My Wellesley



PHIL 213 JUSTICE, Spring 2019 semester

M TH 9:55 am – 11:10 am Prof. James Messina

John Rawls claims that justice is the 'first virtue' of political institutions. But what does justice require? Are communists and anarchists correct that it requires radically restructuring society? Or is there wisdom in the conservative plea to respect authority and defer to tradition? What of the liberal claim that liberty enjoys priority, even at the expense of other values? Is it true, as communitarians suggest, that liberal justice is impoverished? In this course we will consider what liberty is and why it matters,  the role of community in a well-ordered society, the best interpretation of the demand for equality, and the role that matters of race and gender should play in theorizing justice. We will read work by Plato, Marx, Marcuse, Goldman, Burke, Oakeshott, Mill, Hayek, Nozick, Rawls, Sandel, and Mills, among others.