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Poli Sci 4 Notes - Week 1 & 2

by: Elena Stacy

Poli Sci 4 Notes - Week 1 & 2 PoliSci 4

Elena Stacy
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About this Document

This is roughly what was covered in the first two weeks of instruction in the class; basic outline of what political theory is.
Introdoction to Political Theory
Mark Bevir
Class Notes
political science, Political Theory, poli sci, PS 4, Poli Sci 4, ideologies




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Elena Stacy on Thursday February 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PoliSci 4 at University of California Berkeley taught by Mark Bevir in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 117 views. For similar materials see Introdoction to Political Theory in Political Science at University of California Berkeley.

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Date Created: 02/04/16
Political Theory: 1/21 Notes -Political philosophy focused on what is right, what laws society shouldhave, etc.. -Be able to differentiate between intuitive wrong feelings, or specific reasons as to why something is wrong, supportive arguments, etc. Be able to build up mutually encouraging reasons Consider: What counts as a reason? What can a reason do for us? Does it actually support the claim that we need? You should have a general sense of what can and cannot count as a good reason. -avoid/note logical fallacies There’s no right answer -Focus on ethics and morals -distinction between is claims and ought claims EX. It would be great if mankind would stop contributing to climate change, but then the issue is to come up with how that will happen. Ought vs. is is: human life is going to end soon ought: we should work to stop this, because that would be bad How can you justify these claims? Inductive arguments vs. deductive arguments Deductive - If you agree with the premises and the reasoning, then you must agree with the conclusion. Inductive – body of factual information, and come from a conclusion based on this. Less effective because they can’t prove the conclusion, they simply support the idea. Can always be presented with alternative reasoning. EX. Affirmative Action: you think affirmative action is good, and don’t like the argument against it. How can you back up your intuitive feelings against that? -look for inductive evidence against this statement -tell a story that explains other alternatives that undermine the argument -point to the distinction between is and ought (just because it happens that affirmative action leads to failure, we ought to keep affirmative action for reasons A, B, and C) 1. Build reasons, what counts as a reason, what the reason can do for us 2. Distinction between is and or claims 3. Aware of difference between deductive or inductive arguments Discussion: What is a good life? What do you value? What are your overall aims and purposes? What do you want your life to be like? Someone said: three values are intelligence, integrity, and high energy. These work to make you happy and contribute to society Arguments against: Target the primary goals of happiness and contribution to society as wrong, or target the means to achieving these as ineffective e.g. you must lie and cheat to be happy because you will get what you want Rebuttle: Inductive reasoning with data against lying and cheating leading to happiness, or deductive reasoning to why that wouldn’t lead to happiness. Someone else: Self-fulfillment leads to a happy life, choose your own life, whatever makes you happy Arguments against: sometimes the attempt to become happy is not working, possessions for example are factually proved to not make people happy. Scientists say that your happiness level is fixed genetically. Prof: Good life includes security, happiness, community, freedom. Can be justified by natural law, religion, positivism, utility (appearing in order of historical domination). *utility being the idea that happiness is the best idea* ask about utilitarianism (ethical vs. moralistic are different) being greatest good for the greatest number of people. JS Mill. *I thought that avoid pain and seek pleasure is epicureanism & Epicurus* Epicureanism categorizes what should be used for pleasure ad what is indicative of pain and displeasure. But, what is happiness? What makes me happy? How do I do more of that? How can I make it a long-term role? What role do various things play in being happy? What is the right/a good society? *Cros-generational justice* *individualism* - US Constitution *utility* Are the good and the right exclusive? How can we balance the two? What happens when someone has a vision of the good contrasts with that of the one that society has accepted? Is liberalism mutual with “the good” or is it actually defining our view of thegood? Intro to liberalism!! WOOT WOOT. Political Theory 1/26 Notes What is political theory? Good vs. right -based on the things you act on, the things you do, you are implicitly saying that they are “good” -political theory makes up the world - social scientists attach certain virtues to certain systems/forms of organization Neoliberalism- market systems are the most efficient for everything -we’ve transformed from mostly hierarchical and bureaucracy to networks and markets. -we all do political theory in our everyday lives -what positivism gets wrong (Note on what positivism is, and normative???) -political theory thinks that the objects of society are things that have been created by people throughout history -so the role of theory is to explore history, how they came about, purpose, etc. -ideologies are the products of people collectively debating and thinking what they want, and what their perception of the good and the right is. -looking at the rise of the ideas that came about in history, and how they have affected our world today What is ideology? -products of collective theorizing -connections between beliefs within webs -guides to action -accounts of the present, the ideal, and the way to get from the one to the other (how will we make this proposed changed) -ideology is explicitly recognizing itself as a guide to action -in contrast to social science which identifies as an explanation of the world Discussion: Explaining Ideologies: How would you explain people’s beliefs? -people overwhelmingly tried to answer with very specific reasoning that was relevant to the presidential election -need to be more general in their responses as relevant to social sciences Now: How would you explain your own beliefs? Explaining Ideologies: Historicist Explanations -locating beliefs in webs, traditions, etc. ***This is the one that we will examine during this class***, this is also the one that most people use to explain why they believe what they believe; fits into the rest of their beliefs Sociological Explanations -beliefs reflect social positions, roles, etc. Psychological Explanations -beliefs meet need, e.g. orientating us in the world, giving us meaning, etc. -EX. Reasoning for believing God argued that it is not necessarily that he exists, but that humans need the comfort of religion to give meaning and purpose to their lives. The age of ideologies – this course will look at the history of ideologies in order to explain them in today’s world Will start around 1900 *Modernity as democracy* -changes people’s attitude on what the world can do -gets rid of set ideas and laws in people’s way of thinking -humans are architects of the world -American beliefs Political Theory Lecture Notes: 1/28/16 Film- About free speech *Freedom of press has been defended immensely of late -How does the value of freedom of speech hold up when you are using harmful language about or towards other people *Anti-black, anti-women, etc. being “discussed” -insulting and threatening in public places is inconsiderate and shouldn’t be allowed -Some argue that they do have a right to organize even though their ideas are repugnant -Do you expel someone who writes an article in the school newspaper that includes lies about the university and includes insults about certain groups of people? *response is no because they are exercising freedom of speech and freedom of press -“that’s life” *What is freedom of speech? -“not entitled to falsely yell fire in a crowded theatre” -What is the impact of the speech on the community? *newspapers and publications can leave in or out whichever parts they want to be published -What if people are disrupting an event (that is questionably radical and offensive) by arguing with them and sort of presenting the other side of what the event it preaching. -Should they get kicked out?? -What if people are being taken over by Aryan ideas, using insignia of swastikas etc. on campus, fraternities, etc. -allow the hate, but react with outrage? -administration must take immediate remedial action? -speech that is only meant to wound or harm others vs. speech that is not (how do you draw the line between the two??) *university shall speak out against the conduct but simply do nothing and express that they do not condone the behavior *how are the students to be protected? -verbal harassment at this point, and needs to be addressed and CAN be addressed -In a university setting, more lax regulation should be present because when you graduate and go out in the real world, there will no longer be those regulations protecting you from “fighting words”


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