RECOMMENDED: Leo Strauss and Joseph Cropsey, eds., HISTORY OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY provides valuable secondary treatment of the thinkers studied in this course and of the history of political philosophy in general. Sheldon Wolin, Politics and Vision and Arlene Saxonhouse, WOMEN IN THE HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT are also extremely useful. The novels of Mary Renault, especially THE LAST OF THE WINE and THE MASK OF APOLLO, offer excellent, easy-reading descriptions of the culture and politics of ancient Greece.
One Midterm, in-class, examination.
One in-class Final Examination.
In determining grades for the course, the three requirements will have
approximately the following weight:
Class Attendance and Discussion and Discussion Questions 25%
Midterm, 35% Thursday , November 6th
Final, 40% Tuesday December 16th 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 – 11:00 SAC (613 George St.) and by appointment in Hickman 506.
Expose students to the philosophical and practical problems of political organization, action, and governance.
Spur critical thinking about the nature of citizenship, rights, and duties.
A solid foundational understanding of the critical theoretical issues underlying political life: the individual and community; political obligation and civil disobedience; stability, revolution, and change; legitimacy and justice; and freedom and power.
COURSE OUTLINE: Required readings are starred (*) all other indicated readings are recommended.
A. Introduction (Sept. 2, 9): The Peloponnesian War and the Athenian Empire
Discussion Questions #1 due in Drop Box before class Sept 9th
...................., WHAT IS POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
Wolin, Sheldon, POLITICS AND VISION
B. Greek Political Thought: Law and Politics(Sept. 14 - 17)
Discussion Questions #2 due in Drop Box before class Sept 14th
Discussion Questions #2a due in Drop Box before class on Sept 17th
C. Greek Politics: Power, Rhetoric and Flattery (Sept. 21, 24, 28)
Discussion Questions #3 Due in Drop Box before class Thursday Sept 24th
D. Philosophy and the Political (Oct. 1, 5, 8, 12)
Discussion Questions #4 due in Drop Box before Class Monday Oct. 5th *Plato, REPUBLIC (Book 1, Oct 1; Books 2,3, Oct 5; Books 4, 5, Oct. 8, ; Books 7-10; Oct. 12, 15)
Bernadette, Seth, SOCRATES’ SECOND SAILING
E. Theory and Practice (October 19, 22, 26, 29, 30)
Discussion Questions #5 due in Drop Box before class on Monday Oct 26th *Aristotle, POLITICS (Books 1-2, Oct. 19; Book 3, Oct. 22; Books 4-6, Oct. 26, 30 Books 7,8)
Arnhart, Larry, ARISTOTLE ON POLITICAL REASONING
F. Plato and Aristotle: Summary and review (Nov 2nd )
MIDTERM EXAM, Thursday, November 5th F. The Roman Tradition: (Nov. 9, 12, 16, 19)
Discussion Questions #6 Due in Dropbox Nov 16th *Cicero, ON THE COMMONWEALTH (Intro, chs. 2, 3, 4, Book I; Nov. 10;
Books 2, 3;Nov. 13; Book 4, 5, Nov.17, 20)
Barker, Ernest, FROM ALEXANDER TO CONSTANTINE
Mazzolani, Lidia, THE IDEA OF THE CITY IN ROMAN THOUGHT