Moral Reasoning 22: Justice
A critical analysis of selected classical and contemporary theories of justice, including discussion of present-day applications. The course examines debates about justice prominent in moral and political philosophy, and invites students to subject their own views on these controversies to critical examination.
Principal readings will be drawn from the following books, which are available for purchase in paperback at the Harvard Coop and the Harvard Bookstore:
- Aristotle, Politics
- Locke, Second Treatise of Government
- Kant, Grounding of the Metaphysics of Morals
- Mill, Utilitarianism
- Rawls, A Theory of Justice
Other assigned readings include excerpts from Jeremy Bentham and contemporary writers such as Nozick, Dworkin, MacIntyre, Sandel, and Walzer. These readings, together with the assigned articles on contemporary issues, are collected in a sourcebook of photocopied materials that can be purchased at the Harvard Coop. All assigned readings are also available on reserve in Lamont Library, and, hopefully, will be on reserve in the Quad Library when it reopens.
Two papers (6-7 pages each) on topics to be assigned.
Class participation (including regular attendance) in weekly discussion sections
Each paper counts for 20 percent of the course grade, and the final exam counts for 35 percent. Section participation (including submission of 2 ungraded response papers of 1-2 pages) counts for 25 percent; contribution to the Justice blog on the course website can also count toward section participation for those who choose to do so, but it is not required.
The head teaching fellow is Drew Schroeder and the assistant head teaching fellow is Bettina Scholz. They will be available to answer questions about the course and sections at regular weekly office hours in the Course Office.
Politics and Ethics: Doing the Right Thing
The Queen v. Dudley and Stephens (1884) (The lifeboat case)
Bentham, Principles of Morals and Legislation, ch. I, IV
J.S. Mill, Utilitarianism
Friedman, Free to Choose, ch. 5
Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, pp. 149-64, 167-78
Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty, ch. 6
- Locke: Property Rights
Locke, Second Treatise of Government, ch. 1-5, 7-11, 18-19
- Markets and Morals:
Surrogate Motherhood, Military Service, Body Parts
Calabresi and Bobbit, Tragic Choices, pp. 158-65
McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, pp. 600-11
In the Matter of Baby ‘M’ (1987)
In the Matter of Baby ‘M’ (1988, N.J. Supreme Court)
Anderson, "Is Women’s Labor a Commodity?"
Kimbrell, The Human Body Shop, pp. 24-35
- Kant: Freedom as Authority
Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals
Kant, "Theory and Practice" (excerpt)
Kant, "Duties Toward the Body in Respect of Sexual Impulse" (excerpt)
- Rawls: Justice as Fairness
Rawls, A Theory of Justice
- ch. I (sec. 1-6)
- ch. II (sec. 11-14, 17)
- ch. III (sec. 20, 22, 24-5)
- ch. IV (sec. 40)
- Distributive Justice: Equality, Entitlement, Merit
Rawls, A Theory of Justice
- ch. V (sec. 41, 47-8)
- ch. VII (sec. 68)
- ch. IX (sec. 79, 84-87)
Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, pp. 213-31
- Affirmative Action: Reverse Discrimination?
Bernstein, "Racial Discrimination or Righting Past Wrongs?"
Hopwood v. State of Texas (1996)
Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)
Dworkin, "Bakke’s Case: Are Quotas Unfair?"
Sandel, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, pp. 135-47
Morley, "Double Reverse Discrimination"
Brus, "Proxy War: Liberals Denounce Racial Profiling. Conservatives Denounce Affirmative Action. What’s the Difference?"
- Aristotle: Justice and Virtue
Aristotle, The Politics, Bks. I, III (ch. 1-13)
Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, Bks II (ch. 1-3), X (ch. 1-3)
- Ability, Disability, and Discrimination:
Cheerleaders and Casey Martin’s Golf Cart
Presley, "A Safety Blitz; Texas Cheerleader Loses Status"
Ryan, "Sorry, Free Rides Not Right"
Kite, "Keep the PGA on Foot"
PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin (2000)
- Justice, Community, and Membership
MacIntyre, After Virtue, ch. 15
Sandel, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, pp. 1-24, 175-183
Sandel, "Morality and the Liberal Ideal"
Walzer, Spheres of Justice, pp. 6-10, 86-91, 312-314
- Free Speech versus Hate Speech
Civil Rights Marchers, Nazi Protesters
Downs, Nazis in Skokie, pp. 1-15
Collin v. Smith (1978)
Oates, Let the Trumpet Sound, pp. 347-364
Williams v. Wallace (1965)
Liberalism: Political or Philosophical?
Rawls, Political Liberalism, pp. 3-15, 29-35, 144-58
Sandel, "Political Liberalism"
Moral Argument and Liberal Toleration:
Same-Sex Marriage, For and Against
Kinsley, "Abolish Marriage"
Finnis, "Law, Morality, and ‘Sexual Orientation’"
Macedo, "Homosexuality and the Conservative Mind"
West, "Universalism, Liberal Theory, and the Problem of Gay Marriage"
Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health (2003)
Justice and the Good Life