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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Moral Foundations of Politics by Yale University

5,354 ratings

About the Course

When do governments deserve our allegiance, and when should they be denied it? This course explores the main answers that have been given to this question in the modern West. We start with a survey of the major political theories of the Enlightenment: Utilitarianism, Marxism, and the social contract tradition. In each case, we begin with a look at classical formulations, locating them in historical context, but then shift to the contemporary debates as they relate to politics today. Next, we turn to the rejection of Enlightenment political thinking, again exploring both classical and contemporary formulations. The last part of the course deals with the nature of, and justifications for, democratic politics, and their relations to Enlightenment and Anti-Enlightenment political thinking. In addition to exploring theoretical differences among the various authors discussed, considerable attention is devoted to the practical implications of their competing arguments. To this end, we discuss a variety of concrete problems, including debates about economic inequality, affirmative action and the distribution of health care, the limits of state power in the regulation of speech and religion, and difficulties raised by the emerging threat of global environmental decay....

Top reviews


Jul 1, 2020

The lectures are easy to understand, the reading materials informative. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and any beginner will be able to grasp the technicalities of Moral Politics after this Course.


Sep 16, 2015

excellant work dont by Dr Ian Shapiro and staff on putting such a mind turning,thought provoking MOOC on a complex and ever controversial subject known as POLITICS!..I hope to see more from them soon

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276 - 300 of 1,008 Reviews for Moral Foundations of Politics

By Jonathan K

Mar 1, 2017

Love the interview style format. Never felt rushed, but never felt redundant. Perfect pacing and gained many new insights and a respect for the political process.

By Oleksandra V

May 29, 2022

This style, these examples and the general logic of the course make such complicated theories and conceptions understandible and acceptable. Strongly recommend!

By Anurag D

Feb 19, 2022

Excellent course. Provides a good understanding of different enlightenment and post-enlightenment philosophies including the foundations of democratic thinking.

By Reshmi S

Feb 19, 2021

This course was very useful for me because I could understand the history behind the different political ideologies and became more aware of how politics works.

By Mohamed A

Dec 4, 2020

I have learned so much about politics and there are so much information that is not possible to get the easily. I am really very grateful Thank to Pro. Shapiro

By razia m

Oct 9, 2017

I learned a lot from this course - I am still discussing points raised within it. May return to do it again for a certificate as soon as I am financially able.

By Rita E

Mar 14, 2016

Thoroughly enjoyable. Easy to follow. I especially liked the question and answer sessions with the two students. Thanks Dr. Shapiro, for an excellent course.

By Srinjay M

Jul 19, 2022

Had fun participating in this online session taught by Professor Shapiro! Enjoyed it a lot as well as I learnt new topics which I never did before, thank you!

By Vitória A D S C

Jun 26, 2022

Excellent lectures, well structured, and I enjoyed all the classes. I recommend this course for everyone interested to know a brief introduction to politics.

By Ana S

Jul 26, 2020

Great explanations and constant reviewing of past theory, which facilitates the comprehension of the evolution of the different political philosophy systems.

By Oscar A G V

Sep 19, 2019

Súper completo, digerible y muy útil para quienes buscan consolidar conocimientos en teorías básicas o clásicas, de gran ayuda para entender conceptos clave.

By Barry M

Nov 17, 2017

Engaging professor, who taught what could be seen as complex concepts in a digestible way. Very much enjoyed the course, and hoping that there will be more!

By Maryna S S

Apr 3, 2017

Enjoyed course from day one to last quiz!!! Highly recommend taking this course to anybody interested in politics. It was extremely interesting and valuable.

By Francisco J L S

Dec 7, 2016

Exigente, completo, novedoso para los Hispanoamericanos para entender la perspectiva Americana en oposición a la Británica de la que se concibe a sí misma.

By Shakthy P

Jan 20, 2016

A real eye opener on the basics of political theories and the fundamentals of their real life applications. Engaging Q&A sessions and a top shelf lecturer.

By Paulo C A S

Mar 14, 2017

A very good course, with an excellent presentation by Professor Shapiro, in a suitable and current theme. I was very accomplished in having it completed.

By Lucas O

Feb 25, 2021

Through this course I was able to acquire more knowledge and dedication within my studies and professional areas, it was one of the best things I chose.

By Ted A F

Apr 5, 2021

This was one of the best courses I've ever taken, anywhere. A truly informative and memorable experience. Professor Shapiro was superb on all counts!

By Gianluca P

May 17, 2020

great refreshed me a lot of knowledge i've gathered during my master degree on international relations.. professor Shapiro is simply amazing

By Anita D

Apr 13, 2020

A must learn! Prof. Shapiro really explained the materials comprehensively in an organized way with examples. Interesting and thought-provoking topics!

By Carlos E R B

Jul 10, 2017

great course. It opened my mind and interests about politic theories and democracy. Great professor too, I don´t have any doubt left about the lessons.

By Khairunnisaa' B S

Sep 29, 2021

The way the course was conducted could be differentiated. I appreciated the discussion between students but at times, it made the lecture too lengthy.

By Thomas O

Mar 16, 2021

Very interesting and engaging lectures. Useful reading and materials. An all-round excellent introduction to politics and associated moral philosophy.

By Toh P Q

Aug 18, 2020

Interesting and exciting course that challenge points of view and explores major theorists of morality politics and economics over the past centuries.

By valorie h

Aug 28, 2016

This is a thinking man/woman course. Extremely interesting and enlightening. Professor Shapiro explains everything very concisely. I learned a lot!