PHEB606 Justice


The objective of the course is to present the main theories of justice in philosophy. I lay the stress in particular upon the discussion in contemporary moral philosophy. This discussion was initiated by the work of John Rawls “A Theory of Justice” (1971). Because of the strong influence of this book on current debates on justice, it is considered as the basic book of the course. Besides the general conceptual dimensions of justice, the course touches on many other related particular questions like human rights, social justice, educational justice, gender justice, global justice, justice in medicine etc.

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Prof. Hristo Todorov, PhD

Course Description:


Successful graduates of the course students:

1) know:

• The major conceptions of justice in philosophy.

• The main ideas of John Rawls’ theory of justice.

• The rival theories of justice in Contemporary moral philosophy.

• The arguments backing up the different conceptions of justice

2) can:

• Understand and use correctly the concept of justice and the related concepts.

• Discriminate between different conceptions of justice.

• Apply their knowledge about justice to practical situations.

Students have knowledge and /or skills: basic knowledge in political philosophy.

Full-time Programmes

Types of Courses:

Language of teaching:


  1. The concept of justice. Contexts and spheres of justice.
  2. Thomas Nagel: “What does it all mean?” Chapter 7.
  3. The problem of justice. Plato’s “The Republic”
  4. Forms of justice. Aristotle.
  5. Aristotle: “The Nicomachean Ethics”, Book 5.
  6. Christian conception on justice. Thomas Aquinas.
  7. Modern conceptions on justice. Hobbes and Hume.
  8. Utilitarianism. J. S. Mill
  9. Written assignment.
  10. John Rawls – justice and equality.
  11. John Rawls – principles of justice.
  12. Ronald Dworkin – justice and human rights
  13. Michael Walzer – justice and recognition
  14. Thomas Nagel – global justice.
  15. Michael Sandel: “Justice. What is the right thing to do?” Chapter 4.


Aristotle: “The Nicomachean Ethics”, Oxford University Press 2009.

Dworkin Ronald: “Taking Rights Seriously”, Bloomsbury Academic 2013.

Hampshire, Stuart: “Public and Private Morality”, Cambridge University Press 1978.

Hobbes, Thomas: “Leviathan”, Create Space Independent Publishing Platform 2011.

Hume, David: “A Treatise on Human Nature”, Oxford Clarendon Press 1978.

Mill. John Stuart: “Utilitarianism”, London Dent 1964.

Nagel, Thomas: “What does it all mean?” Oxford University Press 1989.

Nagel, Thomas: “The Problem of Global Justice,” Philosophy and Public Affairs, 33, 2005, 113–47.

Nozick, Robert: “Anarchy, State and Utopia”, Oxford Blackwell 1974.

Nussbaum, Martha: “Frontiers of Justice: disability, nationality, species membership”, Harvard University Press 2006.

O’Neill, Onora: “Bounds of Justice”, Cambridge University Press 2000.

Plato: “The Republic”, Create Space Independent Publishing Platform 2013.

Rawls, John: “A Theory of Justice”, Harvard University Press 2005.

Rawls, John: “Political Liberalism”, University Press Group 2005.

Sandel, Michael: “Justice. What’s the Right Thing to Do”, New York 2007

Scanlon, T. M.: “What We Owe to Each Other”, Harvard University Press 1998.

Sen, Amartya: “The Idea of Justice”, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press 2009.

Walzer, Michael: “Spheres of Justice”, Basic Books 1984.