Conflict, Ideology, and Public Discourse

Subject Area
Course Number
PHIL 587 641
Course Code
Course Key
Primary Program
Course Description
We live in a divided country and a divided world.  Contemporary discourse – in politics and international relations, in the media and online, and throughout our national and global cultures – gives expression to intense, sometimes violent, disagreements and conflicts that obstruct the solution of important public policy questions, frustrate organizational objectives, and profoundly challenge our leaders and institutions.  This MLA seminar course will explore the role of political, economic, and social ideologies in these conflicts and why this makes them so difficult to resolve.  We will consider a variety of contemporary conflicts and ideologies and attempt to draw out some of their common philosophical and psychological characteristics, as well as explore possible strategies for reducing or resolving such conflicts.  Throughout we will seek to understand the deep attraction of ideological commitments and why ideologies tend to push discourse and behavior to extremes and even violence.
Subject Area Vocab