The course is divided into 6 modules, each of which examines a different aspect of morality in political contexts.
The first module discusses the nature of political morality and explores the different ways in which morality can be incorporated into political decisions. The second module focuses on the relationship between morality and power, examining how power can be used to shape moral beliefs and how moral beliefs can be used to legitimize power.
The third module looks at the relationship between morality and democracy, exploring the ways in which democratic institutions can both facilitate and limit the expression of moral values in political decision-making. The fourth module examines the role of morality in international relations, discussing the ethical considerations that arise in international conflicts and cooperation.
The fifth module focuses on the role of morality in social justice, exploring the ethical dimensions of issues such as inequality, poverty, and discrimination. Finally, the sixth module examines the relationship between morality and personal identity, discussing how individual moral beliefs shape political behavior and how political institutions can shape individual moral beliefs.
Throughout the course, students will engage with a variety of texts and case studies, as well as participate in online discussions and assignments. The course is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of the ways in which morality shapes political decisions and institutions, and how individuals can engage with and respond to these moral dimensions of politics.
The Moral Foundations of Politics course taught by Ian Shapiro on Coursera consists of 6 main parts, each containing multiple lectures. The total number of lectures in the course is 46.
The parts of the course include:
- Introduction: What Is Political Morality? (6 lectures)
- Introduction to the course
- What is political morality?
- The different senses of "political morality"
- Morality and politics in practice
- Moral dilemmas in politics
- Power and Morality (8 lectures)
- The problem of power and morality
- Theories of power and morality
- Moral foundations of political authority
- Legitimacy and consent
- How power affects moral beliefs
- Democracy and Morality (10 lectures)
- The democratic ideal and moral pluralism
- Democratic participation and moral voice
- The challenge of democratic deliberation
- The limits of democracy as a moral framework
- Morality and International Relations (9 lectures)
- Ethics and foreign policy
- Just war theory and humanitarian intervention
- Global distributive justice
- Human rights and sovereignty
- Morality and Social Justice (8 lectures)
- The problem of distributive justice
- Theories of distributive justice
- Equality and inequality
- Poverty and basic needs
- Discrimination and affirmative action
- Personal Identity and Morality (5 lectures)
- The relationship between personal identity and political behavior
- The formation of moral beliefs
- Moral dilemmas and personal identity
Each lecture has a different length, averaging around 15 to 20 minutes per lecture. In addition to lectures, the course includes reading materials and assignments for students to apply the knowledge learned in the course.
As a former student of the Moral Foundations of Politics course, I found it to be an engaging and informative experience. The course is structured in a way that allows students to explore the complex relationship between morality and politics in a clear and organized manner. Each section of the course focuses on a specific aspect of the topic, and the lectures are well-constructed and presented in an engaging way.
Ian Shapiro, the course instructor, is an expert in the field and his passion for the subject is evident in his teaching. He is able to break down complex concepts into understandable and relatable terms, making the material accessible to a wide range of students. His lectures are thought-provoking and encourage critical thinking about the relationship between morality and politics.
The course also includes valuable reading materials and assignments that provide students with the opportunity to apply the concepts learned in the lectures. The assignments are challenging but manageable, and provide a good balance between theoretical and practical learning.
What I found most valuable about the course was its relevance to current political issues and events. The course helped me to understand the moral dilemmas and ethical considerations that underlie political decisions, and provided me with a more nuanced and informed perspective on political debates.
Overall, I highly recommend the Moral Foundations of Politics course to anyone interested in exploring the intersection of morality and politics. It is a thought-provoking and informative course that will challenge your thinking and deepen your understanding of this complex topic.
At the time, the course has an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on over 5,335 ratings.
What you'll learn:
After completing the Moral Foundations of Politics course by Ian Shapiro on Coursera, students can expect to gain a number of valuable skills and knowledge, including:
Critical thinking: The course encourages students to think critically about the complex relationship between morality and politics, and to analyze political issues from multiple perspectives.
Understanding of political morality: Students will gain an in-depth understanding of what political morality is, and the different ways in which it can be interpreted and applied.
Knowledge of theories of power and morality: The course covers a range of theories of power and morality, and explores how they impact political decision-making.
Understanding of democracy and morality: Students will gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between democracy and morality, and the role of democratic institutions in promoting moral values.
Knowledge of international relations and morality: The course covers key issues in international relations, such as just war theory and global distributive justice, and explores their moral implications.
Understanding of social justice: Students will gain an understanding of the principles of distributive justice, and the ways in which they can be applied to address issues such as poverty, inequality, and discrimination.
Personal identity: The course explores the relationship between personal identity and political behavior, and how our moral beliefs are shaped by our experiences and backgrounds.
Overall, the Moral Foundations of Politics course provides students with a deeper understanding of the complex relationship between morality and politics, and equips them with the skills and knowledge necessary to analyze political issues from a moral perspective.
Ian Shapiro is a well-known political scientist and professor at Yale University. He has authored numerous books and articles on political theory, democratic politics, and international relations, and has been recognized for his contributions to the field of political science.
Shapiro's expertise lies in the intersection of political theory and practice, and he has made significant contributions to our understanding of democratic politics, power, and morality. His research and teaching focus on issues such as democratic theory and practice, the role of institutions in promoting democratic values, and the relationship between morality and politics.
Shapiro's work has been widely cited and has received numerous awards and honors, including the David and Elaine Spitz Prize for best book in liberal and/or democratic theory, and the Erik Erikson Award for best book on human development.
Overall, Shapiro is a highly respected scholar in the field of political science, and his work has had a significant impact on our understanding of political theory and practice. His expertise and insights make him a valuable resource for anyone interested in exploring the complex relationship between morality and politics.
The Moral Foundations of Politics course by Ian Shapiro on Coursera has the following detailed requirements:
A computer or mobile device with internet access: Students must have access to a computer or mobile device with a stable internet connection to access course materials and watch video lectures.
Basic knowledge of political science and philosophy: The course covers advanced concepts in political philosophy and political theory, so students should have a basic understanding of political science and philosophy concepts.
Critical thinking skills: The course emphasizes critical thinking and discussion of complex ethical and political issues, so students should be willing to engage in thoughtful analysis and discussion.
Ability to read and analyze academic texts: The course includes readings of academic texts from leading philosophers and political theorists, so students should be able to read and analyze complex texts.
Commitment to completing assignments and quizzes: Students must be committed to completing all assignments and quizzes on time to stay on track with the course and receive a certificate of completion.
Strong English language skills: The course is taught in English, so students should have strong English language skills to understand lectures and participate in discussions.