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The Moral Foundations of Politics - Video

By Ian Shapiro

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This course explores main answers to the question "when do governments deserve our allegiance?" It starts with a survey of major political theories of the Enlightenment—Utilitarianism, Marxism, and the social contract tradition—through classical formulations, historical context, and contemporary debates relating to politics today. It then turns to the rejection of Enlightenment political thinking. Lastly, it deals with the nature of, and justifications for, democratic politics, and their relations to Enlightenment and Anti-Enlightenment political thinking. Practical implications of these arguments are covered through discussion of a variety of concrete problems.

Customer Reviews

So far so good!

As of today, I have listened to the first two lectures. I find the lectures to be engaging and thought-provoking. I look forward to seeing the whole lecture series in the weeks to come.


Great course on what underlies our political structures and dogmas.

Activating and stimulating my thought process

I have graduated college almost 4 yrs ago and these lectures really got me thinking outside the box. I enjoyed re-learning these basic political theories!