Freedom is one of our fundamental values as Americans. It is emphasized in our founding documents, and it occupies a central place in our contemporary political discourse. But do we ask: What is freedom? and Why do we value it? In the first unit of this course, we will consider the relationship between freedom and social order. Do society’s laws limit our freedom in order to make us safe? Or do laws somehow enhance or enable our freedom? We will read Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau in seeking answers to these questions. We will then turn to some specific social forms in the second unit. We will ask whether they promote or preclude our freedom. We will read Adam Smith and Karl Marx on capitalism, and Simone de Beauvoir on gender.
The Class: Type: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly reading response papers; take-home midterm and final exams
Enrollment Preference: first-years and sophomores
Department Notes: meets 100-level PHIL major requirement
Distributions: Division II; Writing-Intensive;
Attributes: JLST Interdepartmental Electives;