Office Hours: To Be Announced
Course Description This course explores some of the fundamental philosophers and ideas in the Western tradition of political theory. It will cover a variety of political concepts, among them are: justice, equality, liberty, the social contract, roles of states and citizens, the distribution of resources, and different methods of political analysis. This semester, the course will focus on the following theorists: Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Kant, Wollstonecraft, Marx/Engels, Nietzsche, and Baudrillard.
Student Learning Outcomes for this course:
1.) Compare and contrast competing governmental concepts.
2.) Assess the contributions of major political concepts and theories from the early Greeks to modern day political philosophers and compare to our conception of “the good life.”
Course Requirements Attendance: At each class meeting, a roll sheet will be distributed. A student must sign the roll sheet in order to get attendance credit for each class. This is your responsibility, so make sure you sign it at every class. You may not sign the roll sheet for someone else. If you sign the roll sheet for another student, this will count as cheating, and the incident will be reported to the Chair of Political Science and the Office of Student Services. Class lecture and discussion are integrated into exams and participation is part of your overall grade, so it is to your benefit to attend class regularly. It is the policy of College of the Canyons that “Any student absent for any reason for one more time than that class meets in one week may be dropped from the class.”
Reading: The instructor of this class takes reading very seriously. It is expected that students will read all materials prior to the class meeting for which they are assigned. However, you should come to class even if you haven’t done the reading, as this may facilitate a better understanding of the material when you read it later. In a course of this nature, close reading is preferable to skimming, as it assists you in engaging the material in a more critical/analytical manner. This will also help you on the weeks for which you are responsible for raising questions concerning class readings. NOTE: I DO NOT EXPECT YOU TO UNDERSTAND 100% OF EVERYTHING YOU READ THE FIRST TIME YOU ENGAGE WITH IT. HOWEVER, I DO REQUIRE THAT YOU READ ALL MATERIALS ASSIGNED.
Grading: A student’s grade in this course is based upon four elements: participation, two exams, and a research paper. The overall breakdown is as follows:
Participation: 20 points
Exam 1: 25 points
Exam 2: 25 points
Research Paper: 30 points Total: 100 points STUDENTS MUST COMPLETE EVERY ASSIGNMENT IN ORDER TO RECEIVE A PASSING GRADE IN THIS COURSE. FAILURE TO COMPLETE ANY ASSIGNMENT WILL RESULT IN AN “F” AS THE FINAL COURSE GRADE. ***SPECIAL NOTE: I DO NOT GIVE MAKE-UP EXAMS. I DO NOT ACCEPT WORK SUBMITTED VIA E-MAIL. NO EXTENSIONS WILL BE GRANTED WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL FROM THE INSTRUCTOR. EXTENSIONS ARE ONLY GIVEN IN SITUATIONS DEEMED TO BE DIRE BY THE INSTRUCTOR. BE PREPARED TO OFFER PROOF OF THE NEED FOR AN EXTENSION. Participation: Participation accounts for a maximum of twenty (20) points of your overall course grade. This is calculated in two ways: 1.) a maximum of fifteen (15) points for questions generated by students on course readings; and 2.) a maximum of five (5) points for overall participation in class over the semester as assessed by the instructor.
Reading Questions: Students will be responsible for creating questions on the readings at three points during the semester, earning a maximum of five (5) points for each set of questions. A sign-up sheet will be passed around and students will select three class meetings on which to be responsible for the readings. There will be a limited number of students assigned to each class meeting--do not exceed the amount of slots on the sign-up sheet for a given class without the instructor’s permission, or you will not be allowed to get credit that day’s readings. NOTE: You must sign up for a total of three classes in order to receive full credit. Choose one day from each of the following time periods: 1.) August 29, 2013-October 1, 2013; 2.) October 3, 2013-November 5, 2013; 3.) November 7, 2013-December 10, 2013.
On the days for which you are responsible for the readings, you will do the following: 1.) You will generate a list of at least three questions for discussion. The questions should be thought provoking and demonstrate that the student read the assigned materials. Avoid shallow questions like, “What are the kinds of government Plato critiques in Chapters XXIX through XXXI of The Republic?” 2.) You will write at least one paragraph about a current political/theoretical issue which relates to the readings of that class meeting or a paragraph about an issue from the readings you didn’t understand and be prepared to discuss it in class. Your paragraph and questions must be typed (preferably on the same sheet). Your paragraph/questions will be collected at the beginning of the class session on which they are due. NOTES: You must actively contribute to discussion in order to get full credit for this assignment. Do not forget to put your name on the sheet--I can’t give credit for work if I don’t know who gave it to me.
IF YOU DO NOT SHOW UP FOR CLASS ON THE DAY YOU ARE SCHEDULED TO PRESENT OR IF YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO PRESENT ON A DAY FOR WHICH YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR QUESTIONS, YOU WILL GET A ZERO (0) ON THIS ASSIGNMENT. IF YOU HAVE TO MISS A CLASS ON WHICH YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE READINGS, YOU MUST OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE INSTRUCTOR AT LEAST ONE CLASS MEETING PRIOR TO THE ONE IN WHICH YOU ARE SCHEDULED TO PROVIDE QUESTIONS. YOU WILL ONLY BE ALLOWED TO RESCHEDULE IN THE CASE OF AN EMERGENCY ABSENCE.
Exams: Twice during the semester, students will be given a sheet of essay questions from which they must choose one to answer. Each exam is worth a maximum of twenty-five (25) points toward your final grade. Responses must be 4-6 pages in length, typed in 12-point font in the Times New Roman style, adhere to standard guidelines of citation, have one-inch margins, be double-spaced, and contain both an introduction and conclusion. A separate title page (not numbered) should include your name, the course title, and semester taken. Do not add extra spaces between paragraphs. Do not forget page numbers. These are singular, not cooperative efforts. You may not work together on exams. The Due Dates are as follows:
First Exam: Questions will be distributed in class on October 10, 2013. Responses
will be collected at the beginning of class on October 17, 2013.
Second Exam: Questions will be distributed in class on December 5, 2013.
Responses will be collected at the beginning of class on
December 12, 2013.
Analytic Research Paper: Students are required to write one 8-10 page paper for this course. This assignment is worth a maximum of thirty (30) points toward the final grade. A topic statement is due to the instructor by October 1, 2013 in class. The analytic paper must be written in essay format, contain a complete introduction and conclusion, be double-spaced, be typed in 12-point font in the Times New Roman style, adhere to standard guidelines of citation, have one-inch margins, and have a bibliography. The paper should also contain a separate title page which includes the following: your name, the course title, semester taken, and the title of your paper. Do not forget page numbers (Bibliography and Title pages do not count). Do not add extra spaces between paragraphs. Do not place the paper in a folder—simply staple the pages together in the upper left hand corner. Each analytic research paper must use at least three scholarly sources (such as academic journals or books), and must have at least five sources in total. Dictionaries, encyclopedias, and Wikipedia do not count as sources. If you have questions about what sources qualify as scholarly, ask the instructor. Students should begin thinking about this paper early, as it is due at the beginning of class on November 19, 2013.
This assignment will be discussed in class at various points, but you should think of it as a way to apply the analytic tools you have learned in this course. If you want to use theoretical materials outside of the course in your paper, you must get permission from the instructor. The following are suggestions on how you might frame your analysis: 1.) Write a paper in which you use one theorist’s approach to critique another’s; or 2.) Use a theoretical approach you have learned in this course to analyze a current event/issue. Do not write a historical paper. Do not write a psychological analysis of a theorist.
Classroom Behavior: The classroom environment requires that students adhere to a specific form of conduct. I reserve the right to remove anyone from class who violates my standards of academic civility. A major feature of academic civility for me is not being disruptive of the educational environment. Some of my ground rules are:
*DO NOT use your cell phone, Ipod, or other electronic devices during class (all of these
things should be turned off while you are in class)
*DO NOT behave disrespectfully toward any person in the classroom--discussions must
remain civil in tone
*DO NOT surf the Internet/Web during class time
*DO NOT read materials unrelated to the course during class time (newspapers,
magazines, books, e-mails, text messages, etc.)
*DO NOT record my lectures.
CONTINUAL OR SEVERE PROBLEMS WILL BE REPORTED TO THE OFFICE OF STUDENT SERVICES.
Tardiness: This interferes with the learning process and disturbs the classroom environment. Habitual tardiness will be treated as classroom disruption (see above).
Plagiarism and Cheating: DON’T. I uphold the zero-tolerance policy of the College of the Canyons with regard to plagiarism and other forms of cheating. The work you do in my class must be your own work. Basically, plagiarism consists of passing-off someone else’s work as your own (this includes summarizing someone else’s ideas without giving them citation credit or stealing phrases, sentences, or paragraphs from an author’s work without giving citation credit). Nearly any writing guide can be helpful in this regard. Also, you may visit the TLC Lab (LTLC-126) if you have questions about your work and the plagiarism guidelines at the College of the Canyons (they can also assist you with general writing skills). Plagiarism and cheating can have serious consequences for you, so just don’t do it. If I catch you, I have to report the incident to the Office of Student Services for review and possible disciplinary action.
Course Readings Reserve Materials:
*Most of the readings for this class are on reserve in the Library, at the Reserve Desk on the first floor. RESERVE MATERIALS ARE NOT OPTIONAL READINGS, THEY ARE PART OF THE COURSE. Students are required to make copies of reserve materials and return them to the Reserve Desk when done. YOU MAY NOT REMOVE RESERVE MATERIALS FROM THE LIBRARY AND YOU MAY NOT KEEP THEM FOR YOURSELF. Reserve materials are for all students in the class and they must be shared.
Books available at the campus bookstore:
*Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince
*Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals/Ecce Homo