Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Political Science


Political Science 307. Freedom and Justice

This course deliberates on the nature of justice and freedom and consults with a select number of classical and modern political thinkers accordingly. We begin with thinking about the significance of freedom and responsibility for our meaningful existence and see how freedom and responsibility should be reflected in the realm of political life. Liberty and liberalism, the negative vs. positive understanding of freedom and the shortcomings of this understanding, a feminist view on modern faces of oppression and, finally, the relationship between freedom and development comprise other stages of our deliberation.

Next, we will move to the notion of justice and hear from sages like Plato, Aristotle and Kant about it. The subsequent topics are the distributive idea of justice, the ideal of global justice and the relevance of justice for justifying modern wars. We will also see another interpretation of justice as respect for the total otherness of "the other." Following this interpretation we will find a subtle and innovative characterization of justice as the impossible/gift.