Thought Experiments in Moral and Political Philosophy

Campus: 
Budapest
Academic Year: 
2019-2020
Term: 
Winter
Credits: 
2.0
ECTS Credits: 
4.0
Course Description: 

What is a moral-political thought-experiment? We begin with the characterization, and role of MPTEs in practical philosophy. Then we turn to history, and to authors like Plato, J.J. Rousseau with his Social Contract thought-experiment, and to Kant. 

The main part of the course is dedicated to moral-political thought-experiments in contemporary philosophy, with Rawls, Habermas and Scanlon as main authors. We discuss modelling and simulation as the main methods in thought-experiments proposed by them. We characterize their moral-political thought-experiments as “contractualist”, and discuss possible applications to areas less addressed in the actual literature, in particular issues of global justice.

We conclude by turning to the wider area encompassing utopia and fiction.