The course consists of two parts. Part one defines social philosophy as a critical, normative theory of the good society on the basis of an analysis of classical social-philosophical themata, such as Enlightenment, ideology and utopia. Based on an essential insight into the original sociality of man, the course further argues that the fundamental social virtue is mutual recognition, and that this can only be realised in a political society. Explained are then the foundation (social contract-theory), the norm (justice and human rights) and the limit (violence) of the political.
Part two is devoted to the problem of justice, and presents the contemporary discussion. The following theories are presented, critically discussed and confronted: Utilitarianism, Rawls, Libertarianism, neo-marxism and communitarianism.