HFIK03733U FILO, Module 4:Contemporary Philosophical Discussion: Accumulation, Inequalities and Democracy
Master in Philosophy
The course will be about the recent works in economics that demonstrate that wealth have been quickly accumulating (Piketty 2014) and that inequalities have been on the rise (Stiglitz 2013) in most of countries since 1970’s. The course will engage five set of questions.
The first set of questions is about empirical dimensions of capital accumulation and rising inequalities: which inequalities have increased? Where? Why? This will constitute the introduction to the seminar on which the more normative parts will be build.
The second set of questions is a necessary step towards a critique of capital accumulation and inequalities: how to justify inequalities? Two main arguments will be evaluated: inequalities are justified because either they promote efficiency (‘trickle-down economics’) or they traduce individual merit (or an original entitlement),
The third set of issues is a direct reply to the second point: why accumulation and inequalities are morally problematic? The issue will be discussed in four direction: what does equality mean? What is material equality? What is relational equality and how asymmetry in this domain may induce domination? Is there any instrumental value to equality?
The fourth set of issues is properly political: which risks accumulation and inequalities represent for democracies? Often arguments in favor of equality are based on the negative consequences of accumulation and rising inequalities, in particular for democratic regimes.
Finally, the seminar will address the polemical question asked by Andrew Sayer: can we afford the rich? This will represent an open discussion about the distribution of wealth in democratic societies and the conditions for social cooperation.
Module 4: Contemporary Philosophical Discussion: HFIK03731E
Preliminary Plan (Subject to Change)
Accumulation and Rising Inequalities in Industrialized Nations: Facts and Tendencies
Defenses of Inequality: Merit and Efficiency
Equality of What? Resources, Welfare, Status
Material Equality: Egalitarianism, Prioritarianism and Sufficientarianism
Relational Equality and Domination
Instrumental Value of Equality: Political Stability, Social Cooperation, Economic Efficiency
Can we afford the rich?
Bartels, Larry (2008). Unequal Democracy. Russell Sage Foundation
Deaton, Angus (2013). The Great Escape: Health, Wealth and the Origins of Inequality. Princeton University Press
Dorling, Daniel (2010). Injustice: Why Social Inequality Persist. Policy Press
Dworkin, Ronald (2002). Sovereign Virtue: The Theory and Practice of Equality. Harvard University Press
Pettit, Philip (1997). Republicanism. Oxford University Press
Piketty, Thomas (2014). Capital in the Twentieth-First Century. Harvard University Press
Rawls, John (1971), A Theory of Justice. Harvard University Press
Sayer, Andrew (2014), Why We Can’t Afford the Rich. The Policy Press
Stiglitz, Joseph (2013). The Price of Inequality. W.W. Norton
Temkin, Larry (1993). Inequality. Oxford University Press
Wilkinson, Richard and Kate Pickett (2011). The Spirit Level. Penguin
Wolff, Jonathan and Avner De-Shalit (2007). Disadvantage. Oxford University Press
Master elective for students from outside of Humanities at UCPH:
Apply on form to email@example.com November 1, 2015 at the latest.
- 15 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- OtherThe exam will be conducted in English
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Criteria for exam assesment
Curriculum for the main subject at Master´s level in Philosophy
, The 2014 Curriculum:
Curriculum for the Master’s Programme in Philosophy, The 2008 Curriculum:
- Class Instruction
- Course Preparation