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Moral Foundations of Politics (PLSC 118)

Professor Shapiro explains the format and structure of the class during this opening session. He reviews the syllabus, and asks the central question of the course: What makes a government legitimate? He briefly explains the five ways to answer this question that he will focus on throughout the semester. The first three traditions are those of the Enlightenment: utilitarianism, Marxism, and social contract theory. The fourth and fifth overarching ways to answer the central question in this course are the anti-Enlightenment and the democratic traditions. Professor Shapiro then introduces the topic for the next lecture, the Eichmann problem.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction and Course Agenda
05:03 - Chapter 2. Enlightenment, Enlightenment Traditions and Anti-enlightenment Thinking
13:00 - Chapter 3. What to Expect from the Course
20:53 - Chapter 4. Four Distinctive Aspects of the Course
29:28 - Chapter 5. The Eichmann Problem

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2010.