PHIL 112 Introduction to Social Philosophy • 5 Cr.


Introduces fundamental social and political theories, such as Mill's libertarianism and Rawls's social contract theory. Students also examine concepts of liberty, justice, civil disobedience, democracy, and political rights.


May be used as social science or humanities course requirement, not both, at BC.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • explain ethical and social theories relevant to organizing a just state (e.g., Rawls's Social Contract Theory, Mill's Utilitarianism, Aquinas's Natural Law Theory).
  • argue for or against a broad freedom of speech, thought, and activity.
  • explain and evaluate society's common justifications for limiting lifestyles.
  • defend or challenge the ethical merits of a war by appealing to Just War Theory.
  • defend or challenge the ethical merits of an act of civil disobedience by appealing to theories of civil disobedience.
  • explain and assess the theories and actions made by specified advocates for social change (e.g., Gandhi, Wollstonecraft, King, Critical Mass, Zapatistas).