We all see injustice in convicting a person of some crime he didn't commit or in giving stiffer sentences to people of color. Some people think justice demands a flat tax rate, others that the rate should be progressive. But though people have opinions about “justice” and “injustice,” they often find it challenging to say how those ideas are grounded. This class will explore what philosophers through the ages have written about justice. We will begin with the two most prominent contemporary philosophers on justice, Robert Nozick (whom most conservatives will like) and John Rawls (hero to the liberals). Then we will dip back into history to see how our current ideas evolved. We'll read some ancient accounts (Plato and Aristotle), one from the Middle Ages (Aquinas), and several from modern times (Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Mill, and Marx). This will be largely a discussion course, so join up if you like challenging reading and scintillating conversation. Facilitated Discussion
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