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

4.8
stars
2,543 ratings
546 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 02, 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 17, 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 542 Reviews for Moral Foundations of Politics

By Emmanuel P

Feb 18, 2016

Love the Professor's demeanour and teaching style. What an interesting and practical way to look at philosophy and and what a lens from which to view history. I hate anything to do with law and eco but love philosophy and this has warmed me to them both. It's excellent material for my medical entrance exam essays, and generally makes you a more interesting human being to be around.

By David S

Apr 14, 2016

Best course I have ever taken on Coursera, comprehensive and highly insightful. Ian Shapiro is able to draw upon the most relevant issues in multiple disciplines at will. The course structure, in which each lecture is given to two students, allows for a welcome give-and-take on each concept. Be aware that it is highly US-centric, especially in the last part of the course.

By David A

Apr 26, 2020

As a complete novice in the field of Political Science, I found the course gratifying and enlightening (no pun intended). Professor Shapiro was a steady rock in illuminating the nuances of political thought through the centuries studied. I hope he continues to make a great contribution to the layman's knowledge of the underpinnings of our democracy/republic

By Martin C

Dec 17, 2015

I just love it! I don't have any political background and sometimes the interpretations made in the course are confusing (I don't mean interpretation in the sense of interpreting some writing or anything like that, rather than the parallelism that is made between contemporary politics and the original principals).

Thanks a lot for making this available!

By Luis F H L

Jun 07, 2020

Un curso excelente. El profesor, Ian Shapiro, explica con asombrosa claridad y ecuanimidad las diferentes escuelas de pensamiento político. Es muy sencillo seguir el hilo gracias a sus clases, y la bibliografía recomendada me parece impecable. Muy recomendado para cualquiera con cierto interés en la política, la filosofía o las humanidades en general.

By William M

Nov 08, 2017

This is an excellent course -- one of my favorites on Coursera. I learned much about the great political philosophers (Hobbes, Locke, Bentham, Mill, Marx, Rawls, Nozick, etc.) and Enlightenment theories (social contract theory, utilitarianism, Marxism). However, I would have preferred that the course be split in two parts, because it is a bit long.

By Steve R

Mar 05, 2016

Professor Shapiro does a great job of introducing and explaining these complex and introspective political theories. The format of using dialog with two students is novel and very effective. The office hours are well organized and well managed by a charming and knowledgeable assistant. Thank you for creating and offering this course via Coursera.

By Caroline Y

May 11, 2020

Really helpful introduction to Political Philosophy and covers a lot of ground. Professor Shapiro is also very good at specifying when he is giving his own interpretation of a theory as opposed to saying that is what it is - I think this is important in the study of philosophy. Very engaging lessons clearly structured. Really enjoyed the course

By Terry B

Mar 23, 2017

A fantastic course. Truly interesting and disseminated in such a novel and productive way. I've never actually ever studied political theory before and thus was a complete novice, but the course took you through everything with simple, but deep, lessons in a conversational style that made it less like lectures and more like a chat with friends.

By ERNESTO R

Jul 04, 2020

Estoy muy conforme con el curso del Profesor Shapiro pues aporta a una mayor y mejor comprensión de la política a la luz de las ideas de pensadores notables, incluido el mismo, y de excelentes ejemplos. El curso es accesible y Shapiro, además de un eminente politólogo, es un gran guía educativo, gracias sus conocimientos y a sus perspectivas.

By Tanner H

May 14, 2020

I loved the course. Professor Shapiro was great. The readings were quite challenging, which is what I wanted. I especially liked the dialogue nature of the course with the two students. As Professor Shapiro said in one of the "Office Hour" sessions, it makes the content come across much more naturally than just simply lecturing into a camera.

By Camilo A G M

Jun 09, 2020

I loved it, and I have the feeling that I learned a lot. I think though that if you are a person who does not enjoy talking about theories and several different authors it might not be for you. Otherwise, I think it would be a really great journey. The topics about The Social Contract, Marxism and Democracy were the ones I enjoyed te most.

By Pamela C

Jun 19, 2017

Very informative course and history. I did learn much about the moral foundations of politics and have more understanding about how these foundations came to be. I did like the interaction between the Sharpiro and the students and the questions and answers they asked and interaction, helped me to understand areas I didn't relate too.

By Louis S

Jul 10, 2019

I found this course very interesting and I thought that Dr Shapiro's lectures were very engaging. I feel that my understanding of politics past and present has been deepened. My only criticism might be that the course content goes so deep into different names and details that I would sometimes forget my place in the overall course.

By Medha S

Aug 10, 2018

Dr. Shapiro offers a bright clarity and a sobering view of the world, and its conundrums. I'm well into Week 2 so far, but going through the readings, the arrangement and structure of texts, the promise of enlarging our philosophical knowledge, has brought an intensity and energy into this course, and is thrilling to say the least.

By Sachin K

Oct 05, 2018

Good for people who want to under stand about various theory around human rights since the time we were born. Are we really independent? The only independence with us is our life. We cannot control our birth but death is always in our hand. Explore many theories about human independence, french revolution, marxism, democracy, etc.

By Hana S

Oct 17, 2017

A fantastic, thorough and meticulously organised course. Shapiro perfectly covers numerous topics, explains them in sufficient detail and arranges them in a logical order. His dialogues with students are helpful in clarifying potential misunderstandings and incorrect interpretations. The graded exams are extremely easy, though.

By Yuraima R R

Jun 07, 2020

EL PROFESOR ES EXTRAORDINARIO, ADMIRACIÓN CONOCE BIEN LOS DISTINTOS PENSADORES DE LA POLÍTICA, A PESAR DE SER UN CURSO, ES UNA HERRAMIENTA IMPORTANTE PARA SABER QUE DEBEMOS COMO PROFESIONALES EN EL AREA CONOCER SOBRE ESTOS FILÓSOFOS PARA TENER UNA MEJOR COMPRESIÓN DE POR QUÉ LOS HECHOS SE SUSCITAN DE UNA MANERA Y NO DE OTRA

By Evgeny K

Feb 05, 2017

a loooot of readings. it's a very reep class, if you have time and desire to read all stuff. Prof. Shapiro is extremely knowledgeable, however, sometimes he is too polite (and boring as well) =). Don't try to watch it at night. Last several weeks require a lot of focused attention. Finally, my grade is 8.5 out of 10.

By Julia L

Jan 22, 2017

This is one of the best MOOC courses I have attained. The interactions between the students and the professor are interesting to follow. The two students have asked a number of questions which I have thought about, while listening to the lectures. I like the fact that the professor commented the students' reflections.

By Ambika G

Jun 11, 2020

I understood a number of possibly complicated concepts and theories with relative ease with the help of the facilitator's manner of structuring and teaching this course. The constant drawing of parallels between contemporary politics and political theories helped me understand current issues from fresh perspectives.

By Paulo E G d S

Apr 04, 2019

O curso é muito abrangente, bem estruturado, elaborado e aplicado. A plataforma é pratica, simples e objetiva. O professor domina o assunto e incrementa as explicações com uma didática bastante focada no conteúdo e na finalidade de entendimento. Também trouxe um referencial teórico bastante amplo e pertinente.

By SUBASHAN A V

May 17, 2020

The course was delivered in such an engaging and stimulating way for beginners, especially through the style of delivery which was based on a discussion between Ian Shapiro and 2 students. Have yet to encounter another course on Coursera that will match the vigour and standard set by Ian Shapiro and the team.

By Anshul P

Oct 17, 2016

The course gives good exposure to (mostly) English language political theories for the beginner level and also points to relevant texts for interested folks to pursue further. The interactive nature of the course (between prof. and two students) is nice and keeps the student engaged in the conversation.