Philosophy 235
Political Philosophy
Fall 2017

Click here for the syllabus.

Scroll to bottom for newest entry.  Please check this page frequently for announcements, additional reading assignments and videos, web links of interest, and so on.

To begin with, here are some sites you ought to get to know.  Our department web site includes this list of student research tools (with some amusements at the bottom). 

No course in political philosophy would be complete without this.

Weekly response prompt #1 - you'll recall the syllabus includes this item: "Weekly response: each week, with one or two exceptions, I will ask you to respond to some question or reflect on some problem.  You will reply via email not later than Sunday at noon.  Your reply need not be more than a paragraph, but must demonstrate critical reflection and real engagement with the material."  This one is due Sept. 18th, and remember it must come from your @bridgew email account.  Watch this short video on social cooperation - do you think that social cooperation can arise organically, or that, as Hobbes says, this is impossible?

Watch these short videos: More on the different senses of "value."  More on the football helmets example.  More on incentives and why they matter.  And now:
Weekly response prompt #2
-- Read this short parable by economist Russ Roberts.  Given the two senses of "rational" we discussed in class, explain how the woman at the opera who spoke to Prof. Roberts might be considered rational or irrational.  What sort of behavior is incentivized by the phenomenon Prof. Roberts describes?