Teaching

 

HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY BERLIN

  • Analytischer Anarchismus / Analytical Anarchism (Winter 2016)

Anders als der Marxismus hat der Anarchismus bisher keine Neuinterpretation durch die analytische politische Philosophie erfahren. Dieser Kurs widmet sich daher der Frage, ob sich zentrale Ideen aus der Tradition des libertären Sozialismus mit Methoden der zeitgenössischen Philosophie ausarbeiten und weiterentwickeln lassen. Wie unterscheidet sich ein anarchistischer Freiheitsbegriff von einem liberalen oder republikanischen? Kann es Ordnung ohne Herrschaft geben? Wie könnte eine anarchistische Theorie der Geschichte aussehen? Die Lektüre umfasst historische und zeitgenössische Autoren.

  • Philosophy and Economics (1): International Trade (Winter 2016)

While general questions of global justice have pre-occupied political philosophers for some years, discussion of particular institutional aspects of the international order have only gained momentum more recently. This course explores some of the moral questions associated with international trade, including: What are the moral standards that matter in the context of trade? What exactly is wrong with sweatshop labour? Is outsourcing morally problematic? Do treaties like TTIP pose a threat to democracy?

  • Wirtschaftsdemokratie /Economic Democracy (Summer, 2016)

Sind Gründe die für politische Demokratie sprechen nicht auch Gründe dafür, das Wirtschaftsleben demokratischer zu gestalten? Dieser Kurs nähert sich Fragen der Wirtschaftsdemokratie über Beitrage zur zeitgenössischen Demokratietheorie (Thomas Christiano, David Estlund, Niko Kolodny), Auseinandersetzungen über Privateigentum (Robert Nozick, G.A. Cohen), historischen Vertretern wirtschaftsdemokratischer Positionen (Fritz Naphtali, G.D.H. Cole, Anton Pannekoek), Zeugnissen der anarchistischen Arbeiterbewegung und konkreten Ansätzen zu Gewerkschaftsarbeit, Arbeiterselbstverwaltung und Genossenschaften.

  • Philosophy and Public Policy (Summer, 2016)

This course examines key public policy issues from the point of view of moral and political philosophy. The first part of the course raises questions about the responsibilities of policy-makers: How should political actors respond to the ethical challenges they face in office? In answering this question, we will explore how moral reasoning can have a bearing on policy-making; examine the nature of moral and political responsibility and look at the problem of dirty hands. The second part of the course looks at how to choose between different policy options: What is the promise and what are the limits of cost-benefit analysis? How to deal with risks and events in the future? The third part of the course applies central concepts from moral and political philosophy to important policy areas: What is good and just public policy? A domestic policy focus looks at distributive justice and the market, raising questions about social inequality, property rights, tax policy and the moral limits of markets. An international policy focus discusses questions of global justice, including questions of fairness in trade and finance, and the permissible use of force. Throughout the course we will combine a systematic discussion of normative questions with an evaluation of specific policy proposals.

  • Climate Justice (with Valentin Beck, Winter 2015)

Some argue that climate change gives rise to a perfect moral storm: Questions of justice arise within and between generations; causes and effects are chronologically and geographically dispersed; we lack institutions to implement just and effective policy solutions; and there are difficult questions in moral and political philosophy, on which consensus is difficult to reach. In this course we discuss questions of climate justice on all these levels, ranging from very abstract questions (e.g., Should we discount the future, and if so, why?), to first order normative questions (e.g.,How should the burdens of climate change be distributed?) and applied public policy concerns (the Paris COP21 is taking place in parallel to the course).

  • Gerechter Krieg / Just War (Winter, 2015)

Aus welchen Gründen dürfen Kriege geführt werden, welche Regeln gelten im Gefecht und wer hat welche Pflichten sobald der Kampf vorüber ist? Dieser Kurs setzt sich mit zentralen Aspekten zeitgenössischer Theorien des gerechten Krieges auseinander. Neben Klassikern wie Michael Walzers „Just and Unjust Wars“ diskutieren wir neuere Beiträge von Autoren wie Jeff McMahan, Cecile Fabre und Frances Kamm. Die Seminartexte sind überwiegend auf Englisch.

  • Ungleichheit / Inequality (Summer 2015)

Volkswirtschaftslehre (z.B. Thomas Piketty, 2014) und Soziologie (z.B. Wolfgang Streeck, 2013) diagnostizieren den Vormarsch wirtschaftlicher, sozialer und politischer Ungleichheit: Die im letzten Jahrhundert zunächst erfolgreiche sozialdemokratische Bändigung des Kapitalismus durch Wohlfahrts- und Steuerstaat scheint der Vergangenheit anzugehören. Dieser Kurs befasst sich mit dem Phänomen der Ungleichheit aus Perspektive der politischen Philosophie, insbesondere der Gerechtigkeits- und Demokratietheorie. Der Kurs greift grundlegende Fragen der neueren Egalitarismusdebatte auf (z.B.: Was genau ist Ungleichheit und warum ist Gleichheit ist wichtig?), stellt Fragen nach den richtigen Strategien zum politischen Umgang mit Ungleichheit (z.B.: Sollte man die Ansprüche eines demokratischen Egalitarismus durch progressive Besteuerung umsetzen?) und widmet sich methodischen Fragen an der Schnittstelle von politischer Ökonomie und Philosophie (z.B. Was bedeutet das wieder erwachende Interesse der Sozialwissenschaften an großen systematischen Fragen für die normative politische Theorie?).

  • Global Justice (Summer 2015)

This course addresses normative challenges that arise from globalization with a particular focus on the global economy. In doing so it raises foundational questions in moral and political philosophy (e.g., about the grounds and scope of justice), it reflects questions of method (e.g., about how to do empirically informed normative theory able to guide the action of real world actors), and tackles applied public policy issues (e.g., of how to make the international financial system more just). The course is divided into three parts. The first part examines how principles and values traditionally used to morally assess the political and economic institutions of domestic society apply beyond the nation state. The questions discussed include: What are normatively significant differences between the domestic basic structure and the international order? Do conditions of coercion or reciprocal cooperation give rise to obligations of distributive justice? Do individuals possess human rights simply in virtue of being human, or should we think of such rights as arising within particular political practices? The second part focuses on particular aspects of global capitalism and its institutions. Beginning with the problem of global poverty, which raises empirical and normative questions about the nature of both the interactions and obligations between various actors in the global economy, the course explores what moral principles apply to the practice of global trade, the international financial system and the distribution of natural resources. The third part explores different ways of bringing the global economy in line with the normative requirements that apply to it. Particular attention will be given to questions like: What is the promise of international taxation as an instrument for making the global order more just? Under what circumstances, if any, may the victims of global injustices resort to violence and war as a means of bringing about justice? How should policy makers balance the need for short-term improvements with the aspiration of long-term transformation?

 

HERTIE SCHOOL OF GOVERNANCE

  • Philosophy and Public Policy (Spring 2015, Autumn 2015)

This course examines questions of public policy from the point of view of moral and political philosophy. The first part of the course raises questions about the responsibilities of policy-makers: How should political actors respond to the ethical challenges they face in office? In answering this question, we will explore how moral reasoning can have a bearing on policy-making; examine the nature of moral and political responsibility; look at the problem of dirty hands and discuss the permissibility of whistle-blowing. The second part of the course applies central concepts from moral and political philosophy to important policy areas: What is good and just public policy? A domestic policy focus looks at distributive justice and the market, raising questions about social inequality, property rights, tax policy and the moral limits of markets. An international policy focus discusses questions of global justice, including questions of fairness in trade and finance, human rights and the permissible use of force. Throughout the course we will combine a systematic discussion of normative questions with an evaluation of specific policy proposals.

 

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS

  • Business and Organisational Ethics (Lent 2013, Lent 2014, Michaelmas 2014)

This introductory course to business and organisational ethics is divided into three parts. The first part raises normative questions about the structure in which firms operate, including questions about the proper scope of markets and questions of distributive justice. The second part outlines a framework for incorporating moral principles into the decision-making of business professionals. The course introduces basic approaches in normative theory, explains how these approaches relate to standard ways of managerial and economic decision-making and discusses to what extent business professionals are bound by ordinary moral requirements. The third part focuses on firms and corporations as units of moral concern, with a particular focus on their role in international and global affairs. The course discusses justice and democracy at the workplace, the significance of international labour standards, how business professionals may or may not respond to practices like bribery and insider trading, and how responsibility is properly distributed between corporate and individual actors.

  • Global Justice (Michaelmas 2013)

This course addresses normative challenges that arise from globalization with a particular focus on the global economy. In doing so it raises foundational questions in moral and political philosophy (e.g., about the grounds and scope of justice), it reflects questions of method (e.g., about how to do empirically informed normative theory able to guide the action of real world actors), and tackles applied public policy issues (e.g., of how to make the international financial system more just). The course is divided into three parts. The first part examines how principles and values traditionally used to morally assess the political and economic institutions of domestic society apply beyond the nation state. The questions discussed include: What are normatively significant differences between the domestic basic structure and the international order? Do conditions of coercion or reciprocal cooperation give rise to obligations of distributive justice? Do individuals possess human rights simply in virtue of being human, or should we think of such rights as arising within particular political practices? The second part focuses on particular aspects of global capitalism and its institutions. Beginning with the problem of global poverty, which raises empirical and normative questions about the nature of both the interactions and obligations between various actors in the global economy, the course explores what moral principles apply to the practice of global trade, the international financial system and the distribution of natural resources. The third part explores different ways of bringing the global economy in line with the normative requirements that apply to it. Particular attention will be given to questions like: What is the promise of international taxation as an instrument for making the global order more just? Under what circumstances, if any, may the victims of global injustices resort to violence and war as a means of bringing about justice? How should policy makers balance the need for short-term improvements with the aspiration of long-term transformation?

 

INDIRA GANDHI INSTITUTE OF DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH, MUMBAI

  • Morality and the Market (Winter, 2012)

This course addresses questions of moral and political philosophy that arise for societies which rely on a combination of private property and markets to coordinate economic activity. The questions discussed include: Are the standards that apply to actors on markets different from the standards of ordinary morality? What is the proper scope of markets? Is there such a thing as a just wage? What is the promise and proper role of unions and workplace democracy?

 

BAYREUTH UNIVERSITY

  • Themes from Marx (Winter 2012)

This course covers some of the most important topics in Marxist theory, including alienation, exploitation, history, materialism, revolution, capital and the ideal of a communist society. In addition to discussing the writings of Marx and Engels, the course will draw on the writings of analytical Marxists like G.A. Cohen, Jon Elster, John Roemer and Erik Olin Wright, and explore what Marxist theory informed by contemporary methods and approaches in philosophy, politics and economics might look like.

  • Introduction to Political Philosophy (Summer 2012)

This course offers a systematic introduction to contemporary political philosophy. It comes in two parts. The first part explores fundamental concepts and values, raising questions about the nature of rights, the sources of political obligation, legitimacy and authority of the state, the significance of liberty, the content and scope of distributive justice, and the justification of democracy. The second part explores contemporary challenges in normative political philosophy, including just war and the legitimate use of force, global justice and human rights, and climate change. The discussion of normative questions will originate from particular puzzles and real questions in political debate, introduce historical writings where doing so serves a systematic purpose, and reflect questions of method all along the way.

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