Advanced Studies in Political Philosophy A

lfilo2360  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

Advanced Studies in Political Philosophy A
5.00 credits
30.0 h

This biannual learning unit is being organized in 2021-2022
Gosseries Axel;
Basic instruction in political philosophy ; reading knowledge of English sufficient to permit study of contemporary texts in political philosophy
Main themes
Each year this course will select a particular theme, e.g., justification for democracy, sovereignty, citizenship, conflict, power, justice worldwide, social justice, etc. The course will always present philosophical approaches different from the chosen theme, and compare and contrast these. The course will pay special attention to the relationship between the chosen theme and a reflection on the goals and methods of political philosophy.
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to analyze and discuss, in a well-informed manner based on his or her own thinking, a selected question in the area of political philosophy.
At the end of the course the student should : 
- Be able to use research tools in political philosophy ;
- Be able to conceptualise the selected question ;
- Be able to situate responses to the question in the larger framework of the history of political philosophy and of contemporary debates as regards different approaches and theories; Include, in the philosophical discussion of the selected question, contributions from other disciplines pertinent to the analysis and discussion of the question ;
- Develop his or her own argumentation relative to the question. Submit the method of study chosen for the selected question to a critical reflection.
In 2021-22, the course will be about the institutional division of labour (States, firms, universities,...). It will be taught by Prof. Axel Gosseries. It is one thing to identify which fundamental rights to guarantee and what distributive justice requires. It is another to find out how to allocate corresponding duties to various types of actors/agents, including beyond the State. We will touch on various dimensions (regalian duties, autonomy of certain institutions, social responsibility of firms, division between duties of justice and ethical ones,...).
The timetable might be irregular and will be confirmed at our first meeting.
Teaching methods
The classes will involve (1) presentation by the students of texts read in advance, (2) debates in the classroom of specific issues related to this year's theme, (3) some lectures, possibly.
Students will be expected to read one or two papers in advance for a significant amount of the classes. The reading list will be provided at our first meeting. Most of the papers to read will be in English.
Evaluation methods
Evaluation will include your participation in class + a long essay (10.000 characters) and a short one (3.000 characters). The method to be followed for writing the essays will be specified on day 1. The oral examination will focus on the two essays. However, students who turn out to have insufficiently participated will be expected to answer a few extra questions at the oral exam. The will count in that case for 1/4 of the final mark. In case of absence for a majority of the classes without justification, the instructor may activate art. 72 of the RGEE.
Evaluation criteria for the two papiers include (1) rigor, (2) originality, (3) focus, (4) ability to take the comments on draft 1 into account, (5) quality of the oral defense of the essays.
Other information
  • An active knowledge of French and a passive one of English will be expected
  • Communication with the students on practical matters will take place via the Moodle platform
  • English-friendly course : course taught in French but offering facilities in English. 
La liste des textes à lire sera fournie au premier cours et il existera une marge pour les étudiants pour contribuer à la définition des thématiques particulières et, en conséquence, des textes à lire.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Master [120] in Philosophy

Certificat d'université en éthique économique et sociale

Master [120] in Ethics

Master [60] in Philosophy

Certificat universitaire en philosophie (approfondissement)

Master [120] in Political Sciences: General