Description: This course is an introduction to important works of political theory spanning over 2,000 years, which address the following questions: What is justice? What makes government legitimate? Does the fact that a practice or institution has become our custom or tradition justify that practice or institution? Can't traditions sometimes become chains? Can revolutionaries, discontent with tradition, simply build a new society from scratch? Are some of our practices necessary, or natural? How do we decide what is natural and what is merely convention? How does human nature constrain the possibilities available to us in politics?
This course contributes to the Honors College curriculum by serving as a core course in Culture, Ideas, and Values and as one of the courses that satisfy the political theory requirement for the Political Science Concentration. The course emphasizes critical thinking, requires students to read original source materials, and focuses on writing skills, including the revision process. The course will satisfy the Gordon Rule and/or WAC writing requirement: writing will be addressed during the class through sessions dealing with revising, and through in class brief essays (see below). Students should leave the course with an ability to think critically about primary texts, develop arguments by citing texts and considering counterarguments, and have an appreciation for some of the central concerns of political theorists.
This writing intensive course serves as one of two "Gordon Rule" classes at the 2000-4000 level that must be taken. You must achieve a grade of "C" (not C-minus) or better to receive credit. Furthermore, this class meets the University-wide Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) criteria, which expect you to improve your writing over the course of the term. Writing-to-learn activities have proven effective in developing critical thinking skills, learning discipline-specific content, and understanding and building competence in the modes of inquiry and writing for various disciplines and professions.
Writing assignments promote critical thinking and analytical writing; require students to analyze academic discourse and non-academic reportage; encourage students to recognize and examine the intellectual and/or cultural assumptions that underlie course readings and their own writing.
There will be 3 take-home writing assignments and these make up 80% of the grade. Requirements: Students should come to class prepared to discuss the readings. Each class will consist of a combination of lecture and discussion. Participation is essential.
The following books are required reading and should be at the campus bookstore or available online: Plato, Apology, Crito, Republic; Aristotle, Politics; Burke and Paine, Reflections, and the Rights of Man; More, Utopia; Machiavelli, Prince, Discourses, Mandragola; Hegel, Reason in History; Marx, Communist Manifesto, German Ideology, Capital; and Joseph Williams' Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace
Grading will be based on class participation (20%), which includes brief in class essays reacting to the reading, and 3 papers of 5-7 pages each, the first of which will be turned in twice so that students get feedback on the revision process (20% for each paper and the revision, =80%). Papers will respond to prompts that require critical analysis of the assigned texts and construction of an interpretive position, and will be graded by the quality of the critical analysis, extent to which relevant texts are drawn on and properly cited, and the coherence, lucidity, precision, and elegance of the writing. Substantial feedback will be provided to each writing assignment. The participation grade will be reduced 1/3 for each unexcused absence beyond 2.
If this class is selected to participate in the university-wide WAC assessment program, you will be required to access the online assessment server, complete the consent form and survey, and submit electronically a first and final draft of a near-end-of-term paper. Students must adhere to the honor code, see http://www.fau.edu/divdept/honcol/academics_honor_code.htm
Schedule of Topics and Readings. The readings listed under each class are to be done prior to that class meeting.
2.The Greek polis
Rdg: Plato-- Apology, Crito
3. Socrates and Plato
Rdg: Plato-- Republic Bk 1
In class brief essay.
4-5. Plato's Republic
Rdg: Plato-- Republic Bks 2-6
6-7. Plato's Republic
Rdg: Plato’s Republic, Bks 7-10
Rdg: Aristotle-- Politics Books 1-4
Rdg: Politics Books 5-8; Williams, Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace, 96-110
In class brief essay.
10-11. Sir Thomas More: Utopian thought and the Nature of Political Theory
Reading: More, Utopia
Film: A Man for All Seasons
Paper One Draft Due in class 10 12. Machiavelli and the Renaissance; discussion of the Writing Revision process
Rdg: Machiavelli, The Prince; Williams, Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace, 26-28, 209-220, 221-242
Rdg: Machiavelli, Discourses, Bk 1: Pref, chs 1-2, 9-12, 16-18, 44, 58; Bk 2: Pref, chs 1-2, 29; Bk 3: chs 1, 9
Revision of Paper One due
Rdg: Machiavelli, Mandragola
On the web: The rape of Lucretia in Livy's History of Rome, 1.57-60: available at Perseus Digital Library; and St. Augustine's chapter on Lucretia in City of God, I:19, available online.
In class brief essay.
15. Introduction to the French Revolution
Rdg: Begin Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France
E. Barker, The Politics of Aristotle, Introduction
M.G. Grene, Portrait of Aristotle
W.C.K. Guthrie, Aristotle: An Encounter
W.L. Newman, The Politics of Aristotle, 4 vols.
A.O. Rorty, Essays on Aristotle's Ethics
W.D. Ross, Aristotle
Stephen Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-Fashioning From More to Shakespeare
J.H. Hexter, More's Utopia
A. Fox, Thomas More: History and Providence
A. MacIntyre, After Virtue
H. Butterfield, The Statecraft of Machiavelli
A. H. Gilbert, Machiavelli's Prince and its Forerunners
M.P. Gilmore, The World of Humanism
Hanna Pitkin, Fortune is a Woman
J.A. G. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment
R. Ridolfi, Life of Niccolo Machiavelli
Sheldon Wolin, Politics and Vision, chapter 7
Burke, Paine, and the French Revolution
Burke, "Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful," "Speech on Fox's East-India Bill," A Vindication of Natural Society, Letter to a Member of the National Assembly
Carl B. Cone, Burke and the Nature of Politics
Don Herzog, 'Puzzling through Burke', Political Theory (August 1991)
Isaac Kramnick, The Rage of Edmund Burke, Portrait of an Ambivalent Conservative (psychobiography) (1979)
C.B. Macpherson, Burke (1980)
Harvey Mansfield, Statesmanship and Party Government (1965)
Frank O'Gorman, Edmund Burke, his Political Philosophy
J.G.A. Pockock, 'Burke and the Ancient Constitution', Historical Journal III (1960)
Peter Stanlis, Edmund Burke: The Enlightenment and Revolution (1991)
Paine, Common Sense, Age of Reason, The American Crisis, Dissertation on First Principles of Government
Eric Foner, Tom Paine and Revolutionary America
Hegel, Early Theological Writings, Natural Law, Propaedeutik, Philosophy of History, Philosophy of Mind (Vol. 3 of the Encylopaedie), Phenomenology of Spirit, Political Writings (especially the essays "The German Constitution" and "The English Reform Bill")
Shlomo Avineri, Hegel's Theory of the Modern State
Michael Hardimon, "The Project of Reconciliation: Hegel's Social Philosophy," Philosophy and Public Affairs (Spring 1992)
Z. Pelczynsky, ed. Hegel's Political Philosophy (collection of essays, see esp. Ilting's and Schklar's)
Hugh Reyburn, The Ethical Theory of Hegel (1921)
Steven B. Smith, Hegel's Critique of Liberalism (1989)
Robert Solomon, In the Spirit of Hegel (commentary on the Phenomenology)
Mark Tunick, Hegel's Political Philosophy (1992)
Tunick, "Are there Natural Rights?--Hegel's Break with Kant," in Collins, ed. Hegel and the Modern World (1994)
Tunick, "Hegel's Justification of Hereditary Monarchy," History of Political Thought, vol. 12, no. 3 (1991) .
Tunick, "Hegel on Justified Disobedience," Political Theory 26:514-535 (August 1998)
Allen Wood, Hegel's Ethical Thought (1990)
Marx, Marxism, and Left Hegelianism
Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts, Capital
Shlomo Avineri, The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx
Isaiah Berlin, Karl Marx
Terrell Carver, Engels (1981); Marx and Engels (1983)
R.P. Wolff, Understanding Marx (1984)
Smith and Evans, Marx's Kapital for Beginners (1982)
Blumenberg, Karl Marx (1962)
G.A. Cohen, Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence
Engels, Origin of Family, Private Property, and the State
Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity
Leszek Kolakowski, Main Currents of Marxism, 3 vols.
John Toews, Hegelianism (1980)
Lawrence Stepelevich, ed. The Young Hegelians: An Anthology (1983)