PHIL 429: Advanced Topics in Social and Political Philosophy

PHIL 429-001: Humanitarianism, Just/Reparatn
(Spring 2023)

04:30 PM to 07:10 PM W

Music Theater Building 1006

Section Information for Spring 2023

International humanitarian action has been criticized at multiple levels. Critics have highlighted historic links between humanitarian action and colonization, and pointed to a paternalistic posture on the part of humanitarians, and in turn, a failure to appreciate crisis-affected populations’ histories and knowledge. International humanitarian action has also faced criticism for paying insufficient attention to the possibility of harmful consequences in the wake of interventions. Third, critics raise questions about the proper scope of humanitarian obligations, especially in contexts where crises are chronic, arguing that humanitarian interventions should do more to assess social and structural determinants of health crises and consider how the logic of rescue can obscure historic injustices, and even worsen inequities. These critiques point to ethical tensions with humanitarian intervention and a need for reflection on future policy and practice. This class will examine these critiques and a range of philosophical ideas on how humanitarians can better contribute to global health justice in their operations and policies. Particular attention will be given to the problem of epistemic injustice in humanitarian health interventions and strategies for epistemic reparations, that is, taking the knowledge of crisis-affected communities more seriously and even prioritizing it.

Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Examines key social and political issues drawing on a range of philosophical thinkers, texts and approaches. Possible topics include: migration and immigration, biopolitics, climate change, health inequity, decision theory, democracy and citizenship, slavery and reparations, mass incarceration, or human rights. Emphasizes the ability to put philosophical concepts and theories to work to address questions and problems of social, political or global significance. May be repeated within the degree for a maximum 9 credits.
Specialized Designation: Topic Varies
Recommended Prerequisite: PHIL/GOVT 323, or PHIL/GOVT 324, or PHIL/GOVT 327, or permission of the instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.