PHIL 401-003: Readings in Philosophy (International Justice)

Revision date of this web page: January 7, 2003

Course Web Site:

Semester: Spring 2003
Time: TR 2:00-3:15 p.m.
Location: 304 Cherry Hall

Instructor: Professor Jan Garrett
306 Cherry Hall
Phone: 745-5740

Required Textbooks

Moellendorf, Darrel, 2002. Cosmopolitan Justice. Boulder CO: Westview.

Orend, Brian, 2002. Human Rights: Concept and Context. Toronto Canada:

Other Required Reading Materials
Made available as handouts or by way of internet links.
Methods for Determination of Grade (with Projected Weighting)

I. Midterm exam and final exams (up to 22 per cent each)

The focus will be on the lecture material, the ideas presented in the Orend and Moellendorf books, and the assigned articles by Rawls, Okin, Nussbaum, etc.
II. Papers: Two Major Papers (up to 22 percent each)

A. Analysis and discussion of a philosophical/theoretical issue important in the course. (I'll supply a list of acceptable topics.)

B. An evaluation, using the conceptual tools developed in the course, of some concrete human rights or international justice issue (e.g., open borders [labor mobility], international debt forgiveness, bioprospecting, water privatization, UN intervention to prevent genocide in, say, Rwanda, justice as respects climate change).

III. Class presentation of second major paper (4 percent)

IV. Attendance (5 percent)

V. Class participation other than attendance.

Includes appropriate questions and dialogue in class with instructor and other students on topics relevant to the course. (One can boost one's class participation points by contributing articles to our community research files; see Research Points below. Note that you can't use discovery of the same article to boost both your class participation and your exam scores.)

Class participation scores will be allocated 3, 5, or 10 points, at the discretion of the individual student. You must indicate by the midterm which option you wish me to follow. An option above 3 percent for class participation will entail a somewhat lower percentage allocation to other factors, especially papers and exams. (I want to encourage participation but also allow for shy persons who are willing to have their grade depend more heavily upon exams and major papers.)

Research Points

At most sessions we will begin with an introduction of a current human rights issue recently in the news, corresponding to articles we are adding to our Common Recent Articles file (if the article is available on the internet, please supply the url). Class members will be able to borrow articles from this file, which will be kept in the Philosophy and Religion Reading Room.

1) Two points per recent article (published in the last six months) added to your score on the exams up to a total of 4 additional points. If you present a clear one-minute oral summary of the article (preferably with an evaluation of its significance in the context of our course), you may earn an additional added point or two (up to a total of two additional points).

2) One point extra course credit (up to a total of two points) for citations in other students' papers for articles supplied to the common file by you. The use of the article must actually contribute to the total significance of the other student's paper. (I will have to be the judge of that.) We are trying to model the collaborative nature of research.

Advocacy Points

Write a letter to the editor (and get it published) concerning some human rights issue, making use of arguments in the "conceptual neighborhood" occupied by this course. You may earn two points course extra credit for successful publication in, e.g., The College Heights Herald or the Bowling Green Daily News. You may earn three points for successful publication in the Louisville Courier-Journal or another newspaper of similar status or some professionally edited online journal. You must supply proof of publication.