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

4.9
stars
4,568 ratings
897 reviews

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

SS
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.

MS
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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51 - 75 of 889 Reviews for Moral Foundations of Politics

By Wanqing P

Jan 14, 2016

The course is really well-explained with a very clear logical structure and a lot of exemples. In fact, it starts with a real case - the Eichmann Case which is morally complicated. During the course, the professor raised many questions in order to guide the two students towards the established conclusion as well as who are watching and listening to him in front of their screen, so that we have a sort of interaction. So that's all these reasons mentioned earlier that explains my recommandation. Just take it and let's see how !

By Sham N K

Dec 3, 2015

Dr Ian Shapiro's class provided me with an opportunity to understand the important concepts that influence politics today. What was surprising was that, even within the limits of a MOOC, the course was able to cover a lot of topics and to the depths that I didn't think was possible!

The discussions with the two students, that simulated a classroom environment was also a commendable effort. I could identify myself sitting in the class with those two students. My thanks to the students as well for making this a memorable course.

By Dr. M E S S E S

Jun 17, 2020

This is a more than excellent course that weighs our political talents, qualifies us to work better, and increases our income

So we hope that you will exempt us from the fees for obtaining the course certificate, as I need this certificate to develop myself at work in order to improve my income since I do not exceed my annual income of 3000 dollars, it is not enough to teach the family and I cannot pay the certificate fees

Please give me the certificate for free

Dr. Mostafa Elsayed Sherbiny Elsayed

Email: mostafa.shrb@gmail.comm

By Cheng-Yen W

Nov 2, 2020

Moral Foundations of Politics was the first-ever Coursera course that I have taken. This course explored the different foundations including Democracy, Marxism, Neoclassicism, etc. I've always loved Professor Shapiro's fascinating comments and lessons on these topics, and it has definitely motivate me to step out of my comfort zone and set my intended major as Journalism/International Relations. Nonetheless, his course was always the highlight of my weeks in quarantine : )

More than grateful,

Cheng-Yen, Wu (Billy)

By Mary L M

Jan 24, 2018

I found this to be one of the most useful courses I've ever taken in my entire life. Ian Shapiro is a master of his specialty and clearly explains all of his ideas.

However, I did have to work through the course very slowly, taking it several times, and taking several hundred pages of notes (because I wanted to, and it helped me remember the ideas). The amount of information covered in this course could easily be broken into three courses!

I feel so privileged to have been in Ian Shapiro's internet class.

By Alexandra-Andreea P

Nov 30, 2015

It is a wonderful course not only from the point of view of the content, but most especially from that of the format. You feel like you are in the classroom and the questions posed both by the professor and the students really make you stop and think for yourself instead of just expecting someone to explain everything for you. Overall, I think it was one of the most enlightening courses I ever attended, both online and offline. Thank you very much for this opportunity!

By Valerie T

May 2, 2020

This course was a really good, but thorough introduction to the history of political theories that have influenced in some way or another, the governments and political environments we see now. It was not difficult to follow, and I found the way the lecture was conducted, unique and engaging. Definitely sparked my interest to find out more and I recommend it to anyone who is looking to kickstart their learning about political philosophy and how it came about till now.

By Aditya S

Feb 19, 2017

Extremely rich in resources, I could not have imagined to have learnt so many things from such a large number of western thinkers in such a short period of time without this course. Though sometimes it gets overburdening, and I needed time to read and think about the various theories and look through the diverse perceptions. This course has been a wonderful opening for me to the western thought, and will surely help me to look at things more critically.

By Peter J

May 18, 2017

A beautifully organized immersion into Enlightenment political theory in its many manifestations and challenges. Professor Shapiro shares his erudition in lucid and engaging lectures and through conversation with two sharp political science students and a superb graduate teaching assistant. There is historical breadth as well as much penetrating analysis both of specific thinkers and their work and their implications for contemporary political issues.

By Jayanti J

Jun 20, 2020

An amazing course!!I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who is interested to learn about the important Political Theories, the important debates involving Politics and the concepts of what makes a government legitimate. This course is taught by an amazing Professor, who explained the concepts, the past and current political systems very well and in much details. Very interesting course and well structured.

Grateful for this opportunity!

By Patricia C

Sep 14, 2015

I'm in the middle of the course but having taken many MOOCs I am already far more engaged in the lectures and discussion. I think the model of having the two students to query works well to make us stop and think about how we might answer the question and to reflect on the logic. I also like the black and white noirish atmosphere of the filming although not quite sure why its like that. I also like the fact that there is reading and not just lecture.

By Paul S

Jan 18, 2021

I think Professor Shapiro is a national treasure. I liked this course so much I fully intend to repeat it because I think I will learn just as much, or possibly even more, a second time around. The infrastructure that Coursera provides enhances the experience. I like downloading the transcripts which I use as notes. Everything was exemplary. I will scout around for more such opportunities on Coursera. I think you have a Paul Bloom course.

By Tarun P

May 23, 2020

best thing about this course is Prof Shapiro, not merely because of the fact that he was engaging but mainly due to the fact he taught form a grass root level and was easy to understand, comprehend and follow what he was telling, this course really changes your way of thinking about the world as you start relating live phenomena to the different straight jacketed approaches of different philosophers and so it really makes you start thinkng

By José M B M S

Jun 26, 2020

As expetativas foram totalmente ultrapassadas, tendo obtido conhecimentos que permitiram conhecer melhor as filosofias e medidas políticas, bem como a questionar e ver as diversas matérias e encontrar soluções analisando cada uma delas e aprendendo a auscultar de outra forma a opinião de terceiros, tendo tirar destas o melhor contributo possível. As aulas do Professor Shapiro, e os diálogos empreendidos tornaram cativantes estas matérias

By Miguel L A

Jul 27, 2020

Me pareció un curso excelente para analizar mas en profundidad la política y saber en que bases morales e ideológicas se apoya cada teoría.

También me ayuda mejorar mi pensamiento de no caer como menciona en la cultura emotivista de ser un soldado pasional de ninguna idea, persona o sistema.

Y de esa manera analizar comprendiendo mas la historia y la filosofía, escuchar las varias campanas y tener un acercamiento mas real a la verdad.

By J D

May 29, 2016

Professor Shapiro is one of the finest instructors who have chosen to offer their courses on Coursera. His knowledge is deep, his ability to explain and clarify subtle concepts is superior and the manner in which he teaches the material covered is sound. To have the chance to hear his tutorial is a real opportunity that anyone who has interest in the study of political or political ethics should not miss. A fine course. Bravo!

By Dorothy L M

Jan 9, 2016

A wonderful course that will have you thinking about politics in the present day by looking at the traditions that began in the past. Professor Shapiro provides an excellent format, using a two person classroom whereby student are asked and do ask questions. You will find the time going by very quickly when watching each video, and I found that I retained a larger amount of the material from a single viewing than in other classes.

By Ilham N

Apr 19, 2020

This course is my choice to support my eager to learn in this Covid19 pandemic. This course enlightened me on how we should see the government works and how we can consider acts of the government or the government itself is legitimate. This course give me a historical steps on moral foundations of politics. However, the course is still dominated with the US politics point of view, but I am still able to get along with the course.

By Lyubomira V

Aug 22, 2016

I really enjoyed this course. Prof. Shapiro has done a great job - clear explanations with a lot of examples. The lecture format of the course with two students have made it very pleasant to follow the content, at least for me. It really reminded me of being back again to the actual student desk at university when we hadn't always had the answer to everything. I really like I was able to concentrate on each separate lecture.

By Robin F

Aug 4, 2020

Well balanced canter through the enduring and changing economic and political theories threading through Contemporary political debate with plenty of examples and reading matter to expand one’s knowledge. Good format with discussion with students both in the lectures and on the forums. Look forward to seeing how debate would work with two professors from differing universities and what different perspectives could arise.

By Marcus L W K

Jul 6, 2020

A great insight into different schools of political thought. The professor was very engaging, and skillful in simplifying complex ideas for our deliberation. Apart from the duration of each lesson, the knowledge attained is "enlightening" as it sheds light on the states of politics and the politics of states. Knowledge of political thought is not a prerequisite for this course (although it definitely helps).

By Narmin S N S

Jan 19, 2019

I really enjoy Professor Shapiro's methods of explaining, I don't have much knowledge about politics and some concepts were new to me, but he explained them in such a way that I had no trouble understanding!

I also really appreciated the idea of having two students present discussing and arguing with the professor, it added so much to the course and they asked many questions on behalf of many of us I am sure.

By Jose R S

Jun 14, 2018

This course provides you with a great understanding of the foundation of politics, along with its derivatives over time, to have a full grasp on how civil society has developed over time. Dr. Shapiro is an absolute rock start at providing multiple examples for you to understand the concepts and theories fully, and to constantly goes back and relates one to another to develop critical thinking on the subject.

By Cody J K

Aug 23, 2017

Very helpful in these times of Trumps America we are seeing a new sort of semi Democratic authoritarian plutocracy, I am excited and terrified to watch history unfold. those who do not learn form history are doomed to repeat it, while those who do learn from history are doomed to sit back in horror as we watch the rest of the world repeat history despite fair warnings. Thank you for the course!

By Chan K S

Aug 6, 2020

It was very engaging. Throughout the course, my preconceived notions of the various political systems that were discussed are challenged and I came out of the course having a more detailed understanding about the strengths and weaknesses of the different systems. I have also gained insight about the how and why the political thinkers of their time came to the ideas and notions that they conceived.