What do we want the world to look like in the future? Or, to put it differently, if we could design the society of the future, how would we construct that society? This is an exceedingly complicated question with many potential answers. At the surface, it would seem to be a question only interesting to philosophers, but we all play a role in forming the future. If nothing else, we vote for politicians who promote different policies that shape how the future will be.
Empirical science suggests that policies be tested in experimental designs, or at least large-scale investigations of the statistical effects of the policies. However, there are times when such explorations are not available. In those cases, we can use speculative literature as a tool of policy analysis to forecast the potential outcomes of policies. Dystopian literature has flourished in recent years and can help illustrate the effects of potential societal experiments.
This course will study the economic, philosophical, ethical, and moral underpinnings of society, the economy, and the state, exposed through the lens of dystopian fiction. We will study philosophical and economic viewpoints about social welfare, such as utilitarianism and Rawlsianism, moral notions of the self versus collective interest, viewpoints on the nature of equality, and the ethics and economics of crime, healthcare, the environment, business, religion, and discrimination.
GenEd Information: See the GenEd Website for information about courses approved for the IU Bloomington General Education requirements.
Catalog Information: SPEA-V 100 CURRENT TOPICS IN PUBLIC AFF