Seminar in Moral, Political, and Social Philosophy

The aim of this module is to enable you to develop the skills and virtues of a postgraduate-level philosopher and scholar of philosophy, by guided practice in close reading and reasoned discussion of selected works in moral, political, and social philosophy.

Typically, this module runs as a reading group, where we aim to focus on a small number of high-quality texts that are usually chosen in consultation between the convenor and the group of students taking it each year. In the past, the seminar format has featured a moderated discussion of set reading that has been introduced by a student presentation or by the convenor. Assessment will be by 5,000-word essay on a topic of your choosing, developed in consultation with the convenor.

‘Moral, political, and social philosophy’ will be understood broadly, to cover historical and contemporary philosophical work on a range of topics which may include: modernity, capitalism, liberalism, and alternative possibilities; the nature of human rights; individuality, community, and cultural difference; political authority and the authority of law; nationhood, borders, and cosmopolitanism; human wellbeing; freedom and global unfreedoms; equality and global inequalities; utilitarian, deontological, and virtue ethics; the natures of value, of agency, and of practical rationality.