Pols 365Z Pols 365
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rebecca Notetaker on Monday October 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Pols 365 at California State University Chico taught by Dr. Doris Schartmueller in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Justice system administration in Political Science at California State University Chico.
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Date Created: 10/10/16
Justice is everyone getting fair and equal opportunities Refugees not getting accepted to their destination country because of fear. WHAT IS JUSTICE? • No universally agreed upon definition • Not static • Justice is a human construct used to describe the actions of humans BROAD THEMES: • Justice is about fairness, equality, non-discrimination • Justice means to be minimally restricted, to be free, to enjoy liberty • Justice has to do with rights A BRIEF HISTORY OF JUSTICE • Origin of concept of Justice Retribution/Revenge • Ancient Greece: Justice of prerequisite for a good society • Modern society: Focus on individual rights • How should society distribute goods/services to all its members? THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT 18TH CENTURY • Focus on individuals (individual rights) self-interested, rational, hedonistic Human knowledge based on reason • • Limited governmental power 1. Utilitarianism (Jeremy Bentham, John Stewart Mill) - England 18th/19th century 2. Libertarianism (Robert Nozick) - United States 20th century 3. Kantian Justice (Immanuel Kant) - Prussia 18th century 4. Rawlsian Justice (John Rawls) - United States 20th century 5. Justice As Virtue - Ancient Greece 300 BC 6. Justice After Virtue (MacIntyre) - Scotland 20th century QUESTIONS ABOUT JUSTICE 1. How should individuals treat one another? 2. What are the responsibilities of citizens to their relatives, other community members, and their government? 3. How should societies be organized? 4. What should the law be? 5. Why do we punish people? THINKING ABOUT JUSTICE • Example: price gouging laws - In a state of emergency prices of basic necessities must stay at a certain level • California: in state of emergency prices of basic necessities cannot go up more than 10% above normal levels The Trolley Example 3 APPROACHES TO HOW GOODS/SERVICES WITHIN A SOCIETY SHOULD BE DISTRIBUTED • To maximize welfare • To respect freedom/liberty - Through punishing rather than rewarding greedy behavior, society "affirms the civic virtue of shared sacrifice for the common good" • To promote virtue - Greed=vice UTILITARIANISM JEREMY BENTHAM (1748-1832) • Enlightenment thinker • Individual rights • Legal family background • Trained in law but never practiced it • Advocated for political and social reform - "An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and legislation"(1789) ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT HUMAN NATURE: HUMAN BEINGS ARE: 1. Rational • Pleasure and pain are their "sovereign masters" and will guide their actions Humans can estimate the pleasure and pain they will receive out of an action 2. Self-interested 3. Equal UTILITARIANISM IN A NUTSHELL • Actions are not to be judged as right or wrong solely by looking at their consequences. • Consequences are assessed solely as good or bad in terms of their utility. • Each persons utility counts and counts equally. BENTHAM AND POLITICAL REFORMS • Workhouses - institutions in which the poor were housed, fed and set to work - solution to the problem of poverty and economic dislocation • Panopticon - Circular building, with the prisoners' cells arranged around the outer wall and the central point dominated by an inspection tower. From this building, the prison's inspector could look into the cells at any time—and even be able to speak to the prisoners in their cells via an elaborate network of 'conversation tubes'—though the inmates themselves would never be able to see the inspector himself. - would ensure that the prisoners would modify their behaviour and work hard, in order to avoid chastisement and avoid punishment EXAMPLES: • the case of the Queen vs Stephens and Dudley • The example of torture • Price-gouging laws CRITICISM OF BENTHAM'S THEORY • No respect for for individual rights • All preferences cannot be counted on the same scale of pleasure and pain - Cost/benefit analysis • We cannot predict the future SMOKING IN AUSTRIA • Culture of smoking • 2009 Austrian Tobacco Law: - Partial smoking ban in public places implemented • May 2018 New Austrian Tobacco Law: - Smoking will be prohibited in all public places UTILITARIANISM AND COST/BENEFIT ANALYSIS 6 BASIC STEPS OF A COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS 1. Determine the alternative courses of action 2. Determine the consequences of each alternative Must be mutually beneficial 3. Determine the probability of each outcome of each option 4. Must rely on data - Assign value to consequences and implementation costs of each alternative on the basis of of how much happiness is created/destroyed - The more detailed the better 5. Calculate the net net benefit of each alternative 6. Choose the alternative that optimizes net benefits COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS ADVANTAGES • Find most desired outcome before implementing law • Reliance on previous studies/data/calculations to get full picture • Systematic way of comparing/contrasting views of different participants • Make use of scarce resources in most efficient/least wasteful manner COST/BENEFIT ANALYSIS DISADVANTAGES • Place a dollar value on everything and add it up • Lack of objectivity when calculating costs and benefits We typically focus one point of concern • • Is it always just about maximizing happiness? POLITICAL CONTEXT • When did libertarianism become a popular theory of justice? • In the 20th century people started rethinking the relationship between individuals within the society and the state. This was due to: - The rise of totalitarian regimes - The establishment of far-reaching welfare states - The embracing of Capitalist ideals ECONOMIC INEQUALITY • "The richest 1% of Americans possess over a third of the country's wealth." Big question related to justice: should wealth be redistributed? • ROBERT NOZICK (1938-2002) • American philosopher • Ph.D in philosophy from Princeton Professor at Harvard • • Critical of the work of his colleague John Rawls • His main book is titled Anarchy, State, and Utopia LIBERTARIANISM ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT HUMAN NATURE: 1. Human beings are diverse: we are all different 2. However, all human beings are free and therefore self-owning LIBERTARIANISM IN A NUTSHELL 1. Strong focus on individual rights: exclusive control of own choices, actions, and body 2. One exception: as long as we respect others the same way 3. Limited role of government 4. Narrow function of government - Protection from force - Contracts are enforced 5. Laws must protect from others, but they must not protect us from ourselves, and they must not force us to help others WHAT SHOULD THE STATE NOT DO? 1. No paternalistic legislation - Helmet/seatbelt laws 2. No moral legislation - Abortion/ prostitution 3. No Good Samaritan Laws NOZICK'S ENTITLEMENT THEORY OF JUSTICE • Justice in a society is achieved if goods were distributed in the following way: 1. Acquisition principle 2. Transfer principle - Voluntary - Based on mutual consent 3. Rectification principle - Taxation, reparations for holdings that were acquired illegally If everything you have is based on these principles, you are entitled to • them (stands in contrast to Rawls) • Utilitarianism and Libertarianism differ in temporal perspective - Libertarianism is based on now - Utilitarianism is based on future WHY LIBERTARIANISM IS ATTRACTIVE TO MANY 1. If is sensitive to what the past was like 2. It provides moral protection against interference from others 3. It ensures moral liberty/freedom of action CANNIBALISM, THE CASE OF ARMIN MEIWES FROM GERMANY (2001) • No law against cannibalism - 3 possible outcomes 1. Murder 2. Killing On Demand 3. Manslaughter CRITIQUE 1. Can freedom be equated with negative rights? 2. Unfettered market can lead to unfair competition and exploitation 3. Acting alone v acting as team 4. Can taxation be equated with forced labor? 5. Is not concerned about environmental degradation 6. The poor would need the money more 7. We still voted for tax laws in democracy 8. You are just lucky to own what you own THE QUESTION OF MARKETS AND MORALS • Are choices to engage in the market exchanges really always that free and voluntary? - Example: a war and the need for soldiers Options 1. Voluntary army: increase pay and benefits 2. Voluntary army: hire mercenaries 3. Policy of military conscription 2 ARGUMENTS AGAINST USING MARKETS TO ALLOCATE DUTIES/ RIGHTS 1. Some might be pressured into participating or they are uninformed=tainted consent - Degradation and higher goods - Humans are not objects (Kant) 2. How we value certain practices must depend on purposes that practice serve for society (Aristotle) PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE • Physician-assisted suicide v euthanasia • Laws in Washington, Oregon and California (June 2016) • The case of Brittany Maynard IMMANUEL KANT (1724-1804) • Grew up and lived in Königsberg (Kaliningrad) • Religious upbringing • College: theology, mathematics and physics • Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals (1785) HUMAN NATURE • Human beings are rational • Human beings are sentient - We have emotions and don't always use reason • Human beings have dignity and therefore must be respected - Certain things ARE wrong - Therefore we all have Universal Human Rights • Human beings make autonomous decisions - Can't act freely because we have reason KANTIAN JUSTICE • Justice is connected to freedom but in a different way than for Utilitarians/ Libertarians - Freedom is the alone unoriginated birthright of man and belongs to him by force of his humanity Utilitarianism Kant What is the basis of Our preferences/wants, Human reason morality? as long as they benefit the majority of people When is a law just? When it gives the When it respects people majority of people as means in themselves happiness Justice is achieved Maximizes utility Acting out of duty by? KANTIAN JUSTICE IN A NUTSHELL • What is the basis of morality? - Any law must respect people because they are human • For Kant, it is solely reason - Freedom is based on rationality THE CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE • People must act according to rules which they think should be universally valid. - Examples: stealing, making a false promise to get out of a difficult situation, lying SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORIES • Big question for modern political philosophers: How can governmental authority be justified? • Thomas Hobbes Leviathan, 1651) • John Locke (Two Treatises of Government, 1690) • Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Of the Social Contract, 1762) JOHN RAWLS (1921-2002) • American political philosopher • Education at Princeton • Professorship at Harvard, taught moral and political philosophy courses • A Theory of Justice (1971) Colleague of Robert Nozick • ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT HUMAN NATURE • Human beings are rational • Human beings are free • Human beings are self-interested (but not to strengthen their role in society but to achieve perfect equality) RAWLS' JUSTICE AS FAIRNESS • Start thinking about justice in "original position" ---> operate under veil of ignorance • What type of society would we like to live? 2 PRINCIPLES OF JUSTICE Equal basic liberties for everyone • Social and economic inequalities must satisfy 2 conditions: A. They are attached to fair equality of opportunity B. They have to benefit the least-advantaged (difference principle) CRITIQUING RAWLS • Utilitarian critique: difference principle does not maximize utility • Libertarian critique: difference principle infringes upon individual liberty - Theory ignores that some deserve more economic benefit - Theory does not explain why some end up in disadvantaged group in first place
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