Course: Seminar in Ethics (PHIL663)
Topic: Contemporary Work on Philosophical Anarchism and Political Normativity
Tuesdays · 5:30pm–8:15pm · online
On one way of understanding it, philosophical anarchism is the striking view that there are no actual governments or states with legitimate authority. Indeed, arguments for philosophical anarchism point toward the even more striking claim that it is not even possible for a state to have legitimate authority. Participants in this seminar will explore such arguments as their found in contemporary political philosophy in the anglophone, analytic tradition. Along the way, participants will also explore related questions about the nature of legitimate authority and political normativity more generally. What is legitimate authority? How can political obligations, reasons, and the like, be explained? Are such explanations distinct from explanations of moral obligations, reasons, and so on? Prior familiarity with political philosophy will not be expected of participants in this seminar. Anyone with an interest in political philosophy, normative ethics, metaethics, explanation, and metaphysics are likely to feel at home in this seminar.