Equity and Justice: The Meaning of Equality in a Time of Systemic Oppression

Course Description

We will begin with an investigation of how the idea of equality developed over the history of philosophy. Here, the focus will be on classic texts from Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, John Rawls, Mikhail Bakunin, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Then, we will engage with some of the strongest critiques of egalitarianism from various philosophical traditions, including utilitarianism, communitarianism, and Platonism. Readings will include selections from Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, Alasdair Macintyre, Plato, and Friedrich Nietzsche. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on applying what is learned to current events, especially the movement for racial justice in response to the death of George Floyd and our society’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

You will engage with this material by writing short responses to assigned readings, working together in groups to prepare a presentation about one of these theories for the rest of the class, collaborating to develop their arguments for a class debate, and writing a final paper on a topic of their choice.

During this course, you will:

• Hone critical reasoning.
• Learn how to develop strong, rigorous arguments.
• Develop the capacity to think clearly about sophisticated concepts and theories.
• Gain experience applying these skills by presenting and articulating their thoughts orally and in written work.

This course will provide a foundation for further study of many urgent issues surrounding equity and justice by equipping you with a firm base of knowledge about the history of egalitarianism and the debates surrounding various egalitarian moral and political philosophies, and by helping you develop the skills they need to conduct further investigation fruitfully.




One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: July 11, 2022 - August 05, 2022
Duration: 4 Weeks
Meeting Times: Online - Asynchronous
Status: Closed
Format: Online
Instructor(s): Leonard Feldblyum
Course Number: 10311