Kant’s Social and Political Philosophy with Bettina Lange

Ref: C2346401

I. Kant's (1724 - 1804) social and political philosophy is less well known than his 'categorical imperative' but equally significant. Familiarise yourself with Kant's ideas in the context of recent political philosophy. We will cover : 1. ethics as the foundation for political principles; 2. human nature and its implications for social ideals and the practice of government; 3. the distinction between morality (the individual's responsibility) and legality (enforceable by state authorities); 4.the rule of law and why it's important; 5. the relationship between citizens and government, and current democratic theory; 6. Kant on social progress and civilisation, and recent critical responses;7. Kant on human rights, and recent debates about universalism; 8. Kant on the necessary conditions for a peaceful world and individual freedom, and how sovereignty is currently being rethought; 9. Kant on the ideal society, and the current methods debate about ideal and non-ideal political theory.

Course aim

To give students the opportunity to study and evaluate the ongoing contribution of Kant's social and political philosophy in the context of current philosophical debates about the role of government and the rights and responsibilities of individuals

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This is an advanced course for students with experience and skills in this subject
  • Detailed knowledge of Kant's philosophy is not expected but you will benefit more form this course if you have some experience of philosophical thinking and of Kant's ideas.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • explain how ethics is the basis for political principles in Kant
  • explain Kant's distinction between morality and legality
  • explain the difference between 'ideal' and 'non-ideal' political theory
  • summarise Kant's arguments in one at least of topics 6. - 8.
  • evaluate Kant's arguments in one at least of topics 6. - 8. in the context of recent political philosophy

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

This is an online course. You will need an email address, reliable Internet access, and a CANVAS account. Help with CANVAS is available from the national WEA team.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Kant’s Social and Political Philosophy with Bettina Lange

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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