POLI 213W(01):

 

 

Spring 2010

MWF 10:20a-11:20a

Ford 324

           

WRITING POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY: INDIVIDUALITY & COMMUNITY

 

Prof. Sammy Basu

Office: Smullin 317

Hours: TTH 10-11:30am, 1-3pm

or by appointment.

 

COURSE SUMMARY

 

This writing-centered course introduces students to the social sciences in general, and to the study of politics and the approach of political philosophy in particular.  Individuality and community are its unifying themes.  These themes will be treated through the close reading and interpretation of selected thinkers.  These thinkers, drawn from the Ancient and Renaissance periods of the history of Western political philosophy, are original exponents of distinctive philosophical systems, and employ distinctive literary genres.  Their contrasting conceptions of individuality and community will be discussed, and the contemporary implications of these differences for ethics and politics explored.

 

 

COURSE OBJECTIVES

 

The objectives of this course include improving student's abilities to:

 

read: "Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction.  No, read in order to live"

m Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), Letter to Mlle de Chantepie, June 1857.

 

write: "True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,

As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.

'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,

The sound must seem an echo to the sense."

m Alexander Pope (1688-1744), An Essay on Criticism (1711).

 

speak: "On an occasion of this kind it becomes more than a moral duty to speak one's mind.  It becomes a pleasure."

m Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), The Importance of Being Earnest (1895).

 

think: "I think, therefore I am."

m RenŽ Descartes (1596-1650), Discourse on Method (1637).

 

 

PEDAGOGY

 

The teaching philosophy that animates this course is:

 

"He was sent, as usual, to a public school,

where a little learning was painfully beaten into him,

and from thence to the university,

where it was carefully taken out of him."

m T.L. Peacock (1785-1866), Nightmare Abbey, Ch.1.

 

"A little learning is a dang'rous thing;/

Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:/

There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,/

And drinking largely sobers us again.

m Alexander Pope (1688-1744), An Essay on Criticism, 215.

 

COURSE EVALUATION CRITERIA

 

The grade is composed of two components:

 

(1) daily participation in class discussions (20%) - includes any in-class writing tasks, and self-evaluations.

 

(2) four writing assignments (20% each) - in which the student interprets the texts under study, and responds with written arguments in a variety of literary genres.

Students are encouraged to discuss writing with the Professor, and Writing Center Consultants.

 

A passing grade must be received on all assignments to pass the course.

Late assignments will be penalized.

If you believe that you may have a disability requiring accommodation, please contact

Disability Services,

Baxter Hall, Phone: (503) 370-6471, (TT) (503) 375-5383.

Retroactive accommodation will not be possible.

 

 

REQUIRED COURSE READINGS

 

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

 

            

Plato. The Republic.

(Trans.) G.M.A. Grube. Revised by C.D.C. Reeve. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1992.

 

             

Epicurus. The Epicurus Reader.

(Trans.) Brad Inwood and L.P. Gerson. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994.

 

                

More, Thomas. Utopia.

(Eds. And Trans.) David Wootton. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1999.

 

Montaigne, Michel De. The Complete Essays of Montaigne.

(Trans.) Donald M. Frame. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1958.

 

 

 

 

COURSE SCHEDULE

 

DATE SUBJECT


M Jan 18        Introduction

 

W Jan 20       What is political philosophy?

F Jan 22         What is political philosophy?

M Jan 25        What is political philosophy?

 

 

 

 

[ 1 ] PLATO (428-348BC) The Republic

 

W Jan 27       Plato, Platonism,

 

F Jan 29         what is justice?: pp.1-43

 

M Feb 1         the just state, who should rule, and how: pp.43-93

 

W Feb 3        myths, happiness, and justice: pp.94-110, 118-121

 

F Feb 5          myths, happiness, and justice: pp.94-110, 118-121

                            Homer, Music and Ancient Greek Music

 

M Feb 8         women, the family, and barbarians: pp.122-146

 

W Feb 10      the philosopher and the cave: pp.146-151,

 

F Feb 12        being philosophical: 156-176, 186-193, 210-212

 

M Feb 15       democracy and decadence: pp.213-250

 

W Feb 17      just do it justly: pp.250-292

 

F Feb 19        on writing

 

 

 

 

File written by Adobe Photoshop¨ 5.0

 

DUE: F Feb 19, bring two copies to class

DRAFT of WRITING ASSIGNMENT NO. 1

 

DUE: F Feb 26

WRITING ASSIGNMENT NO. 1

SELF-EVALUATION

 

 

 

 

[ 2 ] EPICURUS (341-270BC) Writings and Testimonia

 

 

M Feb 22       Epicurus and Epicureanism: text 1.

 

W Feb 24      only if it makes sense: texts 2.34-63, 7, 27, 29, 30-34, 65-103.

 

F Feb 26        Discuss first Writing Assignment

 

M Mar 1         God, death, and free will: texts 2.64-82, 3, 14-18, 28, 104-14.

 

W Mar 3        living the good life: texts 4-6, 8-13, 19-26, 35-64, 115-49.

 

F Mar 5          law, politics, and friendship: texts 4-6, 8-13, 19-26, 35-64,

                             115-49.

                        values auction

                       

M Mar 8         on writing

 

 

File written by Adobe Photoshop¨ 5.0

 

DUE: M Mar 8, bring two copies to class

DRAFT of WRITING ASSIGNMENT NO. 2

 

DUE: M Mar 15

WRITING ASSIGNMENT NO. 2

SELF-EVALUATION

 

 

 

[ 3 ] THOMAS MORE (1478-1535) Utopia

 

 

W Mar 10      Middle Ages, Renaissance, More and Utopianism

 

F Mar 12        fact or f(r)iction: Greetings, pp.40-55, 161-8, 56-62.

 

M Mar 15      the status quo: problems and solutions, pp.56-89,

                       

W Mar 17      the obstacles to change: pp.56-89.

F Mar 19        No Class

 

M Mar 29      the perfect commonwealth: pp.90-127.

 

W Mar 31      the perfect commonwealth: pp.90-127.

 

F Apr 2          the root of all evil: pp.127-160.

 

M Apr 5         on writing

 

 

 

 

File written by Adobe Photoshop¨ 5.0

 

 

DUE: M Apr 12

WRITING ASSIGNMENT NO. 3
SELF-EVALUATION

 

 

 

[ 4 ] MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE (1533-1592) Essays

W Apr 7

 

Montaigne and Renaissance France

F Apr 9

 

what should one study and how?: pp.2, 54-5, 75 6, 106-9, 135, 182, 186, 219, 242, 273-5, 278, 296-7, 303, 487, 495, 499, 503-4, 574, 611-3, 618, 629, 720-1, 736, 740, 761, 766, 808, 822.

M Apr 12

 

cannibals: 150-9, and what do you know!: pp.8, 21, 29, 33, 39, 56, 70,111-9, 132-3, 160-1,222, 227, 230, 234, 267, 319-24, 488, 496, 575, 670, 693, 781, 789-90, 811, 824.

 

W Apr 14

 

virtues/vices: pp.23-4, 30-3, 43-5, 65, 80, 120, 146, 215-6, 244-5, 249,254, 265-6, 279, 307, 311-5, 456, 471-81, 491, 505, 694-6, 703, 811.

 

F Apr 16

 

self/society: pp.32, 66, 77-80, 101, 116,135-6, 169, 174-8, 195, 239-40, 245, 288, 290, 300-1, 469, 603, 613, 623, 649, 685, 695, 705-6, 722, 727, 743-6, 756-8, 766-74.

M Apr 19

 

politics and the status quo: pp. 4, 9, 83-8, 131-44, 150-153, 193, 253, 323-4, 467, 497-8, 506-9, 600-2, 625, 730-1, 758-60, 856.

 

W Apr 21

No class: SSRD

F Apr 23

           

politics and the status quo: pp. 4, 9, 83-8, 131-44, 150-153, 193, 253, 323-4, 467, 497-8, 506-9, 600-2, 625, 730-1, 758-60, 856.

 

M Apr 26

on writing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

File written by Adobe Photoshop¨ 5.0



 

W Apr 28      Red and Blue Map

                        Film: "The Road Scholar" (1993)

 

F Apr 30        Film: "The Road Scholar" (1993)

                       Destinations

 

M May 3        The American Dream:

                        Individuality & Community

 

 

 

DUE: F May 7, 11 am

WRITING ASSIGNMENT NO. 4
SELF-EVALUATION