I. PHI 224. POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. 3 Credits
Introduces students to Western political thought. The course will cover the predominant figures and theories in European and American political philosophy including (but not limited to) Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, Mill, Marx, Rawls and Singer. Students will engage in rational discussion of perennial problems of human association and conflict. Topics such as justice and power, freedom and equality, autonomy and order will be discussed. Through critical analysis of the prevailing political theories, students should begin to understand the complexities of developing social/political structures in civil society.
II. CLASS DAY(S), TIME, AND LOCATION
MWF 1:00- 1:50 ROOM: BP1N
Phone: 461-7615 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
IV. TEXT AND MATERIALS
The required books in this course are Plato, Five Dialogues, Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Politics, Machiavelli’s The Prince, Hobbes’ Leviathan, Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, Mill’s On Liberty, Rousseau’s On the Social Contract, and Marx, Selected Writings. The required paperback editions of each text will be available in the MCC bookstore. You may purchase used copies of these texts at other bookstores, but please purchase the preferred edition, not an alternative publisher. There will also be selected handouts.
V. COURSE OBJECTIVES (general)
Upon satisfactory completion of this course, the student should be able to:
Identify and explain the challenges to the philosophical study of political systems.
Examine and recognize the distinctive character of political problems and controversies.
Outline the historical development of the predominant theories of government
Apply political theories to current tensions in civil society.
Critically evaluate political theories in light of their application to current problems
Prior to class, the student is expected to have read the assigned reading and to have written a one paragraph summary of the reading. The one-paragraph summary is due at the beginning of class and late summaries will not be accepted. If you miss class, then you miss turning in that summary unless you have made arrangements with me to turn it in earlier. The purpose of the summary is to ensure that you have read the material before class. In class, students will participate in a discussion of the reading. Frequent debates will be held over current or historical political problems.
VII. GRADING AND EVALUATION
The instructor will maintain a continuous record of each student’s progress. Two in-class exams will be given: a mid-term and a final exam at the regularly scheduled final exam time. The exams will consist of short essay questions. One paper (5 – 7) pages will be assigned in addition to the one paragraph essays due at each class period. The easiest way to a good grade in this course is perfect attendance and daily participation.
Due to the nature of the course, it is impossible to exactly link topics with specific dates, thus the above calendar is an approximation. The instructor will make every attempt to stick as closely as possible to the syllabus and will clarify assignments at the beginning and end of each class meeting.
Students must attend classes regularly. The instructor reserves the right to drop a student after three unexcused absences.
Besides academic performance, students should exhibit the qualities of honesty and integrity. Any form of dishonesty, cheating, fabrication, the facilitation of academic dishonesty, or plagiarism may make the student subject to disciplinary action. Please refer to the student handbook for information regarding institutional policy and due process procedures.
The instructor is willing to make reasonable accommodations for limitations due to any disability, including learning disabilities. The student should register with our student services/special services department to facilitate this process.
Please note the district policy regarding refunds and withdrawals stated on the MCC website. If you do not withdraw from the class within the stated time to receive a 100% refund, you will be expected to pay for the class.
IX. CALENDAR OF ASSIGNMENTS
Week Assigned Readings 1/14-18 Introduction to the Course; Begin reading with Plato, Five Dialogues 1/23-25 Plato’s Republic, Chapters 1 – 5
1/28-2/1 Plato’s Republic, Chapters 6 – 10
2/4-8 Aristotle’s Politics 2/11-15 Machiavelli’s The Prince 2/18-22 Handout “The Philosophy of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries”
2/25-29 Hobbes’ Leviathan (selections)
3/3-7 Locke’s Second Treatise of Government; Mid-Term Exam 3/10-14 Spring Break
3/17-21 Rousseau’s On the Social Contract 3/24-28 Marx (Marx, Selected Writings)
3/31-4/4 Mill’s On Liberty 4/7-11 Rawl’s A Theory of Justice (Handout); Paper Due 4/14-18 Singer (Handout)
4/21-25 Contemporary Tensions--Debates
4/28-5/2 Contemporary Tensions (cont’d); Review for Final Exam
5/5 1:00 – 2:50 COMPREHENSIVE FINAL EXAM