IAPD Session VI: The Philosophical Foundation of Political Institutions

Social Philosophy is that branch of philosophy concerned with social relationships among people, particularly those relations which exist in the nation or state. Parallel with other areas of philosophy, the social philosopher does not try to determine empirically what kinds of societies actually exist and how they in fact differ from one another: this is the task of the social scientist. The social philosopher is rather concerned with normative questions surrounding the nature of the state and its justification, as well as evaluative questions concerning the ideal kind of social arrangements within the state and in particular the proper relationship between the government and its citizens.

What form of government should we adapt? Are humans by nature evil? We will be looking at the works of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, and eventually, formulate our own arguments on these problems. Today's session shall proceed from a discussion on your assignment from last time, which asks you to write a formal debate case, including a value premise, then to the final point where we link the philosophy of Aristotelian political theory and Hobbesian vision of the state of nature to your individual cases. As the finale of this class, I will give you a list of books if you intend to explore more on the field of philosophy and debate. 

The recording of today's session has been uploaded below, thank you everyone for this wonderful experience and I want you to know I learned so much from you too!

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