Spring 2016

MWF 10:20-11:20pm

EAT 209

http://www.willamette.edu/~sbasu/poli212/212Syllabus.htm

 

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POLI 212

 

Prof Sammy Basu

Office: Sml 317

Hours: TTh 9:00-11:20am

or by appointment

mailto:sbasu@willamette.edu

HISTORY OF

 

WESTERN POLITICAL

PHILOSOPHY

 

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course surveys selected texts in the pre-modern history of Western political philosophy.  Attention is paid to the range of responses to some of the fundamental moral and practical themes of political philosophy, such as authority, justice, obligation, liberty, equality, property, revolution, order, progress, and rights.  Both the themes and the responses are evaluated philosophically and viewed historically.

 

 

STUDENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES

This course is intended to improve the student's:

 

-understanding of the subfield of political philosophy/political theory.

-familiarity with the range of explanatory and ethical theories of politics in the Western canon of political theory.

-ability to reflect philosophically on contemporary political life.

-appreciation for the temporal dimension of human existence (MOI: TH).

 

 

PEDAGOGY

"Let the tutor make his charge pass everything through a sieve and lodge nothing in his head on mere authority and trust: let not Aristotle's principles be principles to him any more than those of the Stoics or Epicureans. Let this variety of ideas be set before him: he will choose if he can; if not he will remain in doubt."

           Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), Essays, 'Of the education of children.'

 

 

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PLATO

(428-348BC)

ARISTOTLE
(384-32BC)

NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI
(1469-1527)

THOMAS HOBBES

(1588-1679)

JOHN

LOCKE

(1632-1704)

JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU

(1712-1778)

JOHN STUART MILL

(1806-1873)

 

GRADING

This course is organized around the readings and lectures.  Consequently, the student is expected to read, attend, and reflect.  The grade is composed of four components:

 

(25%)

Exam 1: on introductory materials, Plato, and Aristotle.

(25%)

Exam 2: on introductory materials, Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Locke.

(40%)

Exam 3: on Rousseau, Mill, and comparative analysis of entire course.

(10%)

Participation: regular attendance, completion of incidental assignments.

 

 

Exams focus on key concepts, arguments, images, and comparative analysis of historiographical approaches.  The student must receive a passing grade in each component to pass the course. Willamette's Credit Hour Policy holds that for every hour of class time there will be 2-3 hours work outside of class.  Thus, the student should anticipate 6-9 hours of work each week.

I will accommodate any disabilities likely to affect participation if identified and authorized in advance by the Office of Disability Services, Phone: (503) 370-6471, (TT) (503) 375-5383. Likewise, I will also attempt to accommodate days of special religious observance if identified within the first two weeks of class.   

In keeping with university policies, I will NOT tolerate plagiarism or other forms of cheating.

 

 

REQUIRED COURSE READINGS

Student should complete the assigned reading and take the time to reflect on the meaning of the reading before each class.  All required readings are available at the WU Bookstore.  Books can be purchased elsewhere; however, it is important that the same publication edition be obtained.

 

 

Plato. The Republic.

(Trans.) G.M. Grube and C.D.C Reeve. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1992.

 

 

Aristotle. Politics.

(Trans.) C.D.C Reeve. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1998.

 

 

Niccolo Machiavelli. Selected Political Writings.

(Ed. and Trans.) David Wootton.  Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994.

 

 

Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan. Parts 1 & 2.

(Eds.) AP Martinich and Brian Battiste. New York: Broadview Press, 2011.

 

 

Locke. John. Political Writings.

(Ed. and Trans.) David Wootton.  Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994.

 

 

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. The Basic Political Writings.

(Trans.) David A. Cress. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1987

 

 

Mill, John Stuart. On Liberty and other writings.

(Ed.) Stefan Collini. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

 

 

 

SCHEDULE

DATE

CLASS

Mon 1/18

Introduction; Assignment 1 (upload to WISE 1/20, 9am)

Wed 1/20

Political Philosophy;

Fri 1/22

Political Philosophy continued, Assignment 2 (upload to WISE 1/24, 4pm)

 

[No Afternoon Classes: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration]

Mon 1/25

History and Historiography;

Wed 1/27

Author, Text, Context     

 

 

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Description: Plato-Alcibiades

 

 

 

PLATO
(428-348BC)

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Republic

 

Ancient Athens

 

Fri 1/29 

Plato, what is justice? 2 tests,

Republic, pp.1-93.

 

[Last Day to Add/Drop Full Semester Semester Classes]

[I-III; 327-417]

 

 

 

Mon 2/1

ordering the just, stable, and gender-neutral polis,

Republic, pp.94-111, 119-146.

 

[Willamette Day College of Liberal Arts 174 Years]

[IV...; IV-V...; 419-435, 443-470]

 

 

 

Wed 2/3

philosophy, the philosopher-king and the cave,

Republic, pp.146-194, 209-212.

 

 

[...V-VII, ...VII; 471-522, 537-541]

Fri 2/5

philosophy etc continued

 

 

 

 

Mon 2/8

regimes, democratic decadence, and the soul,

Republic, pp.213--292.

 

 

[VIII-X; 544-621]

Wed 2/10

thinking historically about Plato

 

 

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ARISTOTLE
(384-322BC)

Description: Alexanderemp

 

 

 

Politics

 

 Alexandrian Era

 

Fri 2/12 

Aristotle, causation, man is a political animal:

Politics, pp.1-41, 49-51.

 

 

[I.1-II.7..., II.9...]

[1252a-1266a, 1269a-b]

 

 

 

Mon 2/15

Aristotle on Plato, and the best possible state:

Politics, pp.114, 191-231.

 

 

[IV.7, VII.1-VIII.4]

[1293b, 1323a-3338]

 

 

 

Wed 2/17 

regime types, and making the most of real politics:

Politics, pp.70-121.

 

 

[III.4-IV.11]

[1276b-1296b]

 

 

 

Fri 2/19

preventing worse:

Politics, pp.134-145, 152-8, 176-184.

 

 

[V.1-V.5, V.8-9, VI.2-5]

[1301a-1305a, 1307b-1310a, 1315b-320b]

 

 

 

Mon 2/22

thinking historically about Aristotle

Ancient Greek and Medieval Thought

Review

 

 

 

 

 Wed 2/24 

EXAM 1 Grade Dist 

 

 

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NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI

(1469-1527)

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The Prince and the Discourses

 

Renaissance Italy

 

 

Fri 2/26

Machiavelli and Life.

 

 

political virtuosity:

The Prince, pp.1-45.

 

[Last Day to choose Credit/No Credit for Full Sem Classes]

[Letter, Dedic., ch.1-13]

 

 

 

Mon 2/29

political ethics: cruel to be kind:

The Prince, pp.45-80.

 

 

[ch.14-26]

 

 

 

Wed 3/2

republican domestic politics:

 

The Discourses, Bk.I, pp.81-158.

 

 

[Dedic., Preface, I selections]

 

 

 

Fri 3/4

republican foreign politics:

The Discourses, Bks. II-III, pp.158-217.

  

why learn not to be good?  e.g. Caterina Sforza

[II selections]

 

thinking historically about Machiavelli

 

 

 

 


 

 

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THOMAS HOBBES

(1588-1679).

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 Leviathan

 

 Stuart England

 

 

Mon 3/7 

Hobbes, commonwealth, frontispiece, method,

Leviathan, pp.31-45, 321-2,

 

 

[Dedic., intro., I.1, Concl.]

 

 

 

Wed 3/9 

men and madness:

Leviathan, pp.51-90, 94, 102-21

 

 

[I.ch4-8, 10 .., 1.11-12) .  

 

 

 

Fri 3/11  

natural condition, natural right, and natural laws:

Leviathan, pp.121-153, 155-88

 

 

[I.13-16, II.17-20].

 

 

 

Mon 3/14 

 

liberty, law, order, and monsters:

Leviathan, pp.188-99, 209-20, 229-39, 246-257, 272-94, 309-11, 313-22.

 

 

[II.21, end of 22-24, 26-first ½ of 27, 29-30, Rev & Con]

 

 

 

 

thinking historically about Hobbes

 

 

 

 

 

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JOHN LOCKE

(1632-1704)

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Two Treatises of Government

 

Enlightenment England

 

 

Wed 3/16 

Locke, patriarchy:

1st Treatise, pp.242-259.

 

 

[5, 9 selections]

 

 

 

Fri 3/18  

the state of nature, property, and power:

2nd Treatise, pp.261-299,

Carolina: pp.210-11, 230-31.

 

 

[1-6: sections 1-76; selections]

 

 

 

3/21-25

Spring Break

 

 

 

 

Mon 3/28

consent, common-wealth, change:

2nd Treatise, pp. 300-348.

 

[Advising for Fall 2016 Registration Begin]

[7-14, sections 77-168]

 

 

 

Wed 3/30 

conquest, and complaint:

2nd Treatise, pp.349-387.

 

 

[15-19: sections 169-243]

 

 

 

Fri 4/1

thinking historically about Locke

 

 

review

 

 

[Last Day to Withdraw from Full Semester Classes]

 

 

 

 

Mon 4/4 

EXAM 2 (grade dist)

 

 


 

 

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JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU

(1712-1778)

The Discourses and the Social Contract

 

Pre-Revolutionary France

 

 

Wed 4/6 

Rousseau, ­, enlightenment and de-moralization:

First Discourse, pp.1-21.

 

 

[Preface, entire]

 

 

 

Fri 4/8  

de-moralization continued,

 

 

 

 

Mon 4/11 

natural man, inequality, unhappiness:

Second Discourse, pp.25-81, 94-95.

 

 

[Letter, Preface, entire]

 

 

 

Wed 4/13 

liberty and illiberality:

The Social Contract, pp.141-165, 170-206, 219-227.

 

 

[I.i-II.vii; II.xi-IV.ii; IV.vii-ix]

 

 

 

Fri 4/15  

thinking historically about Rousseau

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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JOHN STUART MILL

(1806-1873)

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On Liberty and The Subjection of Women

 

London, England

 

 

Mon 4/18 

Mill, liberty, and freedom of thought, caveats:

On Liberty, pp.5-23.

 

 

[1-2 ...]

Wed 4/20

No Class: Student Scholarship Recognition Day

 

 

 

 

Mon 4/25 

freedom applied:

On Liberty, pp.37-55.

 

 

[...2]

Wed 4/27 

individuality, authority, and harm:

On Liberty, pp.56-115.

 

 

[3]

Fri 4/29  

 

womenÕs liberation:

            Ideals of Victorian Womanhood

            A womanÕs right, BEP v AM                       

On Women, pp.119, 122-3, 128-152, 156-169, 184, 195-200, 212-7.

 

 

 

Mon 5/2

SAIs, thinking historically about Mill

 

 

 

 

TBD

Review

 

Mon 5/11

8-11am  Exam 3

 

 

 

 

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