By Richard Schmitt

ISBN-10: 0742564126

ISBN-13: 9780742564121

Social and political philosophy, not like different fields and disciplines, includes clash, war of words, deliberation, and motion. this article takes a brand new method and is familiar with philosophy now not loads as a narrative of significant thinkers or as a suite of philosophical positions yet as a sequence of debates and disagreements within which scholars needs to take part. Adopting what can be known as an 'active studying' strategy, Richard Schmitt, who has lengthy taught social and political philosophy within the Ivy Leagues besides at country schools, offers a number difficulties and debates which have interaction the center query of freedom. Too frequently, scholars are bewildered, after which bored, through hugely summary philosophical questions simply because they're not able to attach these summary matters to their very own lifestyles reviews. this article instantly connects matters and stories, and offers built-in, on-going inquiries to spark discussion, no matter if in school settings or within the reader's personal brain, and to assist scholars shape powerful arguments with strong purposes for his or her positions. during analyzing various present controversies, the ebook develops theories of democracy, equality, the country, estate, autonomy, and the position of morality in politics, all of that are typical for classes in social and political philosophy.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy: A Question-Based Approach

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34 Chapter One Communitarianism Central to liberalism is the idea that each of us is capable of choosing how best to live—that is, how to shape lives for ourselves so as to make the most of them. Given that capacity, liberalism insists, we ought to be able to exercise it freely and none should be prevented from choosing the best lives for themselves. Everyone should have equal freedom to make those choices. The normative claim of liberalism that we ought to be able to choose how to live, presupposes some factual claims about human nature: that all of us are, in fact, able to make those choices.

When are we justified in relying on a generalization about the appearance of strangers and when must it be condemned? Give reasons for your answer. The Remedy: Affirmative Action In the 1960s it became clear, if it had not been clear long before that, that laws demanding equal opportunity for all needed to be enforced energetically if they were to have their intended effect. Affirmative action programs were introduced to enforce them. Many of these programs were voluntary. Thus, for instance, the faculty of the University of California at Davis decided to institute a special affirmative 16 Chapter One action program in 1969 that set aside sixteen places in each new medical school class of one hundred students.

The effect of prevailing racist attitudes is to limit the freedom of blacks, Hispanics, and others. In trying to limit the free speech rights of those who want The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to remain in school libraries and continue to be assigned in courses, the objectors try to protect their own freedoms. In a free society, the freedoms of different groups or individuals tend to conflict and thus create controversy. That clearly adds a whole new dimension to the question of whether this particular book should be assigned to students or be withdrawn from the library.

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An Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy: A Question-Based Approach by Richard Schmitt


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