This course explores comparative and global perspectives on justice and injustice by weaving classical texts and contemporary materials. The approach, while anchored in philosophical methodology and idiom, seeks to be trans-historical, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary as well as topical.
By the time you finish this course, you will:
- Have a more comprehensive, substantial and globalized understanding of some of the key socio-political issues of our time.
- Have a more critical and engaged perspective on issues you have ignored, underestimated or misunderstood.
- Have a deeper appreciation of differences and commonalities between cultures and histories.
- Know how to formulate your own questions & ideas, in both dialogue and writing; intellectual plurality and originality, if well-justified and grounded, will be rewarded.
- Focusing on historical, literary, and philosophical primary texts and contexts, students will gain a comprehensive foundation in major concepts, underlying principles, values, issues, and theories of justice in non-Western traditions / cultures in several historical periods.
- Students will learn to identify, compare, contrast, apply and evaluate the concepts, underlying principles, values, and theories embedded in justice-related issues, events, and texts; they will be able to formulate, find a theoretical framework for, and seek answers to their own original research questions.
- Students will learn to employ, compare, and evaluate the methods of inquiry used in the disciplines of history, literary study, and philosophy; students will be able to select and apply these methods to the study of justice-related concepts, issues, events, and texts, and to the investigation of their own original research questions.
- Students will be able to produce well-reasoned, well-researched, well-documented and articulate texts, including essays, a Thesis Prospectus and/or draft, and a final Senior Thesis.
- Students will be able to investigate an original research question or research problem, and / or argue an original thesis, by engaging in a critical, rigorous, and ethical process of academic research.Have a deeper appreciation of differences and commonalities between cultures and histories.
- Readings web-linked or pdf downloadable from the class schedule page: a responsible use of electronic devices in class permitted.
Class Meeting Schedule| Writing Assignments Due on Friday 11:59pm of Each Class Week (Specified Below)
- 09/17 Planetary Opticalization| Journal 09/21
- 09/24 The Problem of Global Justice| Journal 09/28
- 10/01 Who Are We?| Journal 10/05
- 10/15 No Class: Start Outlining Your Paper| Optional: Paper Outline 10/19 for Feedback
- 10/22 The Code of Hammurabi| Journal 10/26
- 10/29 Confucianism| Journal 11/02
- 11/05 Criminology| Journal 11/09
- 11/12 Sunzi| Journal 11/16
- 11/19 No Class: Optional: Submit The Outline or Abstract of Your Paper, Plus All the Remaining Journals (last chance) 11/23
- 12/26 Student Research Presentation/Writing Workshop
- 12/03 Student Research Presentation/Writing Workshop| Optional: Draft Paper 12/07 for Feedback
- 12/10 Student Research Presentation/Writing Workshop| Final Paper by 12/14
<<On Daily Reading and Journaling>>
- Try and read all the assigned/required reading per class day and
- write a well-condensed and composed (no rambling or waffling, please) journal either
- combining all/any of the readings or doing an in-depth analysis of one text (or chapter) of your choice.
Examples from Student Submissions
These examples are quite extensive, and you should aim for a shorter version of the comparable level of analytic and critical reading.
Examples from Professional Philosophers' Publications
Study especially the first few paragraphs to see how the terms and frames of arguments are formed with all the key references in place.
Your academic journal (not a diary) should be a miniature/compressed version of such articles.
97- A+ 93- A 90- A- 87- B+ 83- B 80- B- 77- C+ 73- C 70- C- 67- D+ 63- D 60- D- Below 60 F (Fail) Grade A: Mastery of the issues and literature, and an ability to make some original contribution. Grade B: Good grasp of issues and literature, but little or no attempt at own contribution. Grade C: Some but uncertain grasp of the issues. Grade D: Failure to grasp issues but some attempt made. Grade F: Not even trying. [I have borrowed this description of the evaluation criteria from the standardized syllabi used in NYU in London, England, UK.]
100 points system is used.
- Grades are unnegotiable, unless there is a clerical error.
- All the grades up to the final exam or paper are calculated numerically in order to give each student maximum opportunities to recuperate, and also to evaluate more accurately the learning process and incremental achievements.
- At the end, the numeric total will be converted to the corresponding letter grade.
Course Requirements and Evaluation Criteria
Attending (10 points)
- Up to 2 absences are allowed with no penalties and 100 % attendance is rewarded with 3 extra points (13 points); save/use those for occasional medical/personal/family emergencies, accidents, mood swings, heart-breaks, personal rainy days, etc. No need to contact me about such in advance. Save your time otherwise.
- From the 3rd absence, you lose 3 points per class missed. Only upon providing an official document explaining/justifying your absence, e.g., the doctor's note, your absence will be given a special consideration and possibly excused. If the total number of absences exceeds 50% of class days, you fail the class. If necessary, submit by email/post/in person a relevant document after such extra absences (i.e., beyond 3, noted above) occurred. Again, there is no need to contact me beforehand, and just submit an official record later, which is all we need.
- Lateness causes disruption and affects your own learning process: late counts as half-absent (1.5 points deducted where applicable).
Preparing/Presenting/Participating (30 points)
- Preparation (20 points): Your knowledge of the reading material for each day will be constantly, individually and randomly checked. The result will be assessed and logged daily. This functions as a loose form of daily quiz; if you get "caught" unprepared, you lose points.
- Presentation (5 points): At least 1 presentation required, upto 2 allowed if no one else volunteeres; each maximum 5 points.
- Participation (5 points): Active and meaningful participation in classroom discussion is not an option but a requirement.
Writing (60 points): turnitin.com| Class ID: 18842616 | Password: madness
- submission through turnitin.com only: no email submission accepted or acknowledged.
- 5 Journals (20 points, each 4 points): Each minimum 700 words on class readings and those only. Each must clearly contain:
- a succinct summary of the reading material
- a critical response to or close analysis of any crucial passage(s) which should also be clearly cited, and
- a conclusive elaboration of the significance of the topic and the passage(s) under discussion.
- Any entry lacking in any of the above three elements receives a zero point: fail (0 pt); pass (2 pt); good (4 pt)
- 5 journals are required; If you submit more than 5 journals, those extra submissions will receive extra credits, each up to 2 pt.
- The grade & feedback for each journal submission will be emailed to the address you used for turnitin.com.
- 1 Paper (40 points): The final paper of minimum 4,000 words must clearly contain:
- Topic: any figure/topic of your choice from the textbook(s) or classroom discussions
- Primary Source: textbook(s)
- Outside Sources: print or internet-based, in any combination, up to 10; any reference, whether a url, a chapter, or a book, counts as 1.
- Bibliographic Format: any standard academic style such as APA/Chicago/MLA
- The submission deadline is firm. For each calendar day day missed, 2 points will be deducted.
Statement of College Policy on Plagiarism
"Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else‘s ideas, words, or artistic, scientific, or technical work as one‘s own creation. Using the ideas or work of another is permissible only when the original author is identified. Paraphrasing and summarizing, as well as direct quotations, require citations to the original source. Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional. Lack of dishonest intent does not necessarily absolve a student of responsibility for plagiarism. It is the student‘s responsibility to recognize the difference between statements that are common knowledge (which do not require documentation) and restatements of the ideas of others. Paraphrase, summary, and direct quotation are acceptable forms of restatement, as long as the source is cited. Students who are unsure how and when to provide documentation are advised to consult with their instructors. The Library has free guides designed to help students with problems of documentation." (From the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Undergraduate Bulletin, p. 36)
Should plagiarism be determined, a formal disciplinary action will be taken immediately: the student in question will receive an F grade for the course.
Accommodation of Religious Observances
Upon request, academic accommodations for a religious observance are available on an individual basis; by the end of the second week, please provide me with a supplementary document that specifies and verifies your context and needs for modification.
Accommodation of Documented Disabilities
Please contact me within the first two weeks of the semester. An appropriate, case-by-case arrangement will be made to ensure that the student in question is given an equal opportunity for learning.
Any questions about the basic details already specified on the syllabus here will be disregarded.