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Plan II Honors

Benjamin Gregg


ProfessorPh.D., Princeton University, Freie Universität Berlin

Professor in Government
Benjamin Gregg

Contact

  • Phone: 512-232-7274
  • Office: MEZ 3.138
  • Office Hours: by appointment
  • Campus Mail Code: A1800

Interests


Social and political theory, human rights, political bioethics

Biography


Benjamin Gregg

 

B.A., Yale University; Ph.D., Princeton University; D. Phil., Freie Universität Berlin

 

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9510-6147

 

Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin

 

2021-2022 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Public International Law

at Lund University, Sweden

 

2022 Visiting Researcher, Centre for Biomedical Ethics,

Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore

 

PUBLICATIONS

 

BOOKS

 

  • Gregg, B. forthcoming 2022. Creating Human Nature: The Political Challenges of Genetic Engineering. New York: Cambridge University Press.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2016. The Human Rights State: Justice Within and Beyond Sovereign Nations. University of Pennsylvania Press. Philadelphia.

 

Focus of special issue (2017) International Journal of Human Rights, 21(3), “A Realistic Utopia: Critical Analyses of The Human Rights State.”

 

Subject of international symposium (2016), Faculty of Law, Lund University, Sweden, April.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2012. Human Rights as Social Construction. New York: Cambridge University Press.

 

Chinese translation (作为社会建构的人权) by Li Xianfei (李仙飞). Cambridge University Press and Renmin University Press (中国人民大学出版社). Cambridge, UK and Beijing, China, published December 2020. ISBN 978-7-300-28961-8.

 

Among Cambridge University Press’ top ten bestsellers in political theory, 2012.

 

Interviewed on PBS station KLRU, 2012.

 

On the syllabus of the honors bachelor’s degree curriculum in Politics, Psychology and Sociology Tripos (PPS) at Cambridge University.

 

First hardcover printing sold out seven months after publication; second printing, sold out August 2012; two additional printings of hardcover; paperback edition published 2013

 

  • Gregg, B. 2003. Thick Moralities, Thin Politics: Social Integration across Communities of Belief. Duke University Press. Durham.

 

Focus of special issue (2012) Comparative Sociology, 11(5), “Comparative Perspectives on Social Integration in Pluralistic Societies: Thick Norms versus Thin.”

 

  • Gregg, B. 2003. Coping in Politics with Indeterminate Norms: A Theory of Enlightened Localism. SUNY Press. Albany.

 

Focus of special issue (2010) Comparative Sociology, 9(5), “Enlightened Localism in Comparative Perspective.”

 

PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS

 

  • Gregg, B. forthcoming 2022. Genetic Engineering Revolutions. Handbook of the Anthropocene. London, Berlin, New York: Springer-Nature.

 

  • Gregg, B. forthcoming 2021. Political Bioethics. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.

 

  • Gregg, B. forthcoming 2021. Regulating Genetic Engineering Guided by Human Dignity, Not Genetic Essentialism. Politics and the Life Sciences.

 

  • Gregg, B. forthcoming 2021. Containing COVID-19: A Human Right to Privacy versus a Human Right to Public Health. Lessico di Etica Pubblico [Lexicon of Public Ethics, Italy].

 

  • Gregg, B. forthcoming 2021. A Human Right to Freedom From Genetic Disability. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2021. How to Oppose Authoritarian Democracy in Brazil: Human Rights as the People’s Constructions, Constitutionally Embedded, and Internal to the Community’s Self-Understanding [Como se Opor à Democracia Autoritária no Brasil]. Latin American Human Rights Studies [Brazil] 1:1-29.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2021. Against Essentialism in Conceptions of Human Rights and Human Nature. Human Rights Quarterly 43:313–328.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2021. Human Rights Require yet Contest National Sovereignty: How a Human Rights Corporation Might Help. In A. Santos Campos and S. Cadilha, eds. Sovereignty as Value. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield:215-232.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2020. Beyond Due Diligence: The Human Rights Corporation. Human Rights Review. 22:65-89.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2020. Vom Nutzen und Nachteil der Biotechnik: Zur normativen Einschätzung der Humangenmanipulation [On the Use and Abuse of Biotechnology: Toward a Normative Evaluation of Human Genetic Engineering]. In B. Keplinger, F. Schwanniger, eds. Optimierung des Menschen [The Genetic Optimization of the Human Being]. Innsbruck, Austria: Studienverlag:49-63.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2020. The Human Rights State: Advancing Justice through Political Imagination. In K. Schmidt, ed. The State of Human Rights: Historical Genealogies, Political Controversies, and Cultural Imaginaries:47-69. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter Verlag.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2020. Construção Social de uma Natureza Humana Voltada para os Direitos Humanos [Social Construction of a Human Rights-Oriented Human Nature], translated by H. Pagliaro. Boletim Goiano de Geografia [Brazil] 40:1-24.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2020. The Indigenous Rights State. Ratio Juris 33(1):98-116.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2019. Against Self-Isolation as a Human Right of Indigenous Peoples in Latin America. Human Rights Review 20(3):313-333.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2019. Indigeneity as Social Construct and Political Tool. Human Rights

Quarterly 41(4):823–848.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2018. How to Read for Current Developments in Human Genetics Relevant to Justice. Politics and the Life Sciences 37(2):262-277.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2018. The Coming Political Challenges of Artificial Intelligence. Digital Culture & Society 4(1):157-180.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2018. Human Genetic Engineering: Biotic Justice in the Anthropocene? In D. DellaSala and M. Goldstein, eds. Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene, vol. 4:351-359. Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2017. The Human Rights State: Theoretical Challenges, Empirical Deployments: Reply to My Critics. The International Journal of Human Rights 21(3):359-385.

 

  • Wolfsteller, René and Gregg, B. 2017. A Realistic Utopia? Critical Analyses of The Human Rights State in Theory and Deployment: Guest Editors’ Introduction. The International Journal of Human Rights 21(3):219-229.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2016. A Socially Constructed Human Right to the Self-Determination of Indigenous Peoples [Un constructo social de los Derechos Humanos para la autodeterminación de los pueblos indígenas]. Deusto Journal of Human Rights [Spain] 1:105-143.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2016. Human Rights as Metaphor for Political Community Beyond the Nation State. Critical Sociology 42(6):897-917.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2015. Advancing Human Rights in Post-Authoritarian Communities through Education. Journal of Human Rights Practice 7(2):199-222.

 

  • Koppelman, A. and Gregg, B. 2014. Critical Exchange on Human Rights as Social Construction. Contemporary Political Theory 13(4):380-386.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2014. Teaching Human Rights in the College Classroom as a Cognitive Style. In J. Shefner, H. Dahms, R. Jones, and A. Jalata, eds. Social Justice and the University. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave:253-279.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2013. Might the Noble Savage have Joined the Earliest Cults of Rousseau? In J. Reiling and D. Tröhler, eds. Entre hétérogénéité et imagination. Pratiques de la réception de Jean-Jacques Rousseau [Between Heterogeneity and Imagination: Interpretive Approaches to Jean-Jacques Rousseau]. Genève, Switzerland: Éditions Slatkine:347-366.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2012. Comparative Perspectives on Social Integration in Pluralistic Societies: Thick Norms versus Thin. Comparative Sociology 11(5):629-648.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2012. Politics Disembodied and Deterritorialized: The Internet as Human Rights Resource. In H. Dahms and L. Hazelrigg, eds. Theorizing Modern Society as a Dynamic Process. Bingley, UK: Emerald:209-233.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2012. Genetic Enhancement: A New Dialectic of Enlightenment? In D. Wetzel, ed. Perspektiven der Aufklärung: Zwischen Mythos und Realität [Perspectives on the Enlightenment: Between Myth and Reality]. Paderborn, Germany: Verlag Wilhelm Fink:133-146.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2010. Individuals as Authors of Human Rights: Not only Addressees. Theory and Society 39(6):631-650.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2010. Deploying Cognitive Sociology to Advance Human Rights. Comparative Sociology 9(3):279-307.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2010. Anti-Imperialism: Generating Universal Human Rights Out of Local Norms. Ratio Juris 23(3):289-310.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2010. Enlightened Localism in Comparative Perspective. Comparative Sociology 9(5):563-593.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2009. Familiendämmerung in Amerika? [Twilight of the American Family?]. In S. Caspar und C. Gehrke, eds. Familien-Bande [Families as Idiosyncrasies]. Tübingen, Germany: Konkursbuch Verlag:321-329.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2008. Translating Human Rights into Muslim Vernaculars. Comparative Sociology 7(4):457–483.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2002. Proceduralism Reconceived: Political Conflict Resolution under Conditions of Moral Pluralism. Theory and Society 31(6):741-776.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2002. The Law and Courts of Enlightened Localism. Polity 35(2):283-309.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1999. Using Legal Rules in an Indeterminate World: Overcoming the Limitations of Jurisprudence. Political Theory 27(3):389-410.

 

According to its website, at one point among the top 10 of the 50 most frequently-cited articles published in Political Theory

 

  • Gregg, B. 1999. Adjudicating Among Competing Systems of Belief. International Review of Sociology 9(1):7-17.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1998. Jurisprudence in an Indeterminate World: Pragmatist not Postmodern. Ratio Juris 11(4):382-398.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1995. Law in China: The Tug of Tradition, the Push of Capitalism. Review of Central and East European Law 21(1):65-86.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1994. Possibility of Social Critique in an Indeterminate World. Theory and Society 23(3):327-366.

 

Japanese translation in Hokkudai Hogaku Ronshu [Hokkaido Law Journal]. 1999. 50(3):235-256 and 50(4):335-365.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1994. Regulating Commercial Speech: A Question Political Not Legal. State Constitutional Commentaries and Notes 5(3):18-29.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1994. Puragumattiku na hogaku no kanosei [Possibility of a Pragmatic Jurisprudence (Japan)]. Chiba Journal of Law and Politics 8(3):97-119 [Part I] and 8(4):59-109 [Part II].

 

  • Gregg, B. 1993. The Modernization of Contemporary Chinese Law. The Review of Politics 55(3):443-470.

 

  • Gregg. B. 1993. The Fate of Liberalism in the New, Tripolar World-Order. In Y. Ogasawara, ed. Chiiki-Funso to Sogoizon [Regional Conflict and Interdependence]. Tokyo: University of Foreign Studies Press:1-27.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1992. The Parameters of Possible Constitutional Interpretation. In R. Wuthnow, ed. Vocabularies of Public Life: Empirical Essays in Symbolic Structure. London: Routledge:207-233.

 

Japanese translation in Kokugakuin Hogaku [Kokugakuin Journal of Law and Politics, (Tokyo)]. 1995. 32(2) [Part I] and 32(3) [Part II].

 

  • Gregg, B. 1988. Falankefu xuepai dui lixin tongzhi de pipan [Frankfurt School’s Critique of Rational Authority]. Guowai Shehui Xue [International Sociology (Beijing)] 4:3-9.

 

BOOK MANUSCRIPT CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW FOR PUBLICATION

 

Indigeneity as Social Construct and Political Tool: Critique of a Contested Identity

 

JOURNAL ARTICLES CURRENTLY UNDER PEER REVIEW

 

  • Gregg, B. Submitted. Deploying Epigenetics to Identify Biologically Influenced Social Inequalities.

 

  • Gregg, B. Submitted. Less-than-Universal Standards for the Legal Regulation of Human Genetic Engineering.

 

  • Gregg, B. Submitted. Cognitive Engineering where Severe Cognitive Disability is Indicated: Toward Threshold Capacities for Political Participation in Liberal Democratic Communities.

 

  • Gregg, B. Submitted. Personalized Education Tailored to the Pupil’s Genome.

 

BOOK REVIEWS IN PROGRESS

 

  • Gregg, B. In Preparation: Review of Governing through Expertise: The Politics of Bioethics by Annabelle Littoz-Monnet (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Political Science Quarterly.

 

  • Gregg, B. In Preparation: Review of Auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie by Jürgen Habermas (Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2018). Kritikon Litterarum.

 

  • Gregg, B. In Preparation: Review of Becoming Human: A Theory of Ontogeny by Michael Tomasello (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2019). International Dialogue.


 

BOOK REVIEWS

 

  • Gregg, B. 2021. Review of Artificial Life After Frankenstein by Eileen Hunt Botting (2021). Perspectives on Politics 19 (3):979-981.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2020. “A Socialism beyond Human Rights yet in Partnership with Them,” Review Essay on Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World by Samuel Moyn (Harvard UP 2018). Kritikon Litterarum 47 (3-4):376-381 (2020).

 

  • Gregg, B. 2019. Review of Enhanced Beings: Human Germline Modification and the Law by Kerry Lynn Macintosh (2018. Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, 56(5). Choice Review #56-2123.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2018. Review of The Moral Conflict of Law and Neuroscience by Peter Alces. 2018. Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, 55(11). Choice Review #55-4221.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2018. Review of The Promise of Human Rights: Constitutional Government, Democratic Legitimacy, and International Law by Jamie Mayerfield (2016). Contemporary Political Theory 17(S1):S30-S34.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2015. Review of Making Human: World Order and the Global Governance of Human Dignity by Matthew Weinert (2015). Human Right Quarterly 37:1101-1104.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2013. Review of Philip Selznick: Ideals in the World by Martin Krygier (2012). Law and Politics Book Review 23:264-267.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2013. Review of Ordered Liberty: Rights, Responsibilities, and Virtues, by James Fleming and Linda McClain (2013). Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries 51(1). DOI: 10.5860/Choice.51-0538.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2013. Review of The Ironic Spectator: Solidarity in the Age of Posthumanitarianism, by Lilie Chouliaraki (2013). Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries 51(4). DOI: 10.5860/Choice.51-2343.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2013. Review of Dialectics of Human Nature in Marx’s Philosophy, by Mehmet Tabak (2013). Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries 50(11). DOI: 10.5860/Choice.50-6444.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2012. Review of Human Rights and Memory, by Daniel Levy and Natan Sznaider (2010) and Review of Humanitarianism and Modern Culture, by Keith Tester (2010). Perspectives on Politics 10(2):456-458.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2008. Review of In Defense of Human Rights: A Non-Religious Grounding in a Pluralistic World, by Ari Kohen (2007). Perspectives on Politics 6(2):373-374.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2008. Review of Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein (2008). Law and Politics Book Review 18(5):452-455.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2007. Review of Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire, by Wendy Brown (2006). Law and Politics Book Review 17(4):318-325.

 

  • Gregg, B. and Williams, D.L. 2006. Review of Rousseau and Law, by Thom Brooks, Ed. (2006). Law and Politics Book Review 16(5):372-383.

 

  • Gregg, B. 2004. Review of Legality and Legitimacy, by Carl Schmitt, Translated and Edited by Jeffrey Seitzer (2004). Law and Politics Book Review 14(8):619-623.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1998. Review of Between the Norm and the Exception: The Frankfurt School and the Rule of Law, by William Scheuerman (1994). Political Theory, 26(2):237-244.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1997. Review of Between Facts and Norms, by Jürgen Habermas (1997). Review of Politics 59(4):927-930.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1997. Review of China's Legal Awakening. Legal Theory and Criminal Justice in Deng’s Era, by Carlos Wing-hung Lo (1997). Review of Central and East European Law 23(2):165-172.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1994. The Failed Quest for a Principled Jurisprudence. Review of Common Law and Liberal Theory, by James Stoner (1994). Legal Studies Forum 18(1):113-123.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1989. Review of Kritik der Macht. Reflexionsstufen einer kritischen Gesellschaftstheorie [The Critique of Power. Reflective Stages in a Critical Social Theory], by Axel Honneth (1988). New German Critique 47:183-188.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1989. Review of From Marx to Kant, by Dick Howard (1988). Theory and Society 18:417-423.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1987. Modernity in Frankfurt: Must a History of Philosophy be a Philosophy of History? Review of Norm, Critique, and Utopia, by Seyla Benhabib (1986). Theory and Society 16:139-151.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1987. In Defense of a Skeptical Rationalism. Reply to Benhabib’s reply to review of Norm, Critique, and Utopia, by Seyla Benhabib (1986). Theory and Society, 16:159-163.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1984. Review of Theory and Politics by, Helmut Dubiel (1984). Telos, 61: 207-214.

TRANSLATIONS

 

  • Gregg, B. 1998. Portions of Technology, War and Fascism, by Herbert Marcuse (Vol. 1 of the Collected Papers of Herbert Marcuse). Douglas Kellner, ed. Routledge. New York, NY:231-260.

 

  • Gregg. B. 1993. Can an Ultimate Foundation of Knowledge Be Non-Metaphysical? by Karl-Otto Apel. Journal of Speculative Philosophy 7:171-190.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1988. “Felicitation,” by Jürgen Habermas. In An Unmastered Past, Martin Jay, ed. University of California Press. Berkeley:9-15.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1988. “The Left in Germany Has Failed,” by Leo Lowenthal. In An Unmastered Past, Martin Jay, ed. University of California Press. Berkeley:247-261.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1988. “Against Postmodernism,” by Leo Lowenthal. In An Unmastered Past, Martin Jay, ed. University of California Press. Berkeley:261-269.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1987. “Introduction” to Daniel Paul Schreber. In Memoirs of My Nervous Illness, Ida Macallpine and Richard Hunter, trans. and eds. Harvard University Press. Cambridge:vii-liv.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1987. “What is Neo-Aristotelianism?” by Herbert Schnädelbach. Praxis International 3-4:226-237.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1986. “The Search for ‘Normality’ in the Relationship between Germans and Jews,” by Sigrid Meuschel. New German Critique 38:39-56.

 

  • Gregg, B. 1985. Theory and Politics: Studies in the Development of Critical Theory, by Helmut Dubiel. MIT Press. Cambridge.

 

RECENT VISITING RESEARCH AND FELLOW POSITIONS

 

2022 Visiting Researcher, Centre for Biomedical Ethics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. Project: article titled “Evaluating Bioethical Regulation in a Non-Democratic State”

 

2021-2022 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Public International Law at Lund University, Sweden. Joint appointment with Law School and Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Project: book titled The Human Rights Regulation of Human Genetic Engineering

 

2019 Visiting Researcher, 2019 Visiting Researcher, Centre de Recherches Interdisciplinaires, Université Paris 5 René Descartes, Paris, France

 

2019 Visiting Researcher, Danish Institute for Human Rights, Copenhagen, Denmark

 

2018 Visiting Researcher, Centre for Sami Studies, University of Tromsø, Norway

 

2018 Visiting Fellow, Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and the Ethox Centre, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, UK

 

2016 Visiting Researcher, Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, Yale University, New

Haven, CT

 

2016 Visiting Researcher, The Hastings Center, Garrison, NY

 

2016 Fulbright Professor, Johannes-Kepler-Universität, Linz, Austria

 

INVITED PROFESSOR, INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE MASTER CLASSES

 

2019 Universidade Federal de Goiás [Federal University of Goiás], Programa de Pós- Graduação Interdisciplinar em Direito Humanos [Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Human Rights]. Goiânia, Brazil.

 

2019 University of Halle, Research Cluster “Gesellschaft und Kultur in Bewegung” [Society and Culture in Motion]. Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg [Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg]. Halle, Germany.

 

2016 University of Hokkaido, School of Law. Sapporo, Japan.

 

2015 University of Glasgow, Human Rights Network. Scotland, UK.

 

SCHOLARLY PRESENTATIONS

 

INVITED TALKS

 

Series of talks on my work in political bioethics. Centre for Biomedical Ethics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. June, July, August 2022.

 

“Cognitive Engineering where Severe Cognitive Disability is Indicated: Toward Threshold Capacities for Political Participation in Liberal Democratic Communities.” St. Cross Lecture in Ethics, Department of Philosophy, University of Oxford, UK. March 2022.

 

“The Human Rights Regulation of Human Genetic Engineering.” Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, University of Oxford, UK. February 2022.

 

“Marx on the Historically Situated Freedom of Economically Productive and Politically Active Subjects.” School of Marxism, Xiamen University, China (virtual). December 2021.

 

“The Coming Political Challenges of Artificial Intelligence,” Technische Universität Wien, Institut für Information Systems Engineering, Vienna, Austria. Date to be determined, 2021.

 

“Political Bioethics.” Health Law Research Centre and the Law Faculty, University of Lund, Sweden. September 2021.

 

“Human Rights as a Politics of Imagination: Morality Beyond Tradition, Solidarity Without Nationalism, Justice Authored by Its Addressees,” Globalizing Education Faculty Learning Community, a collaboration between Hemispheres Consortium at UT Austin and International Programs at Austin Community College (virtual). October 2020.

 

Keynote Address. “How to Oppose Authoritarian Democracy in Brazil: A Guide for Citizens.” Direitos Humanos em tempos neoliberais e antihumanistas [Human Rights in Neoliberal and Antihumanist Times]. Universidade Federal de Goiás [Federal University of Goiás]. Goiânia, Brazil. September 2019.

 

“Political Challenges of Regulating Human Genetic Engineering.” Centre de recherches interdisciplinaires [Center for Interdisciplinary Research]. Paris, France. July 2019.

 

“The Coming Political Challenges of Artificial Intelligence.” Information Technology University of Copenhagen, Denmark. June 2019.

 

“Beyond Due Diligence: The Human Rights Corporation.” Danish Institute for Human Rights, Copenhagen, Denmark. June 2019.

 

“Political Bioethics: Deciding Difficult Bioethical Issues Under Conditions of Value Pluralism and Deep Disagreement.” Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg. [Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg]. Halle, Germany. May 2019.

 

“The Coming Political Challenges of Artificial Intelligence.” Institut für Geschichte und Ethik der Medizin, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg [Institute for History and Ethics of Medicine, Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg]. Halle, Germany. May 2019.

 

“Deploying Epigenetics to Identify Genetically Influenced Social Inequalities.” Nuffield Department of Population Health, Ethox Centre, University of Oxford, UK. December 2018.

 

“Political Bioethics.” St. Cross Lecture in Ethics, Department of Philosophy, University of Oxford, UK. November 2018.

 

“Can Corporate Profit-Seeking Accord with Human Rights-Promotion?” Adam Smith School of Business, University of Glasgow, Scotland. September 2018.

 

“Human Rights Advocacy as Bottom-Up Politics that Deploys the Rule of Law, Democracy, Cosmopolitan Declarations and International Law.” Bayerische Amerika-Akademie, Stiftung Bayerisches Amerikahaus [Bavarian American Academy, Bavarian Center for Transatlantic Relations]. Munich, Germany. July 2018.

 

“Therapie und Enhancement der Human-Intelligenz: Was leisten die Menschenrechte?” [Genetic Therapy and Genetic Enhancement of Human Intelligence: What Regulatory Guidance Might Human Rights Provide?] Katholische Hochschule für Sozialwesen [Catholic University of Social Services]. Berlin, Germany. April 2018.

 

“Why the Difference Between Two Forms of Engineered Intelligence Matters: AI and Genetically Manipulated Humans.” School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway. February 2018.

 

“Can Biological Science Advance Social Justice?” School of Psychology, Psi Chi Honours Society, National University of Ireland, Galway. February 2018.

 

“Social Theory at the Margins of the Social: Epigenetics, Artificial Intelligence, and the Anthropocene.” Department of Sociology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. October 2017.

 

“Social and Political Challenges of Human Genetic Engineering.” Department of Sociology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. October 2017.

 

“Self-Authored Human Rights.” IESB Centro Universitário [Higher Education Institute of Brasília]. Brasília, Brazil. August 2017.

 

“A Human Right Not to Democracy but to the Rule of Law.” IESB Centro Universitário [Higher Education Institute of Brasília]. Brasília, Brazil. August 2017.

 

“On The Human Rights State and Latin America.” Universidade de Brasília [University of Brasília]. Brasília, Brazil. August 2017.

 

“The Role of Organized Civil Society in Constructing a Human Rights State in Brazil.” OAB-DF [Order of Attorneys of Brazil-Distrito Federal (Brazilian Bar Association, Federal District)]. Brasília, Brazil. August 2017.

 

“Genetically Informed Personalized Education: Promises and Perils for Social Justice.” The Hastings Center, Garrison, NY. August 2016.

 

“A Human Rights Framework for Evaluating the Genetic Engineering of Intelligence.” The Hastings Center, Garrison, NY. July 2016.

 

“Human Rights as Social Construction: In Dialogue with the Jesuit Tradition.” Human Rights Institute, University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain. June 2016.

 

“The Human Rights Challenges Posed by Human Genetic Engineering.” Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo, Norway. June 2016.

 

“Die menschliche Natur als Technologieprodukt: Träume und Albträume der Genmanipulation” [Human Nature as a Product of Technology: Promises and Perils of Human Genetic Manipulation]. University of Linz, Austria. June 2016.

 

“The Human Rights Challenges of Human Genetic Engineering.” Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, Helsinki, Finland. May 2016.

 

“The Human Rights State: Political Community Beyond the Nation State.” Institute of Philosophy, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague. May 2016.

 

“Human Genetic Engineering: Pressing Issues of Law, Medicine, and Ethics.” DeCode Genetics (biopharmaceutical company known for its discoveries in human genetics). Reykjavík, Iceland. April 2016.

 

“Genetically Informed Personalized Education: Promises and Perils for Social Justice.” Higher Seminar in Practical Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Lund University, Sweden. April 2016.

 

“The Human Rights Challenge of Genetic Engineering.” Raul Wallenberg Institute, Lund

University, Sweden. April 2016.

 

“The Relationship between Human Rights and Democracy.” Department of Political Science, University of Missouri. Columbia. September 2015.

 

“Human Rights as Constructs: Without Religion or Metaphysics.” Centre for Contemporary Aristotelian Studies in Ethics and Politics, London Metropolitan University, UK. May 2015.

 

“Fundamental Questions for Political Community Posed by Genetic Manipulation.” University of the West of Scotland, Paisely, UK. May 2015.

 

Keynote Address. “Challenges to Human Rights Theory and Practice.” Glasgow Human Rights Network, University of Glasgow, Scotland. May 2015.

 

“Do Human Rights Require Democracy and the Rule of Law?” International Political Science Association World Congress, Montréal, Québec, July 2014.

 

Keynote Address. “Advancing Human Rights by Bringing Them Down to Earth.” Student World Assembly. Norwalk, CT. November 2014.

 

“The Pathology of the Surveillance State: On Reading My Stasi File.” British Studies Seminar, University of Texas at Austin. October 2013.

 

“Self-Granted Human Rights.” University of Nebraska, Lincoln. January 2011.

 

“Aufgeklärte Eugenik oder Eugenik wider Gleichheit?” [Enlightened Eugenics or Eugenics Undermining Equality?] Société suisse de Sociologie [Swiss Sociological Association]. Bern, Switzerland. September 2010.

 

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

 

PARTICIPATION IN ROUNDTABLES ON AUTHOR’S BOOKS

 

“Roundtable on B. Gregg’s, The Human Rights State.” Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association. Austin, TX. January 2019.

 

“Roundtable on B. Gregg’s The Human Rights State.” Faculty of Law, Lund University, Sweden. April 2016

 

“Author-Meets-Critics Roundtable on B. Gregg’s, Human Rights as Social Construction.” Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association. San Francisco, CA. August 2014.

 

CONFERENCE PAPERS

 

“The Human Rights State as a Means to Global Justice beyond Nation States.” Manchester Centre for Political Theory, University of Manchester, UK (virtual). September 2021.

 

“Containing COVID-19: A Human Right to Privacy versus a Human Right to Health.” European Consortium for Political Research, General Conference. Colchester, UK (virtual). September 2021.

 

“Containing COVID-19: A Human Right to Privacy versus a Human Right to Health.” International Conference on the “Ethics of the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway (virtual). June 2021.

 

“Against Self-Isolation as a Human Right of Indigenous Peoples.” Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association. San Juan, Puerto Rico. January 2020.

 

“Indigeneity as Social Construct and Political Tool.” Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association. San Juan, Puerto Rico. January 2020.

 

“Against Self-Isolation as a Human Right of Indigenous Peoples.” Philosophy, Politics, Anthropology & Allied Disciplines Conference. University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. May 2019.

 

“Epigenetics as a Political Theory of Genetically Influenced Social Inequalities.” 24th World Congress of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Beijing University, China. August 2018.

 

“Epigenetics as a Political Theory of Genetically Influenced Social Inequalities.” International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Study of Biology, Institute of Biosciences, University of São Paulo, Brazil. July 2017.

 

“Genetic Engineering of Human Intelligence: Moral, Legal, and Political Issues.” Humanities Research Award Symposium, University of Texas at Austin. March 2017.

 

“Vom Nutzen und Nachteil der Biotechnik: Zur normativen Einschätzung der Humangenmanipulation” [“On the Use and Abuse of Biotechnology: The Normative Evaluation of Human Genetic Manipulation”]. Fifth Annual International Hartheim Conference on “Genetische Optimierung: Gentechnik und Fortpflanzungsmedizin” [Genetic Perfection: Gene Technology and Reproductive Medicine]. Alkoven, Austria. November 2016.

 

(Accepted but Declined.) “Genetic Justice: A Political Framework for Regulating Human Genetic Enhancement.” European Consortium for Political Research General Conference. Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. September 2016.

 

“Fetus Ex Machina: The Political Challenge of Genetic Engineering.” Annual Meeting of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences. University of Wisconsin, Madison. October 2015.

 

“Social Inequalities in the Enhancement of Health through Genetic Manipulation.” European Consortium for Political Research General Conference, Standing Group on Political Theory. Université de Montréal, Canada. August 2015.

 

“Genetic Diversity Among Humans: A Human Rights Issue?” International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Study of Biology. Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada. July 2015.

 

“A Human Right Not to Democracy but to the Rule of Law.” Annual Conference of the Association for Social and Political Philosophy, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. June 2015.

 

“The Body as Human Rights Boundary.” Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association. San Francisco. August 2014.

 

“Human Rights and ‘Humanitarian’ Military Intervention.” Critical Sociology Conference. San Francisco. August 2014.

 

“The Local Construction of a Human Right to Democracy.” XVIII International Sociological Association World Congress, Yokohama, Japan. July 2014.

 

“What Cognitive Sociology Can Contribute to Human Rights Diffusion” XVIII International Sociological Association World Congress, Yokohama, Japan. July 2014.

 

“Human Rights Patriotism.” Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. Chicago. September 2013.

 

(Accepted but Declined.) “Translating Human Rights into Local Muslim Vernaculars.” European Sociological Association Annual Conference. Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy. August 2013.

 

“International Relations in a Community of Human Rights States.” American Sociological Association, Conference on Re-Imagining Human Rights. New York, NY. August 2013.

 

“Developing Human Rights Commitment in Post-Communist Societies through Education.” Russian Political Science Association and International Political Science Association Research Committee. St. Petersburg, Russia. June 2013.

 

“The Human Rights State: Nongeographic ‘Borders’ Embedded in the Citizen.” Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. Chicago. April 2013.

 

“Human Rights Patriotism.” Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. Chicago. September 2013.

 

“International Relations in a Community of Human Rights States.” American Sociological Association. New York, NY. August 2013.

 

“The Human Rights State: Nongeographic ‘Borders’ Embedded in the Citizen.” Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. Chicago, IL. April 2013.

“Abstracting from Human Bodies and National Boundaries via Electronically Mediated Communication: The Internet as Human Rights Resource.” Southern Sociological Society. New Orleans. March 2012.

 

“Für die Bildung einer kritischen Internet-Öffentlichkeit gegen politische Alltagsentfremdung und–asymmetrie” [Against Alienation and Asymetry in Daily Life: Toward a Critical Public Sphere in the Internet]. Dritter gemeinsamer Kongress für Soziologie der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie, der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Soziologie und der Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Soziologie [Third Joint Congress for Sociology of the German Sociological Association, the Austrian Sociological Association, and the Swiss Sociological Association]. Innsbruck, Austria. October 2011.

 

“Menschenrechtsnormen als Subjekte des Strukturwandels der Weltöffentlichkeit: Auf dem Wege zu einem Pluralismus” [Human Rights Norms in the Structural Transformation of the Global Public Sphere: The Path to Human Rights Pluralism]. Dritter gemeinsamer Kongress für Soziologie der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie, der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Soziologie und der Schweizerischen Geselleschaft für Soziologie [Third Joint Congress for Sociology of the German Sociological Association, the Austrian Sociological Association, and the Swiss Sociological Association]. Innsbruck, Austria. October 2011.

 

“The Genetic Self-Enhancement of the Human Species: Human Nature as Cultural Choice.” Political Studies Association. London, UK. April 2011.

 

“Rendering Human Rights Cosmopolitan Absent Universally Valid Norms.” Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. Washington, DC. September 2010.

 

“Community, Security and Universalism: Conflicting Priorities in Early Modern Thought on International Relations.” With graduate student Peter Mohanty. Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. Toronto, Canada. September 2009.

 

“Not only Addressees: Individuals as Authors of Human Rights.” Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. Chicago. April 2009.

 

“Deploying Cognitive Sociology to Advance Human Rights.” Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. Chicago. April 2009.

 

“Human Rights: Political not Theological.” Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. Chicago. April 2008.

 

“Coping with Cultural Relativism in the Application of Human Rights.” Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. Chicago. September 2007.

 

“Carl Schmitt and Constitutional Failure in Weimar Germany.” Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. Washington, DC. September 2005.

 

“Citizen Rights and Obligations Beyond State Borders: Lessons from the European Union.” Biennial Conference of the European Union Studies Association. Austin, TX. April 2005.

 

“Responding to Globalization and Political Fragmentation by Softening Identities in State and Society.” Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. Philadelphia. August 2003.

 

“Decoupling Political Culture from Majority Culture in the Normatively Thin State.” Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. Philadelphia. August 2003.


 

CURRENT RESEARCH

 

My current research agenda proceeds along two (at points, intersecting) tracks: (1) political bioethics (which addresses questions that can only be answered in terms of the particular value-commitments of the deciders, where answers ideally would be generated through critical discussions not only among experts but among members of the general public) and (2) human rights as a social science (rather than a theology or a metaphysics).

 

Courses


GOV 355M • Political Bioethics

38668 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM WAG 101
Wr

Please check back for updates.

UGS 303 • Seeking Justice In Constitutn

62190-62205 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM WCH 1.120
Wr ID

The Signature Course (UGS 302 and 303) introduces first-year students to the university’s academic community through the exploration of new interests. The Signature Course is your opportunity to engage in college-level thinking and learning.

S S 302C • Hon Soc Sci:methods/Theory

41015 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PMA 7.114
SB

Description

Drawing on primary sources, this seminar introduces social theory as the systematic investigation of social life: how society is organized, continually transforms itself, is sometimes beset by conflict, and is also affected by the behavior of its individual members.

Topics in classical theory include how individuals are tied to groups (Adam Smith), social equality in democratic societies (Tocqueville), how social structure influences knowledge (Marx), individuals as influenced by the social collective (Durkheim), society as influenced by individual actors (Weber), how social structure influences even intimate relationships (Simmel), mass deception and manipulation through modern culture (Horkheimer and Adorno), the integration of diverse spheres of any individual’s life as a project for society (Parsons), and the relationship between the individual’s purposes and the needs of society (Merton).

Topics in contemporary theory include how rituals bind us together (Collins), the nature of social cooperation and trust (Cook, Hardin, Levi), power and inequality (Tilly), the social consequences of economic structure (Granovetter), the phenomenon of racial difference (Patterson), the politics of sexual difference (Smith), the peculiar quality of our Western modernity (Elias; Giddens), the transformation of the nation state (Sassen), the modern scholar (with implications for the modern student, i.e., you) (Bourdieu), and the dangers of economic and bureaucratic imperatives (Habermas). Each session combines lecture as well as student-centered, student-initiated discussion.

REQUIRED TEXTS

Classical Sociological Theory, 3rd ed. 2012, and Contemporary Sociological Theory, both 3rd ed. 2012. Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Pfaff, Virk, eds. Wiley-Blackwell ● “Value Package” for both volumes combined: ISBN 9781118438725

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Attendance: Required. A student's course grade decreases by one-half letter grade for each unexcused absence beyond four absences that need no excuse (students remain responsible for everything said in all lectures). Attendance is taken only once each class period. A student is present if he or she responds when I call his or her name during roll call. The relevant category is present/absent not on-time/late.

Evaluation: The final grade is the average of the grades of four essays (adjusted for class participation, as warranted), each 4 to 5 pages in length. No late essays accepted. Grades: A = 4.00, A-= 3.67, B+ = 3.33, B = 3.00, B-= 2.67, C+ = 2.33, C = 2.00, C-= 1.67, D+= 1.33, D = 1.00, D-= 0.67, F = 0.00. Pluses or minuses, as warranted.

UGS 303 • Seeking Justice In Constitutn

61740-61755 • Fall 2020
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM WCH 1.120
Wr ID

The Signature Course (UGS 302 and 303) introduces first-year students to the university’s academic community through the exploration of new interests. The Signature Course is your opportunity to engage in college-level thinking and learning.

GOV F335Q • Global Justice-Wb

80674 • Summer 2020
Internet; Asynchronous
Wr

COURSE: GOV 335Q-on demand

INSTRUCTOR: Benjamin Gregg

SEMESTER: 2020, first summer session

TITLE: Global Justice

FLAG: Writing

FORMAT: Pre-recorded set of fourteen lectures, one for each of the assigned readings, and available on demand; opportunities for questions and group discussion via Zoom; fixed deadlines for submitting each of the three required essays; fixed deadlines for submitting brief, initial responses to each of the readings (for student-centered difficult dialogues on each topic). All submissions via Canvas.

INSTRUCTOR AVAILABILITY: Instructor will respond to email within 24 hours, any day of the week, throughout the first summer session; one-on-one Zoom meetings always possible on request.

BRIEF COURSE DESCRIPTION: Offers an overview of the important contributions to core issues of global justice today, including sovereignty, group right to self-determination, nationalism and patriotism, global poverty and international distributive justice, the social and legal status of women in different cultures, terrorism, and human rights. Careful, constructive, line-by-line feedback on student writing.

DETAILED COURSE DESCRIPTION: We study seven core issues of global justice by analyzing pairs of competing essays, one pair each on sovereignty (Is justice possible outside and among nation states?); group right to self-determination (Is it right that some few peoples, but not the vast majority of peoples, enjoy the right to a sovereign political community?); nationalism and patriotism (Is it morally wrong to privilege our compatriots over foreigners?); global poverty and international distributive justice (Are citizens of rich countries such as the USA immoral or unjust if they decline to transfer of some of their national wealth to poor countries?); the social and legal status of women in different cultures (Should there be universal norms for gender equality across all cultures or is that idea culturally imperialistic toward some cultures?); terrorism (Can a minority group without a military force justifiably target non-combatant members of the majority when the majority perpetrates genocide or ethnic cleansing against the minority?); and human rights (If human rights cannot be anything but the particular values and commitments of particular cultures, are human rights just one more exercise in “might makes right”: human rights as power politics of powerful nations?). The seminar requires the close reading and careful analysis of assigned texts; active participation in student-centered, difficult dialogues on each of our seven issues, conducted asynchronously on Canvas; and the composition of three essays, each critical, analytic, thesis-driven, and itself a difficult dialogue.

REQUIRED TEXT: The Global Justice Reader, ed. Thom Brooks (Blackwell Publishing, 2008) [inexpensive used copies may be purchased on-line]

EVALUATION: A student’s final grade will be the average of three 4- to 5-page essays, adjusted for quality of participation in student-centered dialogues conducted on Canvas; students may revise the writing and content of either their first or second essay for a higher grade on that essay. All essays are to be uploaded to the seminar’s Canvas site.

S S 302C • Hon Soc Sci:methods/Theory

41609 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM BEN 1.106
Wr SB

Classical and Contemporary Social Theory

DESCRIPTION

Drawing on primary sources, this seminar introduces social theory as the systematic investigation of social life: how society is organized, continually transforms itself, is sometimes beset by conflict, and is also affected by the behavior of its individual members. Topics in classical theory include how individuals are tied to groups (Adam Smith), social equality in democratic societies (Tocqueville), how social structure influences knowledge (Marx), individuals as influenced by the social collective (Durkheim), society as influenced by individual actors (Weber), how social structure influences even intimate relationships (Simmel), mass deception and manipulation through modern culture (Horkheimer and Adorno), the integration of diverse spheres of any individual’s life as a project for society (Parsons), and the relationship between the individual’s purposes and the needs of society (Merton). Topics in contemporary theory include how rituals bind us together (Collins), the nature of social cooperation and trust (Cook, Hardin, Levi), power and inequality (Tilly), the social consequences of economic structure (Granovetter), the phenomenon of racial difference (Patterson), the politics of sexual difference (Smith), the peculiar quality of our Western modernity (Elias; Giddens), the transformation of the nation state (Sassen), the modern scholar (with implications for the contemporary Plan II student) (Bourdieu), and the dangers of economic and bureaucratic imperatives (Habermas).

 

REQUIRED TEXTS

Classical Sociological Theory, 3rd ed. 2012. Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Pfaff, Virk, eds. Wiley-Blackwell

Contemporary Sociological Theory, 3rd ed. 2012. Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Pfaff, Virk, eds. Wiley-Blackwell

EVALUATION

Average of four 5-page essays, adjusted for class participation

 

INSTRUCTOR BIO

Benjamin Gregg (B.A. Yale University, Ph.D. Princeton University Ph.D., D. Phil. Free University of Berlin) teaches political and social theory, informed by political science and sociology, in UT’s Department of Government but also in Germany, Japan, China, Austria and (in 2019) Brazil. Two of his books, Thick Moralities, Thin Politics (2003) and Coping in Politics with Indeterminate Norms (2003), confront challenges of social justice in complex modern societies, especially in liberal democratic states. Another two books, Human Rights as Social Construction (2012) and The Human Rights State (2016), analyze problems and prospects for justice across national borders. He is currently writing a book (now under review at Oxford University Press) titled Human Nature as Cultural Design: The Political Challenges of Genetic Enhancement and has presented aspects of this project at invited lectures in the USA, Europe, Asia, and South America, as well as at international conferences, on the radio, and in newspaper interviews. Recent research visits to further this project include a Fulbright Professorship at the University of Linz, Austria, and visiting scholar positions at The Hastings Institute (Garrison, NY), the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics and, for all of 2018, at the University of Oxford (at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and at the Ethox Centre, Nuffield Department of Population Health).

UGS 303 • Seeking Justice In Constitutn

60120-60135 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM
EWr ID

We examine constitutional law, American political culture, and the sociology of rules by focusing on a problem central to our legal regime: the indeterminacy of some legal rules, constitutional rules in particular. The term legal indeterminacy refers to the lack of determinate knowledge: knowledge of what a legal rule means and of how judges and others should apply it. Where law is indeterminate, no theory, rule, or principle constrains a judge to interpret or apply a law in a particular way. Consequently a case could have several different answers, yet all of them equally valid. While few scholars or judges today view law itself as something static, the notion that judges make rather than find law implies, to many observers, consequences such as unequal or arbitrary treatment of individuals. Where law is determinate, however, it may have an exclusively correct meaning and proper application, in short, one right answer. If justice through law is predicated on such qualities as consistency and even objectivity, then determinacy, in one form or another, might seem to be a prerequisite for justice. And yet, as this course will demonstrate, much law at the constitutional level is indeterminate. This course explores how the Supreme Court has coped with this phenomenon presenting both problems for justice and opportunities for justice over two centuries in five major areas: property, privacy, equal protection, expression, and religion.

CTI 302 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thought

28880 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 10
SB (also listed as GOV 314E)

INSTRUCTOR: Benjamin Gregg

COURSE: CTI 302 / GOV 314
SEMESTER: Fall 2019
UNIQUE:
MEETS: Tu/Th 3:30-5
VENUE: Mezes 2.102
TITLE: Classics of Social and Political Thought

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This seminar explores a range of responses to a fundamental question of political theory: What is human nature? (Indeed: Is there a human nature?) It examines the respective accounts of four of the greatest philosophical thinkers of Western civilization: from the classical era, we read Plato (Republic, ca. 380 BCE) and Augustine (City of God, ca. 400 CE); from the modern era, Hobbes (Leviathan, 1651) and Rousseau (Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, 1755). In its second half, the seminar studies two major contributions in evolutionary psychology. Steven Pinker (2002) articulates the major claims of contemporary evolutionary psychology: that human nature “was designed” by natural selection in the Pleistocene epoch (from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago) and that our psychological adaptations “were designed” tens of thousands of years ago to solve problems faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors. This approach implies a distinct vision for the organization of political community, informed as it is by a conception of human nature. David Buller (2005) claims by contrast that our minds are not adapted to the Pleistocene but, like the immune system, are continually adapting over both evolutionary time and individual lifetimes. His argument entails a very different vision for the organization of political community, informed by the rejection of the very idea of human nature. As we read our authors and compare and contrast them with each other, we are guided by a second question: What does each of these theories —— with its respective claims about human nature —— suggest as to how political community might best be organized and, in particular, how social, political and legal justice might best be conceived and pursued in liberal democratic polities, such as the United States, today?

EVALUATION: Course grade is the average of three essays, each three pages, adjusted for quality of class participation

REQUIRED BOOKS:

Plato: The Republic, tr. A. Bloom. Basic Books, ISBN 0465069347

Augustine: City of God. tr. H. Bettenson. Penguin Classics, ISBN 0140448942
Hobbes: Leviathan, ed. E. Curley. Hackett Publishing Company, ISBN 0872201775 Rousseau: First and Second Discourses, tr. R. Masters. St. Martin’s, ISBN 0312694407 Steven Pinker, The Blank State: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

David Buller, Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for Human Nature

UGS 303 • Seeking Justice In Constitutn

61885-61900 • Fall 2019
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM RLP 0.128
EWr ID

The Signature Course (UGS 302 and 303) introduces first-year students to the university’s academic community through the exploration of new interests. The Signature Course is your opportunity to engage in college-level thinking and learning.

GOV S335M • Global Justice

81885 • Summer 2019
Meets MTWTHF 8:30AM-10:00AM MEZ B0.302
EWr

Course Description INSTRUCTOR: Benjamin Gregg

COURSE: GOV s335M
SEMESTER: Summer 2019, second session UNIQUE: 84244
MEETS: MTuWThF 8:30-10 am
VENUE: MEZ B0.302
TITLE: Global Justice

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Our seminar provides an overview of major scholarly contributions to the analysis of core issues of global justice today: sovereignty (are nation states in a state of nature?); group right to self-determination (which peoples deserve it?); nationalism and patriotism (should we privilege our compatriots over foreigners?); global poverty and international distributive justice (should rich countries transfer wealth to poor countries?); the social and legal status of women in different cultures (should there be universal norms for the treatment of women across all cultures?); terrorism (is it ever acceptable as a means to fight terrorism?), just war (are preemptive strikes ever warranted?); and human rights (should a right to be free of torture be absolute?). The seminar requires the close reading and careful analysis of assigned texts; active participation in student-centered classroom debates on each issue; and the composition of three essays, each critical, analytic, and thesis-driven.

EVALUATION: A student’s course grade is the average of three essays, adjusted for quality of in-class participation, including regular Canvas posts about the assigned readings.

REQUIRED BOOK: The Global Justice Reader, ed. T. Brooks (2008)

CTI 302 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thou

29305 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ 1.210
SB (also listed as GOV 314)

 

Title: Classics of Social Scientific Thought: Human Nature and Political Community

Semester: Spring 2019

Professor: Benjamin Gregg

 

Requested time/venue: Tu/Th 3:30-5 pm in CLA 1.108 (or elsewhere is CLA, if

possible; prefer Greek-style lecture hall)

 

Description: This seminar explores a range of responses to a fundamental question of political theory: What is human nature? (Indeed: Is there a human nature?) It examines the respective accounts of four of the greatest philosophical thinkers of Western civilization: from the classical era, we read Plato (Republic, ca. 380 BCE; Symposium, ca. 385-370 BCE) and Augustine (Confessions, ca. 397-400; City of God, ca. 400); from the modern era, Hobbes (Leviathan, 1651) and Rousseau (Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, 1755). In its second half, the seminar studies two major contributions in evolutionary psychology. Steven Pinker and David Buss articulate the major claims of contemporary evolutionary psychology: that human nature “was designed” by natural selection in the Pleistocene epoch (from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago) and that our psychological adaptations “were designed” tens of thousands of years ago to solve problems faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors. This approach implies a distinct vision for the organization of political community, informed as it is by a conception of human nature. David Buller claims by contrast that our minds are not adapted to the Pleistocene but, like the immune system, are continually adapting over both evolutionary time and individual lifetimes. His argument entails a very different vision for the organization of political community, informed by the rejection of the very idea of human nature. As we read our authors and compare and contrast them with each other, we are guided by a second question: What does each of these theories suggest with regard to how a just political community might best be organized and, in particular, how justice might be conceived and pursued today in light of what we have learned from our authors?

 

Grading Policy: The course grade is the average of three essays, each responding to the student’s choice from a list of prompts, and adjusted for the quality of the student’s in-class participation

 

Required texts: selections from each of the following:

 

Plato: The Republic

Plato: Symposium

Augustine: City of God

Augustine: Confessions

Hobbes: Leviathan

Rousseau: First and Second Discourses

Steven Pinker, The Blank State: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (2002)

David Buller, Adapting Minds: Evolutionary Psychology and the Persistent Quest for       Human Nature (2005)

S S 302C • Hon Soc Sci:methods/Theory

42165 • Spring 2019
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM JGB 2.202
Wr SB

Classical and Contemporary Social Theory

DESCRIPTION

Drawing on primary sources, this seminar introduces social theory as the systematic investigation of social life: how society is organized, continually transforms itself, is sometimes beset by conflict, and is also affected by the behavior of its individual members. Topics in classical theory include how individuals are tied to groups (Adam Smith), social equality in democratic societies (Tocqueville), how social structure influences knowledge (Marx), individuals as influenced by the social collective (Durkheim), society as influenced by individual actors (Weber), how social structure influences even intimate relationships (Simmel), mass deception and manipulation through modern culture (Horkheimer and Adorno), the integration of diverse spheres of any individual’s life as a project for society (Parsons), and the relationship between the individual’s purposes and the needs of society (Merton). Topics in contemporary theory include how rituals bind us together (Collins), the nature of social cooperation and trust (Cook, Hardin, Levi), power and inequality (Tilly), the social consequences of economic structure (Granovetter), the phenomenon of racial difference (Patterson), the politics of sexual difference (Smith), the peculiar quality of our Western modernity (Elias; Giddens), the transformation of the nation state (Sassen), the modern scholar (with implications for the contemporary Plan II student) (Bourdieu), and the dangers of economic and bureaucratic imperatives (Habermas).

 

REQUIRED TEXTS

 

Classical Sociological Theory, 3rd ed. 2012. Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Pfaff, Virk, eds. Wiley-Blackwell

 

Contemporary Sociological Theory, 3rd ed. 2012. Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Pfaff, Virk, eds. Wiley-Blackwell

EVALUATION

 

Average of four 5-page essays, adjusted for class participation

 

INSTRUCTOR BIO

Benjamin Gregg (B.A. Yale University, Ph.D. Princeton University Ph.D., D. Phil. Free University of Berlin) teaches political and social theory, informed by political science and sociology, in UT’s Department of Government but also in Germany, Japan, China, Austria and (in 2019) Brazil. Two of his books, Thick Moralities, Thin Politics (2003) and Coping in Politics with Indeterminate Norms (2003), confront challenges of social justice in complex modern societies, especially in liberal democratic states. Another two books, Human Rights as Social Construction (2012) and The Human Rights State (2016), analyze problems and prospects for justice across national borders. He is currently writing a book (now under review at Oxford University Press) titled Human Nature as Cultural Design: The Political Challenges of Genetic Enhancement and has presented aspects of this project at invited lectures in the USA, Europe, Asia, and South America, as well as at international conferences, on the radio, and in newspaper interviews. Recent research visits to further this project include a Fulbright Professorship at the University of Linz, Austria, and visiting scholar positions at The Hastings Institute (Garrison, NY), the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics and, for all of 2018, at the University of Oxford (at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and at the Ethox Centre, Nuffield Department of Population Health).

GOV F335M • Global Justice

82650 • Summer 2018
Meets MTWTHF 8:30AM-10:00AM MEZ 2.118
Wr

INSTRUCTOR: Benjamin Gregg

 

COURSE: GOV f335M

 

SEMESTER: Summer 2018, first session

 

UNIQUE: tba

 

MEETS: MTuWThF 8:30-10 am

 

VENUE: MEZ 2.118

 

TITLE: Global Justice

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Our seminar provides an overview of major scholarly contributions to the analysis of core issues of global justice today: sovereignty (are nation states in a state of nature?); group right to self-determination (which peoples deserve it?); nationalism and patriotism (should we privilege our compatriots over foreigners?); global poverty and international distributive justice (should rich countries transfer wealth to poor countries?); the social and legal status of women in different cultures (should there be universal norms for the treatment of women across all cultures?); terrorism (is it ever acceptable as a means to fight terrorism?), just war (are preemptive strikes ever warranted?); and human rights (should a right to be free of torture be absolute?). The seminar requires the close reading and careful analysis of assigned texts; active participation in student-centered classroom debates on each issue; and the composition of three essays, each critical, analytic, and thesis-driven.

 

EVALUATION: A student’s course grade is the average of three essays, adjusted for quality of in-class participation, including regular Canvas posts about the assigned readings.

 

REQUIRED BOOK: The Global Justice Reader, ed. T. Brooks (2008)

GOV 335M • Global Justice

38693 • Fall 2017
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM BEN 1.102
Wr

INSTRUCTOR: Benjamin Gregg

GOV 335M

TITLE: Global Justice

Unique: 38693

Meets Tu/Th in BEN 1.102

 

DESCRIPTION: Offers an overview of the important contributions to core issues of global justice today, including sovereignty, rights to self-determination, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, global poverty and international distributive justice, the social and legal status of women, terrorism, and human rights.

REQUIRED TEXT: The Global Justice Reader, ed. Thom Brooks (Blackwell Publishing, 2008)

EVALUATION: A student’s final grade will be the average of three essays, adjusted significantly for quality of in-class participation.

Writing flag.

GOV 382K • Studies In Polit Thry & Philos

38888 • Fall 2017
Meets TH 7:00PM-10:00PM BAT 1.104

SEMESTER: Fall 2017

INSTRUCTOR: Benjamin Gregg

COURSE: GOV 382K, 3 hour seminar

TITLE: “STUDIES IN POLITICAL THEORY & PHILOSOPHY”

(Topic: Aristotle, Augustine, Spinoza: What is the Political?)

TIME & VENUE: TH 7-10pm, BAT 1.104

 

DESCRIPTION

This course provides a pointed introduction to the broad and heterogeneous field of Political Theory, focusing on the three major authors of Western thought, by analyzing different and historically influential answers to the question, “What is the political?” One answer comes from classical Greek thought, another from the seventeenth century, and a third from the eighteenth. Aristotle (384-322 BCE) understands politics as teleological; Spinoza (1632-1677), as both theological and philosophical; and Kant (1724-1804), as a product of human reason. While offering distinct approaches to political theory, and diverse strategies in writing philosophical texts, each author demonstrates in his own way the enduring relevance of his own approach to an array of political questions and answers. We read these texts are in dialogue with each other and explore how these slivers of Western civilization cohere even in their diversity.

 

REQUIRED TEXTS

Aristotle: Nichomachean Ethics (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) Ed. R. Crisp, trans. R. Crisp, 2014. ISBN 978-1-107-61223-5

Spinoza: Theological-Political Treatise (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) Ed. J. Israel, trans. M. Silverthorne and J. Israel, 2012. ISBN 0-531-53097-0

Kant: Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) Ed. M. Gregor and J. Timmermann, trans. M. Gregor, 2012. ISBN 978-1-107-40106-8

 

EVALUATION

Course grade based on regular attendance and well-prepared participation as well as one 2-page paper for each session, to be submitted to our Canvas website every week, 24 hours before class. Each week these papers will generate points of departure for in-class analysis. Seriatim each student will be responsible for writing a short summary of a class discussion, to be presented at the beginning of the following session.

S S 301 • Honors Social Science

42752 • Fall 2017
Meets W 5:00PM-8:00PM JGB 2.202
SB

COURSE DESCRIPTION: When we, as individuals and as members of various groups, construct our own “sense of self,” we might think we are in control of ourselves. When other people, and institutions and forces beyond them, define us, we might think we are being controlled, as individuals as well as members of various groups. The problem of whether and to what extent we humans are in control, or can be in control, of ourselves – of our identities but also of our behavior and understanding, both public and private – is what in this course I refer to as the “problem of the subject.” The problem of the subject is the never completed social task of constructing intersubjectively valid understandings of fundamental human identity. For example, are human beings moved by social, emotional, and psychological forces beyond their control or can they control themselves and their environment through the power of their own reasoning? This seminar explores different answers to this question by analyzing seminal works of European and American thinkers of the late modern and contemporary eras, works that have powerfully influenced our notions of the subject today.

 

The European Enlightenment of the 18th century gave rise to master narratives of the subject as a sovereign figure capable of rational control of his or her worlds. We begin with the “modern, enlightenment self” (Kant, Rousseau, andMarx), taken as an individual, then examine the “solidary self” (Durkheim and Mauss), or the self as a communal member. Next we turn to the “modern self fragmented” (Kierkegaard, Simmel, and Weber), whether for better or worse. Then we examine the “interior self” (Freud), and subsequently the “self as the other of the socially dominant one,” with one examples from sex (de Beauvoir) and one from “race” (Du Bois). Finally we discuss the “symbolically or strategically interacting self” (Mead and Goffman). In lectures introducing each author, I will develop the specific conception of social science offered by each of our authors. The last hour of each session will be devoted to student-organized and student–led discussion among students, in this student-centered seminar.

 

EVALUATION: The final grade is the average of the grades of four essays, each 5 to 6 pages in length. For each assignment, I provide a list of topics from which students choose one (students may also develop their own topic). Students may modify the topic chosen in ways that suit the logic of their essay’s argument. Each essay should develop original insights about our authors, in the student’s own and unique voice.

 

REQUIRED BOOKS: [1] W.E.B. Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk, [2] Søren Kierkegaard. Either/Or, [3] Max Weber, From Max Weber, [4] Marcel Mauss, The Gift, [5] Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, [6]George Herbert Mead, Mind, Self, and Society, [7] Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, [8] Erving Goffman, Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

 

TEXTS AVAILABLE ON CANVAS: [1] Jean-Jacque Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, [2] Immanuel Kant, “What Is Enlightenment?,” [3] Karl Marx, “Estranged Labor,” [4] Émile Durkheim, “Forms of Social Solidarity,” [5] Georg Simmel, “The Metropolis and Mental Life” and “The Stranger”

 

 

INSTRUCTOR BIO:

Benjamin Gregg (B.A. Yale University, Ph.D. Princeton University) teaches political and social theory, informed by political science and sociology, in UT’s Government Department but also in Germany, Japan, China and Austria. Two of his books, Thick Moralities, Thin Politics (2003) and Coping in Politics with Indeterminate Norms (2003), confront challenges of social justice in complex modern societies, especially in liberal democratic states. Another two books, Human Rights as Social Construction (2012) and The Human Rights State (2016), analyze problems and prospects for justice across national borders. His current book-in-progress, Human Nature as Cultural Design: The Political Challenge of Genetic Enhancement, explores core issues in bioethics: rapid advances in genetic engineering, particularly of human embryos and fetuses, pose difficult social, political, moral, and legal questions that challenge a range of different conceptions of a just society. His current research was supported by a College of Liberal Arts Humanities Research Award, 2014-2016;a Fulbright Professorship at the University of Linz, Austria, Spring 2016; by Visiting Scholar positions at The Hastings Center (Garrison, NY) and the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, Summer 2016; and as a Visiting Scholar at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford, Spring and Fall 2018. In 2016 he delivered invited lectures on this project in Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Spain, Austria, and the USA. In 2017 he will lecture in Brazil.

 

GOV F335M • Global Justice

83022 • Summer 2017
Meets MTTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM CLA 0.102

Course Description

 

INSTRUCTOR: Benjamin Gregg

 

COURSE: GOV f335M

 

SEMESTER: Summer 2017, first session

 

UNIQUE: 83022

 

MEETS: MTuWThF 11:30-1:00 pm

 

VENUE: CLA 0.102

 

TITLE: Global Justice

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This seminar provides an introduction and overview of core issues of global justice today: a people’s right to self-determination; limits on national sovereignty; nationalism versus cosmopolitanism; global poverty and distributive justice; the social and legal status of women in different cultures; just and unjust war; torture as a means to combat terrorism; and human rights. For each issue, we read two compelling analyses, each challenging the other. Students then debate the strengths and weaknesses of the two competing positions and draw their own conclusions. Essay topics are based on these debates.

 

EVALUATION: A student’s course grade is the average of three essays, each four to six pages.

 

REQUIRED BOOK: The Global Justice Reader, ed. T. Brooks (2008)

CTI 335 • Political Philo Of Rousseau

33969 • Spring 2017
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ 1.210
Wr (also listed as GOV 335M)

This seminar examines one of the most important and historically consequential contributors to the European Enlightenment: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778). His political theory influenced the French elite that guided the French Revolution as well as the colonial elite that guided the American Revolution. Some of his work championed deeply modernist forms of subjectivity and introspection. In his writings he advocated the education of the whole person for citizenship. As a novelist, he contributed to the genre of the sentimental novel that encouraged the idea of human rights.

Our seminar begins with one of Rousseau’s central questions: For all of its obvious benefits, Western modernity has created at least as many problems as it has solved (the First and Second Discourses). We first examine Rousseau’s political answer (On the Social Contract), then his pedagogical response (Emile or On Education), and finally his “post-political” response (The Reveries of the Solitary Walker).

Texts to be purchased (to coordinate our work in seminar, please purchase these particular ISBNs): 

First and Second Discourses. 1964 [1750; 1754]. St. Martin’s. ISBN 978-0-312-694401

On the Social Contract.1978 [1756/1762]. St. Martin’s. ISBN 978-0-312-694463

Emile or On Education .1979 [1762]. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-019311

The Reveries of the Solitary Walker.1979 [1782] Penguin. ISBN 9780140443639

S S 301 • Hon Soc Sci: Soc Sci Theory

42845 • Spring 2017
Meets W 4:00PM-7:00PM GDC 1.406
Wr SB

When we, as individuals and as members of various groups, construct our own “sense of self,” we might think we are in control of ourselves. When other people, and institutions and forces beyond them, define us, we might think we are being controlled, as individuals as well as members of various groups. The problem of whether and to what extent we humans are in control, or can be in control, of ourselves – of our identities but also of our behavior and understanding, both public and private – is what in this course I refer to as the “problem of the subject.” The problem of the subject is the never completed social task of constructing intersubjectively valid understandings of fundamental human identity. For example, are human beings moved by social, emotional, and psychological forces beyond their control or can they control themselves and their environment through the power of their own reasoning? This seminar explores different answers to this question by analyzing seminal works of European and American thinkers of the late modern and contemporary eras, works that have powerfully influenced our notions of the subject today.

The European Enlightenment of the 18th century gave rise to master narratives of the subject as a sovereign figure capable of rational control of his or her worlds. We begin with the “modern, enlightenment self” (Kant, Rousseau, and Marx), taken as an individual, then examine the “solidary self” (Tönnies, Durkheim, and Mauss), or the self as a communal member. Next we turn to the “modern self fragmented” (Kierkegaard, Simmel, and Weber), whether for better or worse. Then we examine the “interior self” (Freud), and subsequently the “self as the other of the socially dominant one,” with one examples from sex (de Beauvoir) and one from “race” (Du Bois). Finally we discuss the “symbolically or strategically interacting self” (Mead and Goffman). In lectures introducing each author, I will develop the specific conception of social science offered by each of our authors. The last hour of each session will be devoted to student-organized and –led discussion among students, in this student-centered seminar.

Required Books

[1] W.E.B. Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk, [2] Søren Kierkegaard. Either/Or, [3] Max Weber, From Max Weber, [4] Marcel Mauss, The Gift, [5] Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, [6]George Herbert Mead, Mind, Self, and Society, [7] Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, [8] Erving Goffman, Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

TEXTS available as pdf-files on our Canvas site

[1] Jean-Jacque Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, [2] Immanuel Kant, “What Is Enlightenment?,” [3] Karl Marx, “Estranged Labor,” [4] Émile Durkheim, “Forms of Social Solidarity,” [5] Georg Simmel, “The Metropolis and Mental Life” and “The Stranger”

About the Professor:
Benjamin Gregg teaches social and political theory informed by political science and sociology, not only at UT but also in Germany, Japan, Austria, and China. Two books, Thick Moralities, Thin Politics (2003) and Coping in Politics with Indeterminate Norms (2003), confront challenges of social justice in complex modern societies, especially in liberal democratic states. Another two books, Human Rights as Social Construction (2012) and The Human Rights State (2016), analyze problems and prospects for justice across national borders. Current book-in-progress, Human Nature as Cultural Design: The Political Challenge of Genetic Enhancement, explores core issues in bioethics. Rapid advances in genetic engineering, particularly of human embryos and fetuses, pose difficult social, political, moral, and legal questions that challenge a range of different conceptions of a just society.

UGS 303 • Seeking Justice In Constitutn

63285-63300 • Spring 2017
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM CLA 0.112
EWr ID

We examine constitutional law, American political culture, and the sociology of rules by focusing on a problem central to our legal regime: the “indeterminacy” of some legal rules, constitutional rules in particular. The term legal indeterminacy refers to the lack of determinate knowledge: knowledge of what a legal rule means and of how judges and others should apply it. Where law is indeterminate, no theory, rule, or principle constrains a judge to interpret or apply a law in a particular way. Consequently a case could have several different answers, yet all of them equally valid. While few scholars or judges today view law itself as something static, the notion that judges make rather than find law implies, to many observers, consequences such as unequal or arbitrary treatment of individuals. Where law is determinate, however, it may have an exclusively “correct” meaning and “proper” application, in short, one “right” answer. If justice through law is predicated on such qualities as consistency and even objectivity, then determinacy, in one form or another, might seem to be a prerequisite for justice. And yet, as this course will demonstrate, much law at the constitutional level is indeterminate. This course explores how the Supreme Court has coped with this phenomenon —— presenting both problems for justice and opportunities for justice —— over two centuries in five major areas: property, privacy, equal protection, expression, and religion.

Interdisciplinary Content: Our course draws on political science, sociology, philosophy, history, jurisprudence, and on the history of Supreme Court decisions.

Contemporary Content: This course examines the development of contemporary legal regulation of property, privacy, equal protection, expression, and religion in the United States by analysis of decisions across the twentieth century and into the early twenty-first. This analysis will enable students to make thoughtful, informed opinions about the possible future course of constitutional interpretation at least in the near term.

Evaluation: The final grade has two components: each student writes five in-class essays; and each student briefs in-class multiple times. Each essay counts for 20% of the final grade, adjusted (potentially significantly) for the quality of the student’s briefs and participation in both lecture and in discussion section.

In-Class Briefs: The course grade of a student who fails to brief a case to which he or she has been assigned will be reduced by one full letter grade for each such failure, unless that failure is due to a health condition or other serious matter documented within 48 hours of the missed brief by a written explanation from a physician or other relevant person.

Writing and Information Literacy: Toward helping students improve writing and information literacy in the context of in-class essays, teaching assistants will discuss before and after each assignment aspects of careful, critical, thoughtful analysis of written sources (in our casebook) that take competing positions on core issues of the seminar. Students will learn how to defend a clear thesis with good arguments via discursive reasoning and by drawing on written sources.

Text: Kathleen Sullivan & Noah Feldman, eds.: Constitutional Law, 19th edition (2016): ISBN 978-1-63459-447-9

CTI 335 • Hegel: Formatn Mod Eur Iden

33790 • Fall 2016
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM GAR 3.116
(also listed as EUS 348, GOV 335M)

A core element of European identity is the notion of freedom in two forms that developed in the modern era: freedom as (a) the individual’s self-determination within his or her private sphere and personal life and (b) the community’s self-determination as a public achievement of private citizens come together to deliberate and decide matters of the res publica. In theory and history, the realization of such freedom has always been fraught with difficulty. Hegel’s Philosophy of Right offers one of the most compelling diagnoses of the ills of modern Western political community with respect to these two freedoms. It also develops some of the most influential standards by which to judge the civil society that undergirds modern European political community and its claims to provide these two freedoms.

Required Texts

G.W.F. Hegel, Philosophy of Right, trans. T.M. Knox (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967; ISBN 978-0195002768) ▪ Or in the original language: Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts oder Naturrecht und Staatswissenschaft im Grundrisse (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1986)

Axel Honneth, The Pathologies of Individual Freedom: Hegel’s Social Theory (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010) ▪ Or in the original language: Leiden an Unbestimmtheit. Eine Reaktualisierung der Hegelschen Rechtsphilosophie (Ditzingen: Reclam, 2001)

UGS 303 • Seeking Justice/Constitution

63610-63625 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM CLA 0.128
EWr ID

We examine constitutional law, American political culture, and the sociology of rules by focusing on a problem central to our legal regime: the “indeterminacy” of some legal rules, constitutional rules in particular. The term legal indeterminacy refers to the lack of determinate knowledge: knowledge of what a legal rule means and of how judges and others should apply it. Where law is indeterminate, no theory, rule, or principle constrains a judge to interpret or apply a law in a particular way. Consequently a case could have several different answers, yet all of them equally valid. While few scholars or judges today view law itself as something static, the notion that judges make rather than find law implies, to many observers, consequences such as unequal or arbitrary treatment of individuals. Where law is determinate, however, it may have an exclusively “correct” meaning and “proper” application, in short, one “right” answer. If justice through law is predicated on such qualities as consistency and even objectivity, then determinacy, in one form or another, might seem to be a prerequisite for justice. And yet, as this course will demonstrate, much law at the constitutional level is indeterminate. This course explores how the Supreme Court has coped with this phenomenon —— presenting both problems for justice and opportunities for justice —— over two centuries in five major areas: property, privacy, equal protection, expression, and religion.

Interdisciplinary Content: Our course draws on political science, sociology, philosophy, history, jurisprudence, and on the history of Supreme Court decisions.

Contemporary Content: This course examines the development of contemporary legal regulation of property, privacy, equal protection, expression, and religion in the United States by analysis of decisions across the twentieth century and into the early twenty-first. This analysis will enable students to make thoughtful, informed opinions about the possible future course of constitutional interpretation at least in the near term.

Evaluation: The final grade has two components: each student writes five in-class essays; and each student briefs in-class multiple times. Each essay counts for 20% of the final grade, adjusted (potentially significantly) for the quality of the student’s briefs and participation in both lecture and in discussion section.

In-Class Briefs: The course grade of a student who fails to brief a case to which he or she has been assigned will be reduced by one full letter grade for each such failure, unless that failure is due to a health condition or other serious matter documented within 48 hours of the missed brief by a written explanation from a physician or other relevant person.

Writing and Information Literacy: Toward helping students improve writing and information literacy in the context of in-class essays, teaching assistants will discuss before and after each assignment aspects of careful, critical, thoughtful analysis of written sources (in our casebook) that take competing positions on core issues of the seminar. Students will learn how to defend a clear thesis with good arguments via discursive reasoning and by drawing on written sources.

Text: Kathleen Sullivan & Noah Feldman, eds.: Constitutional Law, 19th edition (2016): ISBN 978-1-63459-447-9

UGS 303 • Patriotism And Human Rights

62590-62605 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM MEZ B0.306
EWr ID

The Signature Course (UGS 302 and 303) introduces first-year students to the university’s academic community through the exploration of new interests. The Signature Course is your opportunity to engage in college-level thinking and learning.

GOV S335M • Global Justice

84140 • Summer 2015
Meets MTWTHF 8:30AM-10:00AM MEZ 2.124
E

Summer 2015

 

INSTRUCTOR: Benjamin Gregg

 

GOV S335M

 

TITLE: Global Justice

 

Meets MTuWThF 8:30-10 in MEZ 2.124

 

DESCRIPTION: This seminar offers an overview of some of the most important writings on core issues of global justice today, including sovereignty, rights to self-determination, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, global poverty and international distributive justice, the social and legal status of women, terrorism, and human rights.

 

REQUIRED TEXT: The Global Justice Reader, ed. Thom Brooks (Blackwell Publishing, 2008)

 

EVALUATION: A student’s final grade will be the average of three essays, adjusted significantly for quality of in-class participation.

BDP 319 • Human Rights: Theories/Pracs

63715 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 203
Wr (also listed as GOV 314)

TITLE: “Human Rights: Theories and Practices”

 

Prerequisites

 

None

 

Course Description

 

This seminar provides a basic introduction to human rights by exploring competing answers to such questions as: What is the idea of human rights? Who are the “humans” of human rights? In a state-centric world, how do human rights relate to the nation-state and beyond any state? How are human rights related to the history of European empire and commerce? How are human rights related to the European Enlightenment? How are human rights related to global poverty, inequality, and underdevelopment? What roles do international instruments play -- or fail to play? How are human rights related to non-European cultures, such as various East Asian and African cultures? The seminar will also consider alternative approaches to understanding and advancing human rights, including human rights as political not theological; generating universal human rights out of local norms; individuals as authors of human rights; translating human rights into local cultural vernaculars; and advancing human rights through cognitive reframing.

 

Grading Policy

 

Average of four essays (each 5 pages), adjusted for quality of in-class participation

 

Required Text

 

Benjamin Gregg, Human Rights as Social Construction (Cambridge University Press, 2012), paperback (ISBN: 9781107612945)

 

Flag: Writing

S S 301 • Hon Soc Sci: Clas/Contemp Socl

43295 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 103
Wr

INSTRUCTOR: Benjamin Gregg

 

 

 

COURSE: SS 301

 

 

 

SEMESTER: Fall 2014

 

 

 

MEETS: TTH 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

 

 

 

TITLE: Honors Social Science

 

 

 

FLAG: Writing

 

 

 

DESCRIPTION

 

 

 

Drawing on primary sources, this seminar introduces social theory as the systematic investigation of social life: how it is organized, continually transforms itself, is challenged by problems and conflicts, and is influenced by the behavior of groups and individuals. Topics in classical theory include social equality in democratic societies (Tocqueville), how social structure influences knowledge (Marx), individuals as influenced by the social collective (Durkheim), society as influenced by individual actors (Weber), how social structure influences even intimate relationships (Simmel), mass deception and manipulation through modern culture (Horkheimer and Adorno), and the relationship between the individual’s purposes and the needs of society (Merton). Contemporary topics include how rituals bind us together (Collins), the nature of social cooperation and trust (Cook, Hardin, Levi), the social consequences of economic structure (Granovetter), the phenomenon of racial difference (Patterson), power and inequality (Giddens), and the coming transformation of the nation state (Sassen).

 

 

 

REQUIRED TEXTS

 

 

 

Classical Sociological Theory, 3rd ed. (2012). Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Pfaff, Virk, eds. Wiley-Blackwell

 

 

 

Contemporary Sociological Theory, 3rd ed. (2012). Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Pfaff, Virk, eds. Wiley-Blackwell

 

 

 

EVALUATION

 

 

 

Average of four 5-page essays, adjusted for quality of class participation

 

 

 

ABOUT THE PROFESSOR

 

 

 

Professor Gregg, who grew up in Berkeley, California, is a social and political theorist with a BA from Yale, a PhD from Princeton (in political science), and a PhD from the Free University of Berlin (in Philosophy). He is the author of Human Rights as Social Construction; Thick Moralities, Thin Politics: Social Integration across Communities of Belief; and Coping in Politics with Indeterminate Norms: A Theory of Enlightened Localism. This year he published The Human Rights State and is now at work on his fifth book, Second Nature: The Genetic Self-Transformation of the Human Species, his second for Cambridge University Press. His research is supported by a three-year Humanities Research Award that will take him to Princeton, Harvard, and Case Western Reserve University; in Germany, to the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics and to the University of Göttingen; and in Singapore, to the Genome Institute (Biopolis Biomedical City) and National University. In his spare time he patiently pursues a long-term project that draws on files of East German dissidents monitored by the secret police (“Stasi”) until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. These books and current projects all deploy classical and contemporary sociological theory to solve problems that otherwise confound political philosophy. He has taught at universities in Germany, Austria, China and Japan. The College of Liberal Arts Committees on Research and Teaching awarded him the Silver Spurs Fellowship in recognition of outstanding scholarship and teaching. He is partial to theater and hopes someday to become a playwright.

 

CTI 335 • Hegel: Formatn Of Mod Eur Iden

34565 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BEN 1.126
(also listed as EUS 348, GOV 335M)

DESCRIPTION

A core element of European identity is the notion of freedom in two forms that developed in the modern era: freedom as (a) the individual’s self-determination within his or her private sphere and personal life and (b) the community’s self-determination as a public achievement of private citizens come together to deliberate and decide matters of the res publica. In theory and history, the realization of such freedom has always been fraught with difficulty. Hegel’s Philosophy of Right offers one of the most compelling diagnoses of the ills of modern Western political community with respect to these two freedoms. It also develops some of the most influential standards by which to judge the civil society that undergirds modern European political community and its claims to provide these two freedoms.

REQUIRED TEXTS

 

G.W.F. Hegel, Elements of the Philosophy of Right, trans. H.B. Nisbet (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

 

Axel Honneth, The Pathologies of Individual Freedom: Hegel’s Social Theory (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010)

 

EVALUATION

 

The final grade will be the average of three essays, each five to six pages, adjusted for quality of class participation, as well as brief, twice-weekly threads to weekly fora on Blackboard.

 

Flags: Global cultures; ethics and leadership; writing.

 

GOV 360N • Us-China Relations-Chn

39270 • Spring 2014

 

DESCRIPTION

Few countries will figure more prominently in America’s future than China. Already an economic powerhouse, China is rapidly emerging as a great power and potential geopolitical rival to the USA. Not surprisingly, China’s rapid rise has generated considerable debate in the United States over how to respond. Should Washington seek to “balance” Chinese power or, alternatively, look for ways to integrate China more fully into international society? At the heart of this debate are conflicting judgments about China’s intentions and capabilities, as well as America’s goals and power. In this respect the present debate is similar to the Cold War debates about how Washington should deal with China. In the early 1950s, Washington sought to contain and isolate China. In the 1970s, the US reversed course and looked for ways to strengthen its ties to the Middle Kingdom. Many of the choices and trade-offs that Washington weighed in the past are in play once again. They are the focus of this course. This is primarily a course about the sources of American foreign policy toward China. But we will also consider how Chinese leaders view the United States and explore issues of particular concern to Washington and Beijing today (such as Taiwan). In addition, field trips in Beijing and Shanghai offer students a phenomenological appreciation of some of the changes afoot in contemporary China: economic, political, and social. Finally, supplementary classes on Chinese history and society, as well as on basic aspects of the Chinese language, will enhance students’ study of relations between our country and China.

 

REQUIRED TEXTS

 

? James Fallows, Postcards From Tomorrow Square (Vintage, 2009)

? Mark Leonard, What Does China Think (Public Affairs, 2008)

? James Mann, About Face (Vintage, 2000)

? Susan Shirk, The Fragile Superpower (Oxford, 2007)

 

EVALUATION

 

Students must complete all readings listed on the syllabus, attend all course sessions without exception, and participate in all field trips. A student’s final grade will be the average of two essays, each five to six double-spaced pages, adjusted for quality of class participation. Both essays must be submitted in class, on time. Due dates to be announced.

GOV 384N • Manipulation Of Human Genome

39470 • Spring 2014
Meets M 7:00PM-10:00PM TNH 3.115
(also listed as LAW 379M, PHL 387)

DESCRIPTION

 

Technological developments in the genetic manipulation of the human embryo poses pressing questions about possible rights that American law will need to address. The unprecedented nature of these questions, and the potential for conflicting rights-claims, mark one difficulty of the task. For example, should parents have a legal right to determine what, in their opinion, will be the “best” genetic inheritance for the lives of their children? Or does a person not yet born (if that is even the legally apposite designation) have a legal right to be free of irreversible genetic enhancement desired by his or her parents? Indeed, is choice (of parents, of unborn life) even the best way to conceptualize the issue rather than, say, as risk (to health, the environment), as property rights (of the parents of an embryo, of the embryo to its DNA), or as legal personhood (at various stages of biological development prior to an unmistakable human being)? The seminar addresses some of the key non-legal questions that might provide a basis for a future jurisprudence of genetic enhancement. And it examines possible starting points in extant case law.

 

ASSIGNED READINGS: Packet available from a local copy-shop

 

EVALUATION: Course grade based on regular attendance, well-prepared participation, and one 2-page paper written for each session, to be submitted to our Blackboard website every Sunday by 6 pm. Each week these papers will generate points of departure for in-class analysis.

CTI 365 • Classics Socl Scientif Thought

34255 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 103
EGCWr SB (also listed as GOV 335M)

Course Description

An introduction to the development of classical social scientific thought as an Enlightenment project. We begin with appropriate sections of Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie (1751-1772). Then we examine a key philosophical source of the preoccupation in classical social thought with the individual’s motivation in society, and conflicted motivation in particular: here we read Søren Kierkegaard (1844); then to one of first great social theorists whose project marries the ambitions of the Encyclopédie with the modernist anxieties of Kierkegaard: Karl Marx (1844). Next we study a different version of that project, born of the same marriage but with different presuppositions: the anxieties of modern rationality, as detailed by Max Weber (1904). We turn then to the abiding concern with the need for highly motivated social cooperation and solidarity, yet no longer possible in the various pre-modern forms: Émile Durkheim (1893). We return to our earlier exploration of individual motivation, first in W.E.B. Du Bois (1903) and then, differently, in Georg Simmel (1902-03). We conclude with an approach combining both the individual and collective planes of social theory, in Sigmund Freud (1930). Our course demonstrates the importance of its subject matter to understanding contemporary Western society and the distinct contribution each of the authors makes to its analysis.

 

Grading Policy

The final grade will be the average of three 4-page essays, adjusted for quality of class participation.

 

Texts

J. Lough, ed. The Encyclopédie of Diderot and D'Alembert: Selected Articles

Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or

Søren Kierkegaard, Philosophical Fragments

R. Tucker, ed. Marx-Engels Reader

Émile Durkheim, Division of Labor in Society

Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

W.E.B. Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk

Georg Simmel, Conflict and The Web of Group-Affiliations

Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents

 

S S 301 • Hon Soc Sci: Clas/Contemp Socl

43335 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 206

Honors Social Science: Classical and Contemporary Social Theory

Drawing on primary sources, this seminar introduces social theory as the systematic investigation of social life: how it is organized, continually transforms itself, is challenged by problems and conflicts, and is influenced by the behavior of groups and individuals. Topics in classical theory include social equality in democratic societies (Tocqueville), how social structure influences knowledge (Marx), individuals as influenced by the social collective (Durkheim), society as influenced by individual actors (Weber), how social structure influences even intimate relationships (Simmel), mass deception and manipulation through modern culture (Horkheimer and Adorno), and the relationship between the individual’s purposes and the needs of society (Merton). Contemporary topics include how rituals bind us together (Randall Collins), the nature of social cooperation and trust (Karen Cook, Russell Hardin, Margaret Levi), the social consequences of economic structure (Mark Granovetter), the phenomenon of racial difference (Orlando Patterson), power and inequality (Anthony Giddens), and the coming transformation of the nation state (Saskia Sassen).

REQUIRED TEXTS:

Classical Sociological Theory, 3rd ed. (2012). Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Pfaff, Virk, eds. Wiley-Blackwell

Contemporary Sociological Theory, 3rd ed. (2012). Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Pfaff, Virk, eds. Wiley-Blackwell

EVALUATION:

Average of four 5-page essays, adjusted for quality of class participation

ABOUT THE PROFESSOR:

Benjamin Gregg teaches social and political theory in the Department of Government as well as at universities in Germany, China, Austria, Japan and Italy. He is the author of Thick Moralities, Thin Politics (public policy suffers when politics are laden with moral doctrines; public policy should work not toward political consensus but toward the more realistic goal of mutual accommodation); Coping In Politics with Indeterminate Norms (while moral validity is relative rather than absolute, and cultural meanings local rather than universal, social integration and democratic politics are still attainable goals); and Human-Rights as Social Construction (human rights can be authored by the average, ordinary people to whom they are addressed, and that they are valid only if embraced by those to whom they would apply). Next year he will publish The Human Rights State (a metaphorical alternative to the nation state, a polity without territory, standing alongside the nation state, as a political and moral commitment that, in the pursuit of human rights, would limit the nation state without undermining it). He is currently working on a book titled Second Nature: The Genetic Self-Transformation of the Human Species (on the moral, political, and legal challenges of the human species taking control of its own genome in the sense of genetic therapy and genetic “enhancement”). He has taught in Plan II for almost 15 years and hopes, in the proximate future, to receive the Chad Oliver Teaching Award and be appointed Director of Plan II.

 

GOV S335M • Global Justice

85185 • Summer 2013
Meets MTWTHF 8:30AM-10:00AM CLA 0.106
E

Prerequisites

Upper division standing

Course Description

Offers an overview of several of the most important contemporary theories on core issues of justice across national borders, including sovereignty, rights to self-determination, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, global poverty and international distributive justice, the social and legal status of women, terrorism, and human rights. Requires the close reading and careful analysis of assigned texts; active participation in student-centered classroom discussions of each issue; and the composition of critical, analytical, and thesis-driven essays.

Flags: Ethics & Leadership, Global Cultures, Writing.

Grading Policy

Final grade: average of three essays, adjusted to reflect the quality of the student’s in-class participation as specified in the syllabus.

Texts

The Global Justice Reader, ed. T. Brooks

CTI 335 • Hegel: Formatn Of Mod Eur Iden

34110 • Spring 2013
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM CLA 0.118
(also listed as EUS 348, GOV 335M)

Course Description:

A core element of European identity is the notion of freedom in two forms that developed in the modern era: freedom as (a) the individual’s self-determination within his or her private sphere and personal life and (b) the community’s self-determination as a public achievement of private citizens come together to deliberate and decide matters of the res publica. In theory and history, the realization of such freedom has always been fraught with difficulty. Hegel’s Philosophy of Right offers one of the most compelling diagnoses of the ills of modern Western political community with respect to these two freedoms. It also develops some of the most influential standards by which to judge the civil society that undergirds modern European political community and its claims to provide these two freedoms.

 

Grading Policy:

The final grade will be the average of three essays, each five to six pages, adjusted for quality of class participation, as well as brief, twice-weekly threads to weekly fora on Blackboard.

 

Texts:

G.W.F. Hegel, Elements of the Philosophy of Right, trans. H.B. Nisbet (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Axel Honneth, The Pathologies of Individual Freedom: Hegel’s Social Theory (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010)

 

GOV 382K • Studies In Polit Thry & Philos

39055 • Spring 2013
Meets TH 7:00PM-10:00PM MEZ 1.104

Course Description:

This course provides a pointed introduction to the broad and heterogeneous field of Political Theory, focusing on three major periods of Western thought by focusing on one of the most important authors in each. The seminar is alive to differences among very distinct approaches to political theory and to strategies in writing philosophical texts. Our approach is not in terms of the history of philosophy (and we do not proceed chronologically); we seek to read our authors in conversation with each other. Plato, Augustine, and Spinoza each display a keen sense of the melancholy of this-worldly finitude, particularly with regard to the crookedness of human timber and the frailty of political community. For Plato, humankind is encumbered by the appetitive part of the soul; Augustine points to original sin and the earthly citizen within each of us; Spinoza speaks of our inescapable bondage to the passions. In contemplating the question, “What is the political?”, all three appeal to an otherworldly standard by which to identify and illuminate the crookedness and frailty of the finite world. That is, they brilliantly limn the profound limitations of what political community might be capable of — in the large sense that links politics with the whole of human experience — by invoking a sense of transcendence in the sense of orienting this-worldly political community on otherworldly perfections not given to man. They picture things wholly beyond, even foreign to humankind: the otherworldly as that which men imagine, as the divinely transcendental, ideal, and sublimely beautiful truth that transfigures the reader. We moderns tend to view matters differently, as in contemporary this-worldly approaches that see man in a thoroughly naturalistic way — and in its own way limns the melancholy of human and natural finitude and the limits of what is possible through design of political community. This seminar evaluates the respective efforts of Plato, Augustine, and Spinoza to guide political community by positing normative standards not limited in the ways that human understanding, behavior, and experience are so strikingly limited. It thematizes the presuppositions of our own time even as it explores politics as understood in classical Greek thought, in early Christianity, and in the early modern era.

Grading Policy:

Course grade based on regular attendance and well-prepared participation as well as one two-page paper written for each session. Each week these papers will generate points of departure for in-class analysis. Seriatim each student will be responsible for writing a short summary of a class discussion, to be presented at the beginning of the following session.

Texts:

Plato: Gorgias

Augustine: The City of God against the Pagans

Spinoza: Theological-Political Treatise

 

BDP 319 • Human Rights: Theories/Pracs

63340 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 301
Wr (also listed as GOV 314)

Prerequisites

 None

 

Course Description

This seminar provides a basic introduction to human rights by exploring competing answers to such questions as: What is the idea of human rights? Who are the “humans” of human rights? In a state-centric world, how do human rights relate to the nation-state and beyond any state? How are human rights related to the history of European empire and commerce? How are human rights related to the European Enlightenment? How are human rights related to global poverty, inequality, and underdevelopment? What roles do international instruments play -- or fail to play? How are human rights related to non-European cultures, such as various East Asian and African cultures? The seminar will also consider alternative approaches to understanding and advancing human rights, including human rights as political not theological; generating universal human rights out of local norms; individuals as authors of human rights; translating human rights into local cultural vernaculars; and advancing human rights through cognitive reframing.

 

Grading Policy

 Average of four essays (each 5 pages), adjusted for quality of in-class participation

 

 Texts

 Benjamin Gregg, Human Rights as Social Construction (Cambridge University Press, 2012), print

(ISBN-13: 9781107015937) or digital (ISBN-13: 9781139059626)

S S 301 • Hon Soc Sci: Thry Of Subject

42870 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM GEA 127
Wr

Drawing on primary sources, this seminar introduces social theory as the systematic investigation of social life: how it is organized, continually transforms itself, is challenged by problems and conflicts, and is influenced by the behavior of groups and individuals. Topics in classical theory include social equality in democratic societies (Tocqueville), how social structure influences knowledge (Marx), individuals as influenced by the social collective (Durkheim), society as influenced by individual actors (Weber), how social structure influences even intimate relationships (Simmel), mass deception and manipulation through modern culture (Horkheimer and Adorno), and the relationship between the individual’s purposes and the needs of society (Merton). Contemporary topics include how rituals bind us together (Randall Collins), the nature of social cooperation and trust (Karen Cook, Russell Hardin, Margaret Levi), the social consequences of economic structure (Mark Granovetter), the phenomenon of racial difference (Orlando Patterson), power and inequality (Anthony Giddens), and the coming transformation of the nation state (Saskia Sassen).

REQUIRED TEXTS:

Classical Sociological Theory, 3rd ed. (2012). Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Pfaff, Virk, eds. Wiley-Blackwell

Contemporary Sociological Theory, 3rd ed. (2012). Calhoun, Gerteis, Moody, Pfaff, Virk, eds. Wiley-Blackwell

EVALUATION:

Average of four 5-page essays, adjusted for quality of class participation

ABOUT THE PROFESSOR:

Professor Gregg, who grew up in Berkeley, California, is a social and political theorist with a BA from Yale, a PhD from Princeton (in political science), and a PhD from the Free University of Berlin (in Philosophy). He is the author of Human Rights as Social Construction; Thick Moralities, Thin Politics: Social Integration across Communities of Belief; and Coping in Politics with Indeterminate Norms: A Theory of Enlightened Localism. He is completing a book on The Human Rights State and another titled Second Nature: The Genetic Self-Transformation of the Human Species. He is also engaged in a long-term project that draws on files of East German dissidents monitored by the secret police (“Stasi”) until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. These projects all deploy classical and contemporary sociological theory to solve problems in political philosophy. He has taught at universities in China, Japan, and Germany. The College of Liberal Arts Committees on Research and Teaching awarded him the Silver Spurs Fellowship in recognition of outstanding scholarship and teaching. He is partial to theater and hopes someday to become a playwright.

GOV S335M • Global Justice

85363 • Summer 2011
Meets MTWTHF 8:30AM-10:00AM CMA A5.136
EGCWr

This seminar offers an overview of some of the most important contemporary theories on core issues of justice across national borders, including sovereignty, rights to self-determination, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, global poverty and international distributive justice, the social and legal status of women, terrorism, and human rights.

CTI 335 • Empire And European Culture

34183 • Spring 2011
Meets MW 3:30PM-5:00PM WAG 308
GCWr (also listed as EUS 348, GOV 335M)

FLAGS

Global Cultures Flag, Writing Flag

DESCRIPTION

This seminar examines how major thinkers of the European Enlightenment, from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, challenged by interaction with the non-Western world deeper and more complex than ever before, and concerned about the legitimacy of conquest and colonization, responded with core concepts of modern political theory: reason, progress, sovereignty, property, freedom, and rights. The seminar also examines how the political postulate of freedom (all humans as free and equal moral beings) is partially rescinded where Enlightenment thinkers categorize different human communities and place them in a normative hierarchy.

This year’s version of this seminar will focus on Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778), the great Romantic thinker whose political thought influenced the elites that guided the French and American Revolutions; who championed the deeply modernist forms of subjectivity and introspection; who advocated the education of the whole person for citizenship; and who contributed to the genre of the sentimental novel that encouraged the idea of human rights.

Future versions of this seminar may focus on Vitoria, Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Voltaire, Diderot, or d’Alembert.

REQUIRED READINGS

First and Second Discourses, On the Social Contrac, tEmile or On Education, The Reveries of the Solitary Walker

WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS

The final grade will be the average of three essays, adjusted for quality of class participation.

GOV 312P • Constitutnl Prins: Core Texts

38820 • Spring 2011
Meets MW 5:00PM-6:30PM PAR 1

Honors Section - Restricted to honor's students

GOV 314 • Human Rights: Theories/Pracs

38502 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM FAC 4

Please check back for updates.

S S 301 • Hon Soc Sci: Soc Sci Theory

42705 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 303
Wr C1

This course has a writing flag.

Social Science: Social Science Theories of the Subject

The European Enlightenment of the 18th century gave rise to master narratives of the subject as a sovereign figure capable of rational control of his or her worlds. Since then we in the West have re-imagined and re-configured ourselves multiple times in multiple ways. The seminar traces out this “civilizational autobiography,” beginning with the “modern, enlightenment self” (Kant and Marx), taken as an individual. It then examines the “solidary self” (Tönnies, Durkheim, and Mauss), or the self as a communal member. Next we turn to the “modern self fragmented” (Simmel and Weber), with consequences positive and negative. Then we examine the “interior self” (Freud) and subsequently the “self as the other of the socially dominant one,” with one examples from sex (de Beauvoir) and one from race (Du Bois). Finally we discuss the “symbolically or strategically interacting self” (Mead and Goffman). The instructor will introduce the life of each author, and his or her contributions to some of the great humanistic theories in social science. In this student-centered seminar, class will be devoted in part to discussion with and among students.

Readings:

BOOKS: Ferdinand Tönnies, Community and Society; W.E.B. Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk; Max Weber, From Max Weber; Marcel Mauss, The Gift; Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents; George Herbert Mead, Mind, Self, and Society; Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex; Erving Goffman, Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

PACKET: Émile Durkheim, “Forms of Social Solidarity,” “Anomie and Moral Structure,” “Religion and Ritual”; Immanuel Kant, “What Is Enlightenment?”; Georg Simmel, “The Metropolis and Mental Life,” “The Stranger,” The Philosophy of Money; Karl Marx, “Estranged Labor”

Requirements:

NOTE: THIS COURSE WILL FULFILL THE AREA B REQUIREMENT FOR THE PLAN II DEGREE, BUT WILL NOT COUNT TOWARD THE AREA B REQUIREMENT FOR OTHER DEGREES.

The final grade will be the average of four essays (length to be specified), adjusted for quality of class participation. Class participation includes each one or more students (on a rotating basis) submitting brief “theses” on the week’s readings, and one or more students responding to the theses.

About the professor: 

Professor Gregg is a social and political theorist with a BA from Yale, a PhD from Princeton (in political science), and a PhD from the Free University of Berlin (in Philosophy). He is the author of Thick Moralities, Thin Politics: Social Integration Across Communities of Belief and Coping in Politics With Indeterminate Norms: A Theory of Enlightened Localism. He is currently completing a book titled The Human-Rights Project: Social Construction without Theology or Metaphysics, which develops a conception of human rights as social constructions whose validity can be developed locally and freely embraced as indigenous, in diverse cultures and political communities, rather than imposed from outside. His research focuses on social integration in complex modern societies; problems and prospects of contemporary forms of justice, including human rights; coping with value pluralism within democratic societies but also in non-liberal polities around the world; “enlightened localism” and “thin norms” as practical strategies for accomplishing social integration and legal justice in both liberal and hierarchical societies; deploying contemporary sociological theory to solve problems in political philosophy. He has taught at universities in Germany, China, and Japan. UT’s College of Liberal Arts Committees on Research and Teaching awarded him the Silver Spurs Fellowship in recognition of outstanding scholarship and teaching. He recently received a research fellowship from the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung, Berlin-Babelsberg, Germany, undertaken at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. He is partial to foreign travel, foreign films, foreign food, and to foreigners in general.

GOV S335M • Global Justice-W

84875 • Summer 2010
Meets MTWTHF 8:30AM-10:00AM MEZ 2.124
E C2

Course Description: This seminar offers an overview of some of the most important writings on core issues of global justice, including sovereignty, rights to self-determination, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, global poverty and international distributive justice, the social and legal status of women, terrorism, and human rights.

Grading Policy: A student’s final grade will be the average of three essays, adjusted significantly for quality of in-class participation.

Textbooks: [1] The Global Justice Reader, ed. Thom Brooks (Blackwell Publishing, 2008).  [2] B. Gregg, Coping in Politics with Indeterminate Norms (SUNY Press, 2003).

GOV 382M • Early Cosmopolitan Pol Thought

39375 • Fall 2009
Meets T 6:30PM-9:30PM MEZ 1.104

Seminar in Political Theory and Philosophy.

S S 301 • Hon Soc Sci: Soc Sci Theory-W

43645 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CBA 4.344
C1

HONORS SOCIAL SCIENCE: THEORY OF THE SUBJECT

The problem of whether and to what extent we humans are in control, or can be in control, of ourselves – of our identities but also of our behavior and understanding, both public and private – is what in this course I refer to as the “problem of the subject.” The problem of the subject is the never completed social task of constructing intersubjectively valid understandings of fundamental human identity. For example, are human beings moved by social, emotional, and psychological forces beyond their control or can they control themselves and their environment through the power of their own reasoning? This seminar explores different answers to this question by analyzing seminal works of European thinkers of the late modern era, works that have powerfully influenced our notions of the subject today. We also read one of the instructor’s attempts to answer this question.

The European Enlightenment of the 18th century gave rise to master narratives of the subject as a sovereign figure capable of rational control of his or her worlds.  We begin then with the “modern self” (Kant and Marx), subsequently observe it as “whole” or in solidarity (Durkheim) and then in fragmentation (Weber and Simmel). We turn then to the discovery of the self’s “other” (for example as sex, as in Beauvoir).  We also examine the discovery of the self’s “interiority” (Freud). Next we observe the self conceived as “structure” (Foucault) and the self not reducible to structure (Bourdieu). Our path then leads to the critically engaged, insistently modern self (Habermas) and, finally, the self as the collective author and addressee of fundamental political choices (Gregg). In lectures introducing each author, the instructor will offer a range of disciplinary perspectives from theories in social science. A significant amount of class time will be devoted to discussion with and among students, in this student-centered seminar.

REQUIRED BOOKS

[1] Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, [2] Pierre Bourdieu, Logic of Practice, [3] The Foucault Reader, ed. P. Rabinow, [4] Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents, [5] B. Gregg, Coping in Politics with Indeterminate Norms, [6] Jürgen Habermas, The Theory of Communicative Action (vol. 2), [7] Marx-Engels Reader, ed. R. Tucker, [8] Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.

SELECTIONS IN REQUIRED PACKET

[1] Émile Durkheim, “Forms of Social Solidarity,” “Anomie and Moral Structure,” “Religion and Ritual,” [2] Immanuel Kant, “What Is Enlightenment?,” [3] Georg Simmel, “The Metropolis and Mental Life,” “The Stranger,” and selection from The Philosophy of Money, [4] William Shakespeare, King Lear

THE SELF IN SHAKESPEARE’S KING LEAR: REQUIRED ATTENDANCE

Students are required to attend one of the following performances by Actors from the London Stage of King Lear: September 30-October 2, 7:30 p.m., at the B. Iden Payne Theater, Winship Building (Q&A with actors after performance on the 30th); or October 3 at 7 pm at Winedale Theatre Barn in Round Top. Purchase student ticket in advance.

GOV 312L • Iss & Policies In Amer Gov-Hon

38140 • Spring 2009
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM JES A218A
GO

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 335M • Global Justice-W

39420 • Fall 2008
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 1.102
C2

 Please check back for updates.

 

GOV 382M • Empire And Early Modern Theory

39655 • Fall 2008
Meets T 6:30PM-9:30PM MEZ 1.104

Seminar in Political Theory and Philosophy.

GOV 312L • Iss & Policies In Amer Gov-Hon

39160 • Spring 2008
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM MEZ B0.306
GO

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 382M • Global Justice

39510 • Spring 2008
Meets TH 7:00PM-10:00PM MEZ 1.104

Seminar in Political Theory and Philosophy.

GOV 335M • Contemporary Political Thry-W

39990 • Fall 2007
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CBA 4.336
C2

 Please check back for updates.

 

GOV S312L • Iss And Policies In Amer Gov

86125 • Summer 2007
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM WEL 2.122
GO

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 335M • Contemporary Political Thry-W

38752 • Spring 2007
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PMA 7.114
C2

 Please check back for updates.

 

GOV 335M • State Sovereignty/Human Rts-W

38758 • Spring 2007
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM JES A218A
C2

 Please check back for updates.

 

GOV 312L • Iss And Policies In Amer Gov

39605 • Fall 2006
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM MEZ 1.306
GO

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 335M • State Sovereignty/Human Rts-W

39700 • Fall 2006
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BAT 5.102
C2

 Please check back for updates.

 

GOV 379S • Social Theory In Polit Anly-W

38095 • Spring 2006
Meets T 7:00PM-10:00PM CBA 4.340
C2

Please check back for updates.

GOV 382M • State Sovereignty/Human Rights

38125 • Spring 2006
Meets TH 7:00PM-10:00PM BUR 214
(also listed as PHL 387)

Seminar in Political Theory and Philosophy.

GOV 312L • Iss And Policies In Amer Gov

37538 • Fall 2005
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WCH 1.120
GO

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 312L • Iss And Policies In Amer Gov

36190 • Spring 2005
Meets MW 4:30PM-6:00PM MEZ 1.306
GO

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 312L • Iss And Policies In Amer Gov

34935 • Spring 2004
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM GAR 1
GO

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 335M • Contemp European Socl Thry-W

35735 • Fall 2003
Meets W 7:00PM-10:00PM BUR 436A
C2 (also listed as PHL 365)

 Please check back for updates.

 

GOV 335M • Contemp Amer Social Theory-W

35740 • Fall 2003
Meets TH 7:00PM-10:00PM BUR 214
C2 (also listed as PHL 365)

 Please check back for updates.

 

GOV S312L • Iss And Policies In Amer Gov

85510 • Summer 2003
Meets MTWTHF 8:30AM-10:00AM TAY 2.006
GO

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 335M • Contemp European Socl Thry-W

34750 • Spring 2003
Meets W 7:00PM-10:00PM BUR 602
C2 (also listed as PHL 365)

 Please check back for updates.

 

GOV 312L • Iss And Policies In Amer Gov

35160 • Fall 2002
Meets MW 6:00PM-7:30PM GEA 105
GO

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 384N • Social Theories Of Law

35535 • Fall 2002
Meets T 7:00PM-10:00PM BUR 128

Seminar in Public Law.

GOV F312L • Iss And Policies In Amer Gov

85600 • Summer 2002
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM ART 1.102
GO

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 312L • Iss & Policies In Am Gov-Hon-W

34460 • Spring 2002
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM GAR 3
GO

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 335M • Contemp European Socl Thry-W

35790 • Fall 2001
Meets T 7:00PM-10:00PM GEA 127
C2 (also listed as PHL 365)

 Please check back for updates.

 

GOV 384N • Political Community

35995 • Fall 2001
Meets W 7:00PM-10:00PM BUR 232
(also listed as PHL 387)

Seminar in Public Law.

GOV F312L • Iss And Policies In Amer Gov

84980 • Summer 2001
Meets MTWTHF 8:30AM-10:00AM WEL 2.304
GO

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 335M • Contemp Amer Social Theory-W

34670 • Spring 2001
Meets T 7:00PM-10:00PM BUR 214
C2 (also listed as PHL 365)

 Please check back for updates.

 

GOV 382M • Critical Social Theory

34965 • Spring 2001
Meets W 7:00PM-10:00PM BUR 214
(also listed as PHL 387)

Seminar in Political Theory and Philosophy.

GOV F312L • Iss And Policies In Amer Gov

85093 • Summer 2000
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM WEL 2.308
GO

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 382M • Critical Social Theory

34635 • Spring 2000
Meets W 7:00PM-10:00PM BUR 214
(also listed as PHL 387)

Seminar in Political Theory and Philosophy.

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