Philosophy 115

Summer 2012 Session D

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
115 Political Philosophy Grosser TuWTh 1-3:30 209 Dwinelle

This introductory class will examine the works of four classical protagonists of Western political thought – Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, and John Rawls. It is meant to provide students with a basic understanding of paradigmatic ancient, modern, and contemporary political theories: An understanding of the respective metaphysical and ontological, rationalist and contractarian approaches that essentially inform these theories; of the underlying anthropological assumptions; of the relevance and specific meaning of concepts such as justice, freedom, or power; and, most importantly, of differing argumentative strategies of justifying the existence of the state philosophically. Thus, based on a careful reading of their politico-philosophical writings, it is to be considered how Plato and Aristotle, Hobbes and Rawls aim at finding a balance that resolves the inescapable tension between (stately) authority and (individual) autonomy. Additionally, the course aims at identifying the concepts of the political that, implicitly or explicitly, organize the political theories discussed.

Previously taught: SU11D, SP11, FL09, SP09, SP08, SU07A, FL06, FL05, FL04, FL03.