Answer one of the following questions in a 2500 to 3000 word-long essay (10% tolerance):
Present a review of the concept of virtue in political philosophy. What various roles has it played throughout the political tradition, and what role do you think it plays, or should play, in modern Western societies?
Present and compare the variations around the liberal definitions of freedom (Locke, Mill, Berlin, Rawls…), as well as some of the objections liberalism has faced. What definition of freedom do you think is most accurately describing people’s experience? Finally, what kind of freedom, if any, do you think we should focus on, from a political perspective?
Describe the political picture of modern capitalism presented by Marx, with the main concepts studied in class (bourgeoisie, proletariat, alienation, exploitation, etc.). Do you agree with Marx that capitalism is “digging its own grave”, and should eventually be replaced, or do you think that it can create the conditions for a fair, free and equal society?
Many political philosophers have centred their theory around the idea that human beings are self-interested. What role has the concept of self-interest played in the political philosophy tradition? Do you believe that society is entirely based on self-interest, or do you think other aspects of human nature come into play in the way our political and social lives are organized?
From what you have seen in this course, what do you think are the main features of Western political philosophy (central concepts, main values, motivations, etc.)? Do you think these concepts accurately represent what matters to people and human life, and if not, what do you think could be added, or conceptualized differently?
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