world order. 

PHIL 321: Ethics and Society: Globalization Ethics (class is linked with Dr. Schweickart's PHIL 468)

Thomas Wren

In this course we will explore economic and cultural issues of globalization, with particular attention to their normative dimensions. The economic issues include the role of global financial institutions such as the World Bank, neoliberal views on market forces, the right to work, and so on. The cultural issues will involve nationalism, colonialism, cultural identity, group rights, and related topics such as global ecology.

We will draw on a variety of sources, including videos as well as books and articles. We will begin the course with two influential (short) classic texts: Immanuel Kant's Perpetual Peace and Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels's Communist Manifesto. Barely half a century separates these two works, and yet they are profoundly different even though both are provocative in light of contemporary reality.  We will then look at John Rawls's important attempt to extend his monumental theory of justice to the relationships among nations, The Law of Peoples, Peter Singer’s One World: The Ethics of Globalization, and Seyla Benhabib’s application of recent social and political theory in The Claims of Culture.

Other sources will take us in various different directions, sometimes well beyond the terrain of official philosophy. For example, we will read and discuss selections from the economist (and Nobel laureate) Joseph Stiglitz's Globalization and Its Discontents, Denis Heyck's anthropological study, Surviving Globalization in Three Latin American Communities and the journalist Thomas Friedman's The Lexis and the Olive Tree, as well as  essays by Peter Singer, Amartya Sen, Martha Nussbaum, Thomas Pogge, and Jurgen Habermas. The readings will be supplemented with several videos about some of the disturbing by-products of globalization.

PHIL 321: Ethics and Society

Matt Klinsky

We will begin by examining five essential theorists of social justice from the Western tradition: Aristotle, Hobbes, J.S. Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche.  We then examine some key models from non-Western cultures, and from Islam as well.  The remainder of the course will be concerned with contemporary topics relevant to social justice, such as the sweatshop phenomenon, the media, and global warming.