Theories of Justice
Weigh up competing philosophical theories about justice and its role in society. Begin with John Rawls' bedrock theory of justice. Spearhead discussions about equality, multiculturalism and gender. Interrogate the obligations of democratic citizens.
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- 24 Jul 2023
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Our student advisors are here to guide you with:
- Enrolling and eligibility
- Fee and loan information
- Credit and recognition for prior learning
On successful completion of this subject, you will be able to:
- understand some of the major theories and current debates in contemporary political philosophy.
- analyse arguments in the relevant literature
- evaluate relevant theories and arguments critically
- communicate clearly your own own perspective on the views and arguments presented in the subject.
- Rawls Theory of Justice
- Dworkin on Equality
- Nozick's Libertarianism
- Analytical Marxism
- Global Justice
- Environmental Justice
- Animal Justice
You should not enrol in this subject if you have successfully completed any of the following subject(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:
- MAQ-PHI320 (Not currently available)
- MAQ-PHIX357-Theories of Justice (No longer available)
You must have successfully completed the following subject(s) before starting this subject:
Pre-requisite 130cp at 1000 level or above NCCW (pre-2020 units) PHI320, PHL357, PHIL357, PHIX357 NCCW (2020 and onwards) PHIL3057 Theories of Justice
- Other requirements -
Students who have an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion under Macquarie University's Academic Progression Policy are not permitted to enrol in OUA units offered by Macquarie University. Students with an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion who have enrolled in units through OUA will be withdrawn.
This subject was previously known as PHI320, PHIX357 Theories of Justice.
What is justice? What is fairness? This unit explores these important questions by examining leading philosophical theories of justice, including John Rawls's influential model, as well as the main political approaches that are associated with them, such as liberalism, libertarianism, republicanism, and socialism. We assess the capacity of these theories and approaches to respond to pressing social justice issues. We focus on issues of inequality and diversity in society by asking: what degree of inequality, if any, can be justified? We also examine broader questions around social and retributive justice, such as: How can we justify punishing those who violate justice? What are the obligations of democratic citizenship? Is our society and its political institutions racist, sexist, or unfairly biased against cultural minorities? What do we owe the poor in other countries? And is our treatment of animals and the environment a matter of justice?
- Participation (20%)
- Reflective writing (20%)
- Philosophical essay (40%)
- Quizzes (20%)
For textbook details check your university's handbook, website or learning management system (LMS).