Course Syllabus

University of Washington

Professor Walsh

UW Honors Program & School of Law

Summer 2014

 

THEORIES OF JUSTICE

Honors 394A, Law A566 A, 5 cr, Summer 2014

Mon, Tue, Wed, Thurs, 9.30-11.20 a.m., Room 441, William H. Gates Hall

 

Course Description

            Study of the main theories of societal justice that have been articulated in Western thought. The class concentrates on the expression of these theories in legal systems and philosophies of law, both ancient and modern.  Students post reactions to seminar readings, engage in class and web discussions, and write a final exam.  Interdisciplinary graduate and advanced undergraduate students welcome.  Limit: 25 students.

           

            Content  and Method: This course introduces students to western and non-western theories of societal justice.  In addition to reading canonical texts, students will read material that give theoretical treatment to contemporary social problems or evaluate specific events, debates, and practices.  Students post their reactions to these texts before our classroom discussions, and also engage in classroom exercises and problems that require the application of these texts to social issues.  Your primary source is Michael Sandel, Justice: A Reader (Oxford 2007).  Please see the schedule of assignments on the below Syllabus.  Any additional material for class projects will be posted on the course webpage as needed.

 

            Pedagogical Goals and Objectives: In this course the student will be introduced to various competing but influential theories of justice.  You should by the end of the course have the capacity to draw on the theoretical traditions we will cover in this course to discuss intelligently concrete legal and social problems.  Regular attendance is required.  There will be a final examination for this course. Goals include:

 

            Demonstrating careful reading of assigned texts

            Developing the ability to make theoretical arguments

            Writing a high quality final exam paper

 

            Instructor: Associate Professor Walter J. Walsh teaches comparative law and constitutional history at the University of Washington School of Law and in the Law, Societies and Justice (LSJ) Program.  He holds law degrees from University College Dublin (B.C.L.), Yale University (LL.M.), and Harvard University (S.J.D.), where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on early human rights advocacy, and has practiced and taught law in Europe and in the United States.  Dr. Walsh has also trained in his native Dublin, Ireland, at the Incorporated Law Society, and in Strasbourg, France, at the Institut Internationale des Droits des l’Hommes.  Professor Walsh is a founding faculty member and teaches each summer in the LSJ European Law & Society Program at the UW Rome Center.                                   

            Assessment:

i) Final Examination on your understanding of the theories of justice you will study in this course (for 90% of final grade); 

            PLUS

ii) Class Participation in our class and website discussions (for 10% of final grade).  Come to each class prepared to discuss, explain, critique, or compare the theories of justice we will cover in this course.  Your classroom efforts may include role plays and exercises applying these texts.  Also contribute to the virtual class discussions around the challenging texts we will read.

 

            For all inquiries, please contact UW Honors Program Associate Director Julie Villegas at villegas@uw.edu or (206) 543-7444 . . . Theories of Justice course syllabus follows:

 

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University of Washington

Professor Walsh

UW Honors Program & School of Law

Summer 2014

 

THEORIES OF JUSTICE

 Honors 394A, Law A566 A, 5 cr, Summer 2014

Mon, Tue, Wed, Thurs, 9.30-11.20 a.m., Room 441, William H. Gates Hall

 

Course Description

            Study of the main theories of societal justice that have been articulated in Western thought. The class concentrates on the expression of these theories in legal systems and philosophies of law, both ancient and modern.  Students post reactions to seminar readings, engage in class and web discussions, and write a final exam.  Interdisciplinary graduate and advanced undergraduate students welcome.  Limit: 25 students.

           

WEEK 1

Mon, 6/23, read carefully, and discuss in our class:

Chapter I. Introduction: Doing the Right Thing

The Queen v. Dudley & Stephens (Eng 1884) in Sandel’s Justice Reader @3

 

Tue, 6/24, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our UW Canvas course website:

Theories of Justice (Honors 394A)

            https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/926698

Chapter II. Utilitarianism

Bentham’s Principles of Morals and Legislation in Sandel’s Justice Reader @9

Mills’ Utilitarianism in Sandel’s Justice Reader @14

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 1 of Justice with Michael Sandel at www.harvardjustice.org/

 

Wed, 6/25, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our course website:

Chapter III. Libertarianism

Friedmans’ Free to Choose in Sandel’s Justice Reader @49

Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia in Sandel’s Justice Reader @60

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 2 of Justice with Michael Sandel 

 

Thurs, 6/26, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our course website:

Chapter III. Libertarianism

Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty in Sandel’s Justice Reader @73

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 3 of Justice with Michael Sandel

 

WEEK 2

Mon, 6/30, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our course website:

Chapter IV. Locke: Property Rights

Locke’s Second Treatise on Government in Sandel’s Justice Reader @83

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 4 of Justice with Michael Sandel 

 

Tue, 7/1, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our course website:

Chapter IV. Locke: Property Rights

Locke’s Second Treatise on Government in Sandel’s Justice Reader @83

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 4 of Justice with Michael Sandel 

 

Wed, 7/2, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our course website:

Chapter V. Markets and Morals: Military Service

Calabresi & Bobbit’s Tragic Choices in Sandel’s Justice Reader @127

McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom in Sandel’s Justice Reader @131

Traub’s All Go Down Together in Sandel’s Justice Reader @137

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 5 of Justice with Michael Sandel

 

Thurs, 7/3, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our course website and at our Independence Day Class Picnic:

Chapter V. Markets and Morals: Surrogate Motherhood

In the Matter of Baby M (NJ Superior Ct 1987) in Sandel’s Justice Reader @138

In the Matter of Baby M (NJ Supreme Ct 1988) in Sandel’s Justice Reader @141

Andersen’s Is Women’s Labor a Commodity? in Sandel’s Justice Reader @144

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 5 of Justice with Michael Sandel

 

WEEK 3

Mon, 7/7, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our course website:

Chapter VI. Kant: Freedom as Autonomy

Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals in Sandel’s Justice Reader @158

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 6 of Justice with Michael Sandel

 

Tue, 7/8, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our course website:

Chapter VI. Kant: Freedom as Autonomy

Kant’s On the Supposed Right to Lie in Sandel’s Justice Reader @199 

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 7 of Justice with Michael Sandel     

 

Wed, 7/9, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our course website:

Chapter VII. Rawls: Justice as Fairness

Rawls’ A Theory of Justice in Sandel’s Justice Reader @203

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 8 of Justice with Michael Sandel

 

Thurs, 7/10, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our course website:

Chapter VIII. Distributive Justice: Equality, Entitlement, and Merit

Rawls’ A Theory of Justice in Sandel’s Justice Reader @223

Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia in Sandel’s Justice Reader @226

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 8 of Justice with Michael Sandel

 

WEEK 4

Mon, 7/14, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our course website:

Chapter IX. Affirmative Action: Reverse Discrimination

Bernstein’s Racial Discrimination or Righting Past Wrongs? in Sandel’s Justice Reader @237

Hopwood v. Texas (US 1996) in Sandel’s Justice Reader @240

Grutter v. Bollinger (US 2003) in Sandel’s Justice Reader @243

Dworkin’s Bakke’s Case: Are Quotas Unfair? in Sandel’s Justice Reader @249

Morley’s Double Reverse Discrimination in Sandel’s Justice Reader @256

Brus’ Proxy War: Liberals Denounce Racial Profiling. Conservatives Denounce Affirmative Action. What’s the Difference? in Sandel’s Justice Reader @261

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 9 of Justice with Michael Sandel

 

Tue, 7/15, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our course website:

Chapter X. Aristotle: Justice and Virtue

Aristotle’s The Politics in Sandel’s Justice Reader @264

Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics in Sandel’s Justice Reader @295

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 10 of Justice with Michael Sandel

                                                     

Wed, 7/16, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our course website:

Chapter XI. Ability, Disability, and Discrimination: Cheerleaders and Golf Carts

Pressley’s A Safety Blitz: Texas Cheerleader Loses Status in Sandel’s Justice Reader @301

Sandel’s Honor and Resentment in Sandel’s Justice Reader @303

Ryan’s Sorry, Free Rides Not Right in Sandel’s Justice Reader @305

Kite’s Keep the PGA on Foot in Sandel’s Justice Reader @306

PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin (US 2000) in Sandel’s Justice Reader @307

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 10 of Justice with Michael Sandel

 

Thurs, 7/17, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our course website:

Chapter XII. Justice, Community, and Membership

MacIntyre’s After Virtue in Sandel’s Justice Reader @315

Sandel’s Democracy’s Discontent in Sandel’s Justice Reader @328

Walzer’s Spheres of Justice in Sandel’s Justice Reader @335

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 11 of Justice with Michael Sandel

 

WEEK 5

Mon, 7/21, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our course website:

Chapter XIII. Moral Argument and Liberal Toleration

Rawls’ Political Liberalism in Sandel’s Justice Reader @343

Sandel’s ‘Political Liberalism’ in Sandel’s Justice Reader @359

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 12 of Justice with Michael Sandel

 

Tue, 7/22, first read carefully, and discuss in our class and on our course website:
 

Chapter XIV. Morality and Law: Same-Sex Marriage, For and Against

Goodrich v. Department of Public Health (Mass 2003) in Sandel’s Justice Reader @379

Kinsley’s Abolish Marriage in Sandel’s Justice Reader @383

Finnis’ Law, Morality, and ‘Sexual Orientation’ in Sandel’s Justice Reader @384

Macedo’s Homosexuality and the Conservative Mind in Sandel’s Justice Reader @392

West’s Universalism, Liberal Theory, and the Problem of Gay Marriage in Sandel’s Justice Reader @403

Then before or after our class, also watch Episode 12 of Justice with Michael Sandel

 

Wed, 7/23, no reading.

Concluding discussion and Midsummer Class Picnic


            End of Summer Term A

 

FINAL EXAM

       

            Assessment:

i) Final Examination on your understanding of the theories of justice you will study in this course (for 90% of final grade); 

            PLUS

ii) Class Participation in our class and website discussions (for 10% of final grade).  Come to each class prepared to discuss, explain, critique, or compare the theories of justice we will cover in this course.  Your classroom efforts may include role plays and exercises applying these texts.  Also contribute to the virtual class discussions around the challenging texts we will read.

 

            For all inquiries, please contact UW Honors Program Associate Director Julie Villegas at villegas@uw.edu or (206) 543-7444 . . .

                                                                                                  W.J.W

Course Summary:

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