The aim of this class is twofold. The first one is to improve your language skills, in both oral and written English. The second is to give you an initiation to philosophical and critical thinking through political philosophy. You will learn basic philosophical skills, such as defining and analyzing concepts, commenting a text to capture its author's thought process, building and criticizing an argument, question assumptions behind everyday life, and take part to a rational discussion.
To this end, we will start from a very simple premise. You are currently studying so that you can land the job of your dreams. But what do we work for? What is the ultimate purpose of work for an individual and for society as whole? Who reaps the benefits of work, and why? What is the right articulation between work and leisure, personal and public life? Reflecting upon those issues will lead to question some the conceptual foundations of our modern societies, such as money, labor, capital, property and merit.
There will be readings every week. On top of the final written exam, short written essays (~2 pages) every two weeks and oral participation per student will constitute the bulk of your work and evaluation.