Differences, inequalities and the politics of law

A.A. 2021/2022
Crediti massimi
Ore totali
Obiettivi formativi
The course aims at introducing students to the philosophical theory of justice, by analysing two normative ideas distinctive of the shared political culture of Western political communities, that is, the idea of the equal political status of all the members of the political community and the idea of their basic right to an equal treatment, understood - following Ronald Dworkin's analysis - in terms of equal concern and equal respect. In analysing these ideas, the course will consider their implications as regards States' responsibility to respect and protect individual differences and to prevent or redress unjust social inequalities.
Risultati apprendimento attesi
At the end of the course students should have acquired:
- knowledge of the main positions in the current philosophical debate on social justice and a better understanding of some normative ideas, including equal citizenships, equal concern, equal respect, equality of opportunity, democratic equality, freedom, toleration, neutrality, and socioeconomic justice;
- capability to apply acquired knowledge and understanding to the analysis and discussion of public controversies about the kind of legislation and public policy that governments should adopt in order to fulfill their responsibility to respect and protect individual differences and to prevent or redress unjust social inequalities.
In order to exercise their learning, critical and communication skills, students will be required to read texts, to discuss them and to express and defend personal opinions.
Programma e organizzazione didattica

Edizione unica

Secondo trimestre
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for the academic year 2021/2022 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
The course will address the following topics:

- The concept of social justice
- The status of ethical theory
- The idea of fundamental equality and its foundation
- The principle of equality of treatment
- The concept of freedom and its value
- Liberty and its limitations
- Perfectionism and anti-perfectionism
- Multiculturalism and identity politics
- The relation between equality and democracy
- The equal right to political representation
- Two conceptions of equality of opportunity
- Competitive equality of opportunity
- Equality of educational opportunities
- Meritocracy and preferential treatments
- From equality of opportunity to distributive justice
- Distributive justice and social policy
- Libertarian objections to distributive justice
- Distributive justice and fiscal policy
- The distributive paradigm and structural injustices
- The capability approach to social justice
No preliminary knowledge is required.
Metodi didattici
The teaching activities will include lectures and class discussion.
Additional seminars for attending students may also be organized. Attendance to those seminars won't be mandatory.
For the final exam, non-attending students should study the texts listed in the Bibliography.
Materiale di riferimento
The reading list will be provided before the beginning of the course.
Modalità di verifica dell’apprendimento e criteri di valutazione
Assessment methods and criteria will be different for attending and non-attending students.
In order to be considered attending student, attendance of 1/2 of the lessons is required. Attending students will have one year to pass the final exam. Students that have a rate of attendance that qualifies them as attending students can nonetheless decide to take the exam as non-attending students at any time.
For attending students, the final assessment will be based on attendance, participation and the final exam. In order to pass the exam students should reach sufficiency (18/30) on each dimension. The three dimensions will be weighted as follows: attendance 20%, participation 20%; final exam 60%. For information about the criteria that will be used to assess attendance and participation consult the Ariel website of the course.
For non-attending students, the final assessment will be based only on the final exam.
The final exam will consist in a written test and in an oral test, both mandatory.
The written test will be structured in six open-ended questions on the lessons (for attending students) and the assigned readings (for both attending and non-attending students; see Bibliography). Each answer will be given a mark from 6 to 30 (missing and completely wrong answers will get a 6) and the final mark will result from the arithmetic average of all marks. Students will have two hours to complete the written test.
The oral test could change the result of the written test of a maximum of two marks, for better or for worse.
Attending students can chose to substitute the oral test with a paper of about 3000 words on one of the topics of the course, that should be submitted by the day of the written test.
Additional seminars for attending students may be organized as part of the teaching activities. In that case, for students attending the seminars the oral test won't be mandatory. In any case, either the oral test or the paper will be required to receive honors.
Lezioni: 40 ore
Docente: Riva Nicola
Il docente riceve gli studenti il martedì pomeriggio, telematicamente o in presenza, solo su appuntamento. Per fissare un appuntamento scrivere un email al docente.