Lecturer: Jacob Maze

Email: Jacob.maze@fsv.cuni.cz

Place: J4020

Time: Wednesdays, 12:30-13:50

Office Hours: Tuesdays, 14:15 -15:30, J3013

 

Global Political Philosophy Seminar (JPM323, SS 2017)

 

Seminar Objectives:

This seminar aims at engaging students in key topics of political philosophy as well as situating these issues in a global context. In doing so, it emphasizes the tools to think critically and analytically about these issues. Each seminar introduces an issue that corresponds to the parallel lecture and elicits real world examples that help bridge the gap between theory and empirical circumstances in hopes of illustrating the importance, outside of mere theory, these issues have. In addition, the course seeks to enhance aspects of critical thinking when weighing various ideological or pragmatic positions and logical fallacies.

 

Readings:

For each course, the expected reading ranges between 30-40 pages (except for weeks where supplementary material is involved). The readings are aimed not at giving students solid answers or defenses pertaining to the issue at hand. Instead, they express problematic dilemmas in the world of political philosophy, especially with topics that are traditionally viewed as uncontroversial or one-sided, e.g., conservatism and women’s equality. Furthermore, the students should read the assigned reading in An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments; each course will encompass two “bad arguments,” each only a page with a one page illustration. Over the course of the seminar, these logical fallacies will provide you with key indicators of false or unsatisfactory arguments that will be useful to you throughout your academic and/or professional life (I promise). It is expected of students to do ALL readingsincluding the first seminar—as this will assist with their in-class participation. I will provide PDFs for all readings unless I indicate that they are available online (see bibliography).

 

Quizzes:

A brief quiz will occur at the beginning of all six seminars. The quiz will only last a few minutes and be related to the readings. Quizzes account for 20% of the final grade, so they are important. For a typical quiz, there will be 1-2 questions on each reading and 1 question on from the Bad Arguments assignment. The quizzes are meant to ensure the students do the readings; therefore, if you are doing the reading, feel no need to stress over these quizzes.

 

Participation:

Participation, which makes up 30% of the seminar grade, is composed of two parts: attendance (10%) and engagement in the discussion (20%). Attendance is not counted if you are more than 30 minutes late to the seminar. I also realize some students are more outspoken than others, and engagement in the discussion takes that into consideration. Note: it is not the quantity one speaks but the willingness to engage in the discussion. If you must miss a course for a legitimate reason, be sure to email me as soon as possible.

The class will have a Moodle (https://dl1.cuni.cz/course/view.php?id=5401) where I will post the weekly reading assignments and you will be able to initiate and carry on discussions. I have also set up a Facebook group for our seminar (https://www.facebook.com/groups/GPP2017/). Feel free to join. Posts are not only welcome, but encouraged, so feel free to share anything interesting you come across (news articles, blog posts, conferences, memes, etc.), ask questions to one another, make comments and observations or even ask your classmates questions about the assignments. This is merely for your convenience and enjoyment; it is by no means mandatory.

 

Final Essay:

A final essay on one of the issues covered in class will make up 50% of the seminar’s final grade (If one wishes to write on a related but undiscussed topic, simply verify with me first). The essay should be 2000-2500 words, not including notes and bibliography. The essay must include 4 or more academic sources besides the ones introduced in the seminars. Final essays should be emailed directly to me in a word format, Times New Roman, 1.5 spaced. If you have any specific questions about your topic, see me in my office hours.

Final Grading:

  • Quizzes: 20%
  • Participation: 30% (Attendance and Discussion)
  • Final Essay: 50%