Syllabus: Collective Responsibility and Social Justice

Collective Responsibility and Social Justice

Many of the most pressing moral issues in the contemporary world–whether they are economic, political, social, or environmental–cannot be solved by the actions of a single individual. Yet in many cases, these problems persist precisely because of the accumulation of actions by many individuals. How can we be responsible for solving such problems? What would it take to solve these problems? What are my obligations to those in need, or those less well-off? How can I be an “ethical consumer,” an “ethical eater,” or a good citizen? When is it morally wrong for me to do things that contribute to environmental degradation, or to global and social inequality?  In this course, we will explore issues such as poverty, exploitation, stereotyping and prejudice, and climate change with an eye to understanding what is required by the demands of social, distributive, and global justice.

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