Introduction to major political concepts and controversies that have developed in the Western world. Liberty, equality, democracy, human nature, among others. Readings come from leading political theorists, past and present.
American Political Thought
Theories and conceptions underlying development of the American system of government, attention being chiefly directed to the views of publicists and statesmen.
Justice and the Good Life
The questions of how we ought to live our lives via the study of classic texts in political thought. Debate what makes our actions – and, indeed our lives – just, choice-worthy, and even heroic.
Modern democratic theory beginning with the social contract philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries. Role of representatives and citizen participation. In addition to looking at several different models of democracies the class also reads critics of modern democracy.
Liberalism and its Critics
The core ideas of liberal political thought. Critiques from both the Left and the Right to shed list on why the American experiment in governance – with it intellectual roots in the Enlightment of 17th and 18th Century Europe – turned out as it did and how it might have been changed or improved.
Truth and Progress
Surveys the landscape of contemporary political theory, addressing some of the major debates of the past twenty years about reason, right action, human nature, good government, and truth.
Core Seminar in Political Theory
Surveys of the history of political thought. Authors covered usually include
Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Mill, Nietzsche,
Rawls, Nozick, and Walzer.