A critical study of some main problems and leading theories in social and political philosophy. The issues to be discussed include the origin and justification of political obligation, with emphasis on social contract theories; the nature and foundation of individual rights and the strength of these rights when they conflict with each other and with concern for the common good; the principles of social justice and the obligation to protect the welfare of others; and the concepts of personal autonomy, liberty, equality, and freedom. The readings will be from a combination of historical and recent work, and emphasis will be given to relating the various issues to current problems in society.

Prerequisites: All 400-level philosophy courses have a prerequisite of 9 hours of philosophy, or permission of the instructor. All 800-level philosophy courses have a prerequisite of graduate standing, or permission of the instructor.

Frequency: Philosophy 425/825 is offered irregularly.