Open Yale

Moral Foundations of Politics

This course explores main answers to the question, "When do governments deserve our allegiance?" It starts with a survey of major political theories of the Enlightenment - Utilitarianism, Marxism, and the social contract tradition - through classical formulations, historical context, and contemporary debates relating to politics today. It then turns to the rejection of Enlightenment political thinking. Lastly, it deals with the nature of, and justifications for, democratic politics, and their relations to Enlightenment and Anti-Enlightenment political thinking. Practical implications of these arguments are covered through discussion of a variety of concrete problems. (from oyc.yale.edu )


Professor Ian Shapiro.
Political science

Record ID


Lecture 01 - Information and Housekeeping