PHIL 429: Advanced Topics in Social and Political Philosophy

PHIL 429-001: Responsibility & Mass Atrocity
(Fall 2021)

12:00 PM to 01:15 PM TR

Horizon Hall 4016

Section Information for Fall 2021

In this course, we will examine responsibility for the atrocity crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and aggression, through the lens of both moral and legal accountability mechanisms. The course will begin with an introduction to the moral notions of agency, responsibility, blame, and desert, as well as free will and moral luck. We will then consider the various understandings of responsibility within criminal law, the goals and application of criminal law, and justifications for punishment. In the middle of the course, we will explore and critically examine the various approaches to, and models of, justice and accountability that have been pursued to address political violence and bolster peace, including international criminal courts and tribunals, truth commissions, traditional or alternative justice mechanisms, amnesty laws, and reparations. We will close by examining some key debates within the realm of international justice, including the “peace versus justice” debate and the role of power and geopolitics in international justice.

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.