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The University of Southampton
Courses

PAIR2050 Contemporary Theories of Justice

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to familiarise you with several important, but competing, theories of justice. Such theories give guidance on important questions of distributive justice (who ought to get what, when and why?), and provide, to varying degrees, grounds for the condemnation of real-world injustices. It also engages with important methodological debates about how we should theorise about justice, and what status the results of our reflection should be seen as having. On completing the module, you will be expected to have a good understanding of some important recent theories of justice, the various difficulties they face, and the contested methodological territories on which they are staked out.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • A range of contemporary views on the nature and demands of justice
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Assess written arguments
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Produce detailed and considered normative arguments, in written form

Syllabus

The module discusses the contributions contemporary political theory has made to thinking about questions of distributive justice. Indicative issues might include: - Rawls’s theory of justice - Cohen’s critique of Rawls - Nozick and right-libertarianism - Dworkin and luck egalitarianism - Left-libertarianism - Marxism and the critique of exploitation - Iris Young on oppression

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures plus seminars

TypeHours
Independent Study124
Lecture22
Seminar4
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

C. Farrelly (2003). An Introduction to Contemporary Political Theory. 

W.Kymlicka. Contemporary Political Philosophy: An Introduction . 

J. Rawls (1971). A Theory of Justice Type . 

M. Clayton and A. Williams (Eds.) . Social Justice . 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 60%
Essay  (1500 words) 40%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Textbooks

Core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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