PHIL 231 Fall 2012 Ancient Political Thought

Cross Listed as PSCI231
The core activity of this seminar is the careful reading and sustained discussion of selected works by Plato and Aristotle, but we will also engage such other thinkers as Epictetus and Augustine, and, from a political and theoretical point of view, selections from the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. Among the questions that we will address: What is justice? How can it be known and pursued? How is political power generated and exercised? What are the social and ethical prerequisites--and consequences--of democracy? Must the freedom or fulfillment of some people require the subordination of others? Does freedom require leading (or avoiding) a political life? What distinguishes that kind of life from others? What does it mean to be "philosophical" or to think "theoretically" about politics? Although we will attempt to engage the readings on their own terms, we will also ask how the vast differences between the ancient world and our own undercut or enhance the texts' ability to illuminate the dilemmas of political life for us.
Class Format: lecture/discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: three 6- to 8-page papers
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: Political Science majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: PSCI Political Theory Courses
Enrollment Limit: 35
Expected Enrollment: 18
Class Number: 1646
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER ENRL CONSENT
PHIL231-01(F) LEC Ancient Political Thought Division 2: Social Studies Nimu Njoya
TF 2:35 PM-3:50 PM Pareksy 220 1646
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