Poli 305:

Modern

Political Theory

MWF 1020-1120am

WLT 230

 

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Prof.

Sammy

Basu

TTH 930-1130am

Smu 317

 

 

Course Summary

This course examines selected modern political theorists. Emphasis is placed upon evaluating the assumptions, cogency, and contemporary relevance of their philosophical systems. Topics to be addressed include human nature, ethical judgment, and the purposes of politics.

 

Course Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes

§  To better understand the subfield of political philosophy/political theory

§  To become more familiar with the range of explanatory and ethical theories of politics in the Western canon of political theory

§  To be able to reflect upon the relevance of canonical theorizing to contemporary political problems

§  To be able to learn (teach and be taught in turn) collaboratively

 

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.'

 

Course Evaluation Criteria

All four components must be passed in order to complete the course:



 

(1) Regular participation in class discussions (25%) - to engage with the readings, and one another. You should complete assigned reading before the class. In addition, you will be leading class discussion on readings periodically throughout the semester.



If you miss class, regardless of the reason, you are required to provide a 250-word summary on the readings of the day(s) missed.  To be handed in at next class.

(2) Essay paper (30%) - to write a research paper involving a modern political theorist, concept, or issue of your own choosing (20-25 double-spaced pages or 5000-7500 words in length), and give a digitally enhanced oral presentation.

(3) Mid-term Examination (15%) - to demonstrate your understanding of crucial preoccupations and contemporary relevance of Kant, Wollstonecraft, and Hegel.

(4) Final Examination (30%) - to demonstrate your understanding of crucial preoccupations and contemporary relevance of Marx, and Nietzsche, as well as the research of students.

 

Exams focus on key concepts, arguments, images, and comparative analysis of historiographical approaches.  You must receive a passing grade in each component to pass the course.

 

Credit Hour Fulfillment

Willamette's Credit Hour Policy holds that for every hour of class time there will be 2-3 hours work outside of class.  Thus, you should anticipate 6-9 hours homework per week.

 

Disability and Religious Accommodation

Please tell me about any disabilities that will affect your participation in this course. I will respect any accommodations authorized in advance by the Office of Disability Services, Phone: (503) 370-6471, (TT) (503) 375-5383.

I will also attempt to accommodate days of special religious observance if identified within the first two weeks of class.  

Plagiarism and Cheating

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

 

 

Required Course Readings

 

It is optimal that you read and bring to class the particular editions of the books listed below.  All additional readings will be made available electronically.

 

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Kant, Immanuel. 2006. Toward Perpetual Peace and Other Writings on Politics, Peace, and History. New Haven: Yale UP.

Wollstonecraft, Mary. 2009. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. NY: W. W. Norton & Company.

Hegel, G.W.H. 1991. Elements of the Philosophy of Right. NY: Cambridge UP.

Marx, Karl. 1994. Selected Writings. Indianapolis: Hackett.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. 2005. The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols. NY: Cambridge UP.

ISBN: 0300110707

ISBN: 0393955729

ISBN: 0521348889

ISBN: 0872202186

ISBN: 0521016886

 

 

 

Course Schedule

 

Mon 1/13

Introductions and Syllabus

 

 

Wed 1/15

What is political philosophy?

 

What was Ancient and Pre-Modern (Medieval, Renaissance, Early-Modern, Enlightenment) political theory? . .

 

 

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What is modernity?

What is modern political theory?

Modern values and defining, operationalizing, and reconciling them

e.g. French Revolution ‘The Rap,’ Jeremy Hoop ‘Rise Up,’

 

Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936) .  .   .  and then .

 

Wittrock, Björn. 2000. ‘Modernity: One, None, or Many? European Origins and Modernity as a Global Condition.  Daedalus 129.1:31-60. . .

 

 

 

Recommended Reading

 

Smith, Graham M. 2009. ‘Through a Glass, Darkly: The Vision and Visions of Political Theory.British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 11.2:360-375.

 

 

 


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Immanuel Kant (1724—1804). .

Toward Perpetual Peace and Other Writings on Politics, Peace, and History (1795)

 

Mon 1/20

Kant and the History of Cosmopolitanism..

 

 

 

Dembour, Marie-Bénédicte. 2010.What Are Human Rights? Four Schools of Thought.’ Human Rights Quarterly, 32.1: 1-20. Table

 

 

 

Recommended Reading

 

‘Editor’s Introduction,’ ppxv-xxiv.

Waldron, Jeremy. ‘Kant’s Theory of the State,’ pp.179-200

 

Doyle, Michael W. ‘Kant and Liberal internationalism,’ pp.201-242

 

Wood, Allen W. ‘Kant’s Philosophy of History,’ pp.243-262.

 

Beck, Ulrich, 2004. Cosmopolitical Realism: On the Distinction between Cosmopolitanism in Philosophy and the Social Sciences.” Global Networks, 4.2: 131-156.

 

 

Wed 1/22

• Do as you presume not as you say  [Deadline to Add/Drop]

Audrey 1

Stephen 1

Adam 1

‘Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Perspective,’ pp.3-16.

‘An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?,’ pp.17-23.

‘On the Common Saying: This May Be True in Theory, but It Does Not Hold in Practice,’ Parts and 3, pp. 44-66.

Using David Hume and picking from Thomas Hobbes and John Locke

Fri 1/24

• Peace-making, or Can’t we all just get along

Nathan 1

John 1 or x

‘Toward Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch,’ pp.67-109.

v. Niccolo Machiavelli, , and consequentialists.

 

 

Mon 1/27

  Do the Right Thing

Mitch 1

Marcela 1

Elize 1

‘Metaphysics of Morals, Doctrine of Right,’ S.43-62, pp.110-149.

‘Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View,’ Pt 2, Sect E, pp.164-176.

Hope, Reason, but emotions, motivation. consistency, selectivity.

 

Wed 1/29

The Contemporary Debate

Harvey, David. 2000. ‘Cosmopolitanism and the Banality of Geographical Evils.’ Public Culture, 12.2: 529-564.

Godrej, Farah. 2009.Towards a Cosmopolitan Political Thought: The Hermeneutics of Interpreting the Other.Polity, 41.2: 135–165.

 

Homework (upload to WISE by 1/30 5pm): LEF Worksheet on Kant

Dembour (2010:11)

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Mary Wollstonecraft (1759—1797)

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)

 

Fri 1/31

Wollstonecraft and the History of Feminism  [Deadline to file CR/NC]

 

Carolyn W. Korsmeyer. 1988. ‘Reason and Morals in the early Feminist Movement: Mary Wollstonecraft,’ in Vindication, 285-97.

 

 

Recommended Reading

 

Elissa S. Guralnick. 1988. ‘Radical Politics in Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,’ in Vindication, 308-17.

 

Hoffman, John. 2001. “Defining Feminism.’ Politics, 21.3: 193-200.

 

Cooper, Christine M. 2007. ‘Worrying about Vaginas: Feminism and Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues".Signs, 32.3: 727-58.

 

Quinn, Julie E. A. and H. Lorraine Radtke. 2006. ‘Dilemmatic Negotiations: The (Un)Tenability of Feminist Identity.’ Psych of Women Quarterly, 30.2: 187-198.

 

 

Mon 2/3

• Diagnosing the inferiority complex.

Emily 1

Adam 2

Lizzie 1

‘Introduction,’ pp. 3-11.

‘The Rights and Involved Duties,’ pp. 11-19.

‘Observations,’ pp. 50-77.

Skim: ‘The Prevailing Opinion,’ pp. 19-49.

Skim: ‘Animadversions,’ pp. 77-115.



 

Wed 2/5

• Morality and Demoralization

Maria 1

Audrey 2

Lizzie 2

‘The Effect,’ pp. 115-120.

‘Modesty,’ pp. 121-30.

‘Morality undermined,’ pp. 131-139.

Of the Pernicious Effects,’ pp. 140-49.

Male gaze.  .  .  . NYT on LeanIn.org

Fri 2/7

• Talking about Revolution .  .   .  .  .  .

Marcela 2

Mitch 2

Maria 2

‘Parental Affection,’ pp. 150-2.

‘Duty to Parents,’ pp. 152-7.

‘On National Education,’ pp. 157-78.

‘Some Instances,’ pp. 178-194.

 

Homework (upload to WISE by 2/9 5pm): LEF Worksheet on Wollstonecraft

 

Mon 2/10

The Contemporary Debate

Gubar, Susan. 1994. ‘Feminist Misogyny: Mary Wollstonecraft and the Paradox of "It Takes One to Know One".Feminist Studies, 20.3: 452-473.

Holvino, Evangelina. 2010. ‘Intersections: The Simultaneity of Race, Gender and Class in Organization Studies,’ Gender, Work and Organiz, 17.3: 248-277.

 

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Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel (1770—1831).

Elements of the Philosophy of Right

(1820)

 

Wed 2/12

Hegel and the History of Communitarianism



 

 

 

Recommended Reading

 

‘Editor’s Introduction,’ pp. vii-xxx.

 

Redding, Paul, "Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)

 

Richard Mullender. 2003. ‘Hegel, Human Rights, and Particularism.Journal of Law and Society 30.4: 554–574.

 

 

Fri 2/14

• Individuality

John 2

Emily 2

Lexi 1

‘Introduction,’

‘Abstract Right,’ pp. 9-23, 67-80, 102-6, 135-42, 185-6.

 

Mon 2/17

• Civil Society

Elize 2

Stephen 2

‘Ethical Life,’ pp. 189-200, 206-7, 219-226, 250-73.


 

Wed 2/19

• The State

Nathan 2

Lucas 1

 

‘The State,’ pp. 275-313, 328-9, 355, 359-71.

 

Fri 2/21

The Contemporary Debate

 

Schmidt am Busch, Hans-Christoph. 2008. ‘Personal Respect, Private Property, And Market Economy: What Critical Theory Can Learn From Hegel.Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 11: 573-586.

 

Katz, Claire. 2008. ‘"The Eternal Irony of the Community": Prophecy, Patriotism, and the Dixie Chicks.’ Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, Vol. 26 Issue 4, p139-160 - yt and yt and yt

 

 

 

Complete and upload to WISE by 2/23 4pm the LEFWorksheet on Hegel

 

 

Mon 2/24

REVIEW

 

 

Wed 2/26

Mid-Term Exam

 

 

Fri 2/28

Term paper nuts and bolts

 

 

Mon 3/3

Paper Proposal Due & Discussion

 

                           

 

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Karl Heinrich Marx (1518—1883)

Selected Writings

 

Wed 3/5

Marx and the History of Socialism

 

 

 

Recommended Reading

 

‘Introduction,’ pp. ix-xxxv

 

Hayek, Friedrich, 1976. 'Socialism and Science.' IPA Review, 87-96. youtube.

 

Tsolakis, Andreas. 2010. ‘Opening Up Open Marxist Theories of the State: A Historical Materialist Critique.’ The British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 12.3: 387–407.

 

Fri 3/7

• Rebel Yell

Lizzie 3

Audrey 3

Mitch 3

Part I: Early Philosophical Writings

‘On the Jewish Question,’ pp.1-10, 16-21

‘Toward a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right: Introduction,’ pp.32-39

Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, pp54-78, skim 79-97

‘Theses on Feuerbach,’ pp.98-101

 

Mon 3/10

• Think historically, Act Immediately

Lucas 2

Marcela 3

Harrison 1

Part II: Writings on Historical Materialism

The German Ideology, Part I (selections), pp.102-156

The Communist Manifesto, pp.157-186

 

 

Wed 3/12

• Money makes the world go around

Stephen 3

Lexi 2

Harrison 2

Part III: Economic Writings,

Capital, Vol 1, pp.214-300

 

 

Fri 3/14

The Contemporary Debate . . .

 

Tralau, Johan. 2005. ‘The Effaced Self in the Utopia of the Young Karl Marx.’ European Journal of Political Theory, 4:393-412.

 

 

 

Harvey, David. 2010. ‘Capital Evolves,’ in The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism. And vid (11min)

 

 

Mon 3/17

Complete and upload to WISE by 3/16 4pm the LEFWorksheet on MARX

 

Peer Review of First Drafts (bring one hard copy to class)

 

 

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Wed 3/19

1st Draft of Paper Due (upload to WISE by 9am) & Brief Presentation

Fri 3/21

No Class; meet with me on your papers [Deadline to Withdraw]

3/24-28

Spring Break!

 

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Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844—1900).  .  .  .

Selected Writings

 

Mon 3/31

Nietzsche and the History of Postmodernism

 

Recommended Reading

 

‘Introduction,’ pp.vii-xxxiv.

 

 

 

Strong, T. B. (2013). In Defense of Rhetoric: Or How Hard It Is to Take a Writer Seriously The Case of Nietzsche. Political Theory, 41(4), 507-532.

 

 

Wed 4/2

• What would Jesus do? .  .

Elize 3

Lucas 3 Maria 3

The Anti-Christ: A Curse on Christianity, pp.1-67

 

Fri 4/4

• Be all that you can be .  .    

Emily 3

Nathan 3

Adam 3

Ecce Homo: How to Become What You Are, pp.69-151

 

Mon 4/7

• Home Improvement . .

John 3

Lexi 3

Harrison 3

Twilight of the Idols: or How to Philosophize with a Hammer, pp.153-229

 

Wed 4/9

The Contemporary Debate .  .  .

Hatab, Lawrence J., 2002. ‘Prospects for a Democratic Agon : Why We Can Still Be Nietzscheans.’The Journal of Nietzsche Studies, 24: 132-147.

 

 

 

Gemes, Ken. 2001. ‘Postmodernism’s Use and Abuse of Nietzsche,’ Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 62.2: 337-360.

 

 

 

Homework (upload to WISE by 4/9 8am): LEF Worksheet on Nietzsche

 

 

Fri 4/11

No Class – meet with Professor

 

 

Mon 4/14

2nd Draft of Paper Due & Discussion

 

Set Presentation schedule

 

 

Wed 4/16

No Classes: SSRD!

 

 

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Fri 4/18

NO CLASS – schedule individual meetings with Prof

 

 

Mon 4/21

Student presentations

1 Audrey M

A Truth Universally Acknowledged: Analyzing the Opening Line of Pride and Prejudice.

 

2 Adam L

The iPhone and the ‘I’

 

3 John S

Neoliberalism v Neorealism

 

 

 

Wed 4/23

Student presentations

1 Lucas I

Myth & Reality of the ‘American Dream’

 

2 Lexi H

The Light or Dark Continent? The Modernization of Africa according to China, Europe, the US, and Africa.

 

 

Fri 4/25

Student presentations

1 Mitch D

Revitalizing Rawls: Juxtaposing A Theory of Justice by John Rawls with Contemporary Isms

 

2 Emily D

Beating the ‘All Boys Club’: Is America ready for a female president?

 

3 Maria H

How should a woman look? A critique of the male gaze in contemporary film

 

 

Mon 4/28

Student presentations

1 Stephen W

When words collide

 

2 Lizzie K

Protesting Females: American values of freedom of speech and expression in light of the United States media responses to contemporary feminist groups

 

3 Harrison B

Hilarity or Clarity? The Rise of Satirical Newscasts and the implications for Democracy

 

4 Elize M

Rewriting Red Riding: Identity Politics disguised in creation & conservation

 

TBD

 

Marcela H

Food Politics and Obesity

 

 

Review

 

 

Final Draft of Paper Due in WISE by 10am 2 days after Presentation

 

 

 

Tue 5/6

Final Exam 8-11 am

 

 

 

 

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