Introduction to Political Theory (Equality)

Paper 2 Topics and Guidelines Introduction to Political Theory

1. Do you deserve to keep wealth that you inherit? Discuss with reference to Rawls, Friedman, Nozick and the idea of an estate tax.

2. Between Nozick, Rawls and Marx which theorist gives the best account of distributive justice?

3. What is the proper normative approach to punishment? 4. Does equality require an approach that is conscious of past injustice or one that is blind to

past injustice and treats persons equally in current moment. Discuss with reference to Grutter v. Bollinger, Okin and/or the Casey Martin decision.

5. Should morality be central to political decision-making? Or should politics adhere only to rational, empirical argument?

6. Can citizens be free when they are bound by laws? Are there approaches to creating laws that allow citizens to both be “in chains” and be free?

7. Are property rights problematically violated by eminent domain? 8. Develop your own question in consultation with me.

Reminder of Paper Guidelines Fall 2018 Merrimack College

Your final paper should be 2000-3000 words and will be turned in on Google Classroom and by hard copy. We will continue to work to develop your argument over the next few weeks. Please, too, consider the comments you received on your first paper. Here is a reminder of the general paper writing guidelines:

A general note – the use of the first person (I argue, I shall show) is allowed and ENCOURAGED. Thesis​​: Your paper should begin with a strong thesis or argument. This argument is the answer to the question you have chosen. It has a two-part structure and happens in 1-2 sentences. You should state first your answer and second a reason for your answer. Strive for an original and interesting thesis. You’ll want an argument that is both theoretically sound and grounded in logical support. Roadmap​​: In 2-3 sentences outline precisely how you will reason for your argument. You might use language such as “ To prove my argument, first I will show X. Next, I consider Y…” where X and Y are parts of your argument. Argument​​: Proceed to argue for your point. Highlight examples that support your point and give a clear explanation of the views of the authors with which you are engaging. When/If you introduce an example, be sure to explain how it fits with your argument. Pay particular attention here to creating a logical order for your points and using good topic sentences that tell the reader why, for your argument, the paragraph matters. Consideration of an Objection​​: In the course of your paper you should consider an objection to your view. In a short paper this may take place in a single paragraph.

Consider the strongest possible challenge to your view. Your objection may come from an author you’ve read in class or you may come up with it on your own. Conclusion​​: Restate your thesis clearly and summarize how you have shown the persuasiveness of your view. Citation​​ – For your response paper, you may simply cite the text from your book parenthetically (Rawls, 100). There is no need for a bibliography or full notation. If and when you cite material outside of the textbook, please do provide a full citation and/or bibliography.

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