PHIL E-160 Philosophical Foundations for Economic Justice
This course examines philosophical foundations of three fundamentally different economic systems: capitalism, socialism/egalitarianism, and the welfare state. Through a selection of readings we think critically about the prospects for economic justice introduced by each economic perspective. The main questions focus on what features an economic system and a society ought to have in order to be economically just, whether economic growth produces corresponding levels of well-being, and what sorts of claims the different classical economic systems advance in the name of economic justice. In addition, we critically examine opportunities for and obstacles to economic justice under current conditions of a global pandemic, political polarization, and the ensuing economic fallout. At all times we consider responsibilities of fairness, moral culpability, the requirements of a good life, the grounding of claims for a good life, the problem of poverty, and the ways in which economic systems materially and culturally set conditions for a productive, fair, and just life for all members of the global community.