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This course is no longer being offered.

Course Description

This course is designed specifically for English Language Learners interested in further developing their English skills in a challenging college-level academic setting.

From the workplace to schools, universities, and the government, questions surrounding the value of egalitarianism are increasingly taking center stage. In this class, students will learn the history of egalitarianism and its philosophical basis, then examine how well it withstands the objections of some of its strongest critics.

In the process, students will develop several vital skills for the future: they will hone their critical reasoning, learn how to develop strong, rigorous arguments, and practice thinking clearly about sophisticated concepts and theories. Students will gain experience apply these skills by presenting and articulating their thoughts orally and in written work.

More specifically, we will begin with an investigation of how the idea of egalitarianism developed over the history of philosophy. Here, the focus will be on classic texts from Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, John Rawls, Mikhail Bakunin, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Then, we will engage with some of the strongest critiques of egalitarianism from various philosophical traditions, including utilitarianism, communitarianism, and Platonism. Readings will include selections from Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, Alasdair Macintyre, Plato, and Friedrich Nietzsche.

Students will engage with this material by writing short responses to assigned readings, working together in groups to prepare a presentation about one of these theories for the rest of the class, collaborating to develop their arguments for a class debate, and writing a final paper on a topic of their choice.

This class will help students develop their thinking and argumentative skills, which are vital for success in university and professional life. Students interested in ethics and political philosophy will also gain a foundation for further investigations of moral issues.

Prerequisites: None.


Course Information

  • Course Code: CEPL0941
  • Length: 2 weeks

Program Information

Summer@Brown for English Language Learners

A select group of non-credit courses in the liberal arts and sciences supplemented with English language learning, two weeks long, taught on Brown’s campus. For University-bound English language learners completing grades 9-12 by June 2019.

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