G.A. Cohen vs. Jason Brennan: Why Not Socialism/Capitalism? (A Three-Week Webinar)

with
Benjamin Burgis
In the last year of his life, the great Marxist analytic philosopher G.A. Cohen put out a very short book (called "Why Not Socialism?") presenting the case for a socialist transformation of the economy in a compelling and unusual way. Five years later, the libertarian philosopher Jason Brennan wrote a response in the same format called, "Why Not Capitalism?" In this course we'll take a hard look at the arguments in both books.
This is a single-session event.
This event has
three
sessions.
Benjamin Burgis

Details

Sundays
Dec 5 - Dec 19
23
ticket
tickets
left
Sold out
Dec 5 - Dec 19
10am PT / 1pm ET
120 min
Limited to
50
participants
$
75.00
$
75.00
for
both
all
three
sessions
1
.
Dec 5
2
.
Dec 12
3
.
Dec 19
Join Waitlist
You're on the waitlist now!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please email us at info@speakeasy.com to join the waitlist.
Our events are recorded. Non-downloadable, password-protected recordings are shared only with ticket holders.

Description

The great Marxist analytic philosopher G.A. Cohen made his name with a long book full of intricate arguments--"Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence." Later in his career, he devoted much of his time to responding to the arguments of libertarian philosophers like Robert Nozick--and later still to criticizing John Rawls's theory of justice from the left. One of his most striking and memorable contributions to political philosophy, though, came in a very short book published in the last year of his life which he started with a simple intuitive argument for socialism based on the example of a group of friends going on a camping trip. That book was called, "Why Not Socialism?" Five years later, the libertarian philosopher Jason Brennan wrote a response in the same style called, "Why Not Capitalism?"

You can probably read both books in a weekend, but fully unpacking all the arguments and counterarguments in these two deceptively simple books is a lot more challenging. We'll cover Cohen's book in the first session--the lessons he draws from the camping trip example, his theory of "socialist equality of opportunity" (and how it's supposed to be different from "bourgeois equality of opportunity" and "left-liberal equality of opportunity"), the anti-socialist arguments he considers, his responses to them, and his (tentative) conclusions about how what kind of socialism might be realistically possible. In the second session, we'll turn to Brennan's book--the reason he thinks standard response to Cohen are insufficient, how he tries to parody and turn around Cohen's argument, and what mistakes he thinks Cohen is making. Finally, in the third session Ben will present his own defense of Cohen and critique of Brennan. All three two-hour sessions will include at least an hour of interactive discussion, and students will have the option of turning in short reflections two weeks before each session and getting feedback.

What to expect

G.A. Cohen vs. Jason Brennan: Why Not Socialism/Capitalism? (A Three-Week Webinar)

with

Benjamin Burgis

Sundays, Dec 5 - Dec 19, 10am-12pm PT / 1pm-3pm ET
$
75.00
# people have already signed up
This event is sold out, but if you sign up for the waitlist, we'll let you know if spots become available.
You're on the waitlist now!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please email us at info@speakeasy.com to join the waitlist.
G.A. Cohen vs. Jason Brennan: Why Not Socialism/Capitalism? (A Three-Week Webinar)
No items found.

Description

The great Marxist analytic philosopher G.A. Cohen made his name with a long book full of intricate arguments--"Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence." Later in his career, he devoted much of his time to responding to the arguments of libertarian philosophers like Robert Nozick--and later still to criticizing John Rawls's theory of justice from the left. One of his most striking and memorable contributions to political philosophy, though, came in a very short book published in the last year of his life which he started with a simple intuitive argument for socialism based on the example of a group of friends going on a camping trip. That book was called, "Why Not Socialism?" Five years later, the libertarian philosopher Jason Brennan wrote a response in the same style called, "Why Not Capitalism?"

You can probably read both books in a weekend, but fully unpacking all the arguments and counterarguments in these two deceptively simple books is a lot more challenging. We'll cover Cohen's book in the first session--the lessons he draws from the camping trip example, his theory of "socialist equality of opportunity" (and how it's supposed to be different from "bourgeois equality of opportunity" and "left-liberal equality of opportunity"), the anti-socialist arguments he considers, his responses to them, and his (tentative) conclusions about how what kind of socialism might be realistically possible. In the second session, we'll turn to Brennan's book--the reason he thinks standard response to Cohen are insufficient, how he tries to parody and turn around Cohen's argument, and what mistakes he thinks Cohen is making. Finally, in the third session Ben will present his own defense of Cohen and critique of Brennan. All three two-hour sessions will include at least an hour of interactive discussion, and students will have the option of turning in short reflections two weeks before each session and getting feedback.

What to expect at this event