Instructor: Dr. Harbour
Office: East Ruffner 228
Office telephone: 395-2219
Before or after class or by appointment
Home phone: 315-0352
Niccolo Machiavelli, Selected Political Writings
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
John Locke, Treatise of Civil Government & A Letter Concerning Toleration
Jean Jacques Rousseau, The Essential Rousseau. (Collection of major works) –now out of print, so will use online readings
Isaac Kramnick. Editor. The Portable Enlightenment Reader
Leslie Thiele, Thinking Politics: Perspectives in Ancient, Modern, and Postmodern Political Theory
On Reserve in Dr. Harbour's Office: Dante Germino, Modern Western Political Thought: Machiavelli
James Wiser, Political Philosophy: A History of the Search for Order
(There will be a few assigned chapters from the above two volumes. Other selections will also be placed on reserve for either required reading or optional background material.)
Click HERE for the on-line Study Guide for this course. It includes questions to help reading and reflecting upon the weekly and daily assignment as well as useful links to various web sources on the thinkers and issues being addressed in those assignments.
1. Demonstrate a capacity for critical and analytical thought about issues central to political philosophy.
2. Demonstrate an ability to communicate their knowledge and beliefs about the principal thinkers and central themes found in the Western tradition of political philosophy both orally and in writing.
3. Discuss the ideas which constitute essential features of the Western political tradition.
4. Identify those values found in Western political thought which have helped to define the various notions of useful and responsible citizenship.
5. Discuss important philosophical and ethical issues associated with the political dimension of the human experience.
6. Interpret the meaning and significance of the symbols which influence political thought and action today.
7. Discuss the major ways in which political philosophy has influenced how political scientists try to understand politics.
8. Discuss how the theories and ideas articulated in Western political thought have shaped and been shaped by the dynamic social forces found in Western societies.
9. Identify the main themes and issues addressed by postmodern political theory.
This course satisfies Goal 13 (The Ethics Goal) of the new General Education requirements adopted by the University for students entering Longwood beginning in 2002-2003 as well as Goal 10 (The Ethics Goal) of the general education system existing for current students already in attendance prior to that time.
Goal 13: The ability to make informed, ethical choices and decisions and to
weigh the consequences of those
choices (junior or senior course, may be departmentally designated or developed; three credits).
Outcomes: Students will
Identify the ethical issues implicit in personal behavior and in the operation of political, social, and economic institutions.
Understand various approaches to making informed and principled choices
Consider how these approaches might be applied to conflicts in their personal and public lives
Understand the impact of individual and collective choices in society
General Education courses will have at least nine characteristics in common,
reflected in the nine General Education course criteria. Together, they define
what a General Education course is at Longwood. Courses satisfying all
goals except Goals 12
and 15 will:
1. teach a disciplinary mode of inquiry (e.g., literary analysis, statistical analysis, historical interpretation, philosophical reasoning, aesthetic judgment, the scientific method) and provide students with practice in applying their disciplinary mode of inquiry, critical thinking, or problem solving strategies.
2. provide examples of how disciplinary knowledge changes through creative applications of the chosen mode of inquiry.
3. consider questions of ethical values.
4. explore past, current, and future implications
(e.g., social, political, economic, psychological or philosophical) of
5. encourage consideration of course content from diverse perspectives.
6. provide opportunities for students to increase information literacy through contemporary techniques of gathering, manipulating, and analyzing information and data.
7. require at least one substantive written paper, oral report, or course journal and also require students to articulate information or ideas in their own words on tests and exams.
8. foster awareness of the common elements among disciplines and the interconnectedness of disciplines.
9. provide a rationale as to why knowledge of this
discipline is important to the development of an educated citizen.
Click HERE for the on-line Study Guide for this course. It includes questions to help reading and reflecting upon the weekly and daily assignment as well as useful links to various web sources on the thinkers and issues being addressed in those assignments. The study guide is based on the regular semester version of this course, so you will have to make adjustments how you locate the material.
Monday Introduction to modern political thought; Machiavelli
Read: Machiavelli, The Prince; Thiele, Thinking Politics, Introduction and Chpt. 1
Britannica article on Ideology: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9106294/ideology#230829.hook
Optional Background Material: Germino, Chpts. 1 and 2; Wiser, Chpt. 6
Norton Critical Edition on Machiavelli (especially articles by Strauss and Wolin)
What is political philosophy? What sets modern political thought apart from the earlier Western tradition?
What does Leslie Thiele say about the nature of political theory and the various ways of theorizing? How does Judith Shklar explain the central characteristics of political theories and political ideologies?
What “lessons” did Machiavelli advance about how a prince is to achieve and maintain power?
Read: Machiavelli, The Prince and The Discourses
Read about the Principles of Political Realism at: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/morg6.htm
What are the ethical and political implications of Machiavelli’s advice that the prince should “learn how not to be good?”
What does Machiavelli admire about the ancient Roman republic?
How do the ideas advanced in The Prince relate to the ideas advanced in The Discourse? What are his contributions to modern political thought?
Wednesday Wellsprings of modern political thought; Hobbes
Read: Hobbes, Leviathan; Thiele, Chpt. 2
Optional Background Material:
Germino, Chpts. 1, 2, 3, 4; Wiser, Chpt. 6, 7, 8, 9
What were some of the basic elements of Reformation political thought?
From the standpoint of political theory, what were the implications of what Wiser calls the intellectual revolution of the Seventeenth century?
How does Hobbes view human nature? What does Hobbes believe to be the most important laws of nature?
Read: Hobbes, Leviathan
Optional Background Material: Germino, Chpt. 4; Wiser, chpt. 9
How does Hobbes explain the origin and justification for the existence and legitimate authority of the state?
What powers does Hobbes believe should belong to any legitimate government? How does Hobbes try to explain what causes the dissolution of governments?
NOTE: Your first test will be given on Thursday, May 20. It will count for 1/4 of your semester grade.
Monday John Locke
Read: Locke, The Second Treatise and A Letter Concerning Toleration
Optional Background Material: Germino Chpt. 5 and Wiser, Chpt. 10
What does Locke say about toleration?
What does Locke say about human nature and the origins of government?
What does Locke say about freedom, property, and the basis of legitimate authority in society?
Are there natural rights?
Tuesday Locke and the Enlightenment
Read: Locke, The Second Treatise; Kramnick, The Portable Enlightenment Reader
1776 The Virginia Declaration of Rights: http://www.gunstonhall.org/documents/vdr.html
1776 Declaration of Independence: http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/index.htm
1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen: http://www.constitution.org/fr/fr_drm.htm
1789-1791 Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution: http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html
1791 Declaration of the Rights of Woman: http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/americanstudies/lavender/decwom2.html
1941 Four Freedoms: http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/ralph/workbook/ralprs36b.htm
1944 The Economic Bill of Rights: http://worldpolicy.org/projects/globalrights/econrights/fdr-econbill.html
1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights: http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html
Optional Background Material: Germino, Chpt. 6; Wiser, Chpt. 11
What is Locke’s vision of a good society? What are the purposes of government? What are the rightful
powers of government? What are the limits on the authority of government?
The Emergence of Feminist Thought During the Enlightenment
How did the Enlightenment challenge traditional patterns of thought?
Wednesday The Enlightenment and Modern Liberalism
Read: Kramnick, The Portable Enlightenment Reader
Also read: Dr. Peale’s Essay on Ethics On-line
Optional Background Material: Mill, Utilitarianism: http://www.utilitarianism.com/mill1.htm and On Liberty: http://www.bartleby.com/130/
Germino, Chpts. 6 and 9; Wiser, Chpts. 11 and 14
What are some of the most important political implications of Enlightenment thinking?
What claims were advanced by 18th century materialism and sensationalism?
What ideas about justice and the nature of the good society were advanced by utilitarian thinkers such as Bentham and Mill? What ideas about ethics were advanced by these thinkers?
What were the most important economic ideas advanced during the Enlightenment?
What contributions did Kant make to the discussion of ethics? What were his contributions to modern liberalism?
How does the Kantian approach to ethical and political issues differ from the utilitarian approach to those issues?
Thursday Modern Liberalism and Contemporary Liberalism
Read: Kramnick, The Portable Enlightenment Reader
Article on John Dewey: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dewey-political/
Martin Luther King, Jr. "Letter from Birmingham Jail" http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/frequentdocs/birmingham.pdf
John Rawls, "A Kantian Conception of Equality" http://princetonindependent.com/issue01.03/item10c.html
Also read: Dr. Peale’s Essay on Ethics On-line
Optional Background Material: Germino, Chpt. 10
What contributions did John Dewey, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John Rawls make to contemporary
Your second test will be given on Thursday, May 27. It will count for 1/4 of your semester grade.
Monday University Closed for Memorial Day Weekend
Read: Read the following online versions of these works by Rousseau:
For combined versions of The Social Contract, Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, and Discourse on the Origin of Inequality:
Or for the individual works:
The Discourse on the Origins of Inequality: http://www.constitution.org/jjr/ineq.htm
The Social Contact: http://www.constitution.org/jjr/socon.htm
The Creed of a Savoyard Priest: http://www.e-text.org/text/Rousseau%20-%20THE%20CREED%20OF%20A%20SAVOYARD%20PRIEST.txt
Optional Background Material: Germino, Chpt. 7 and Wiser, Chpt. 12
What does Rousseau have to say about human nature? How does he explain the origin of inequality? Are some inequalities justifiable?
What is he trying to prove in his use of the social contract theory? What is his picture of the good society and the best form of government?
What kind of critique does Rousseau offer of existing societies and forms of government?
Wednesday Utopian Socialism, Marx,
Marxism, Nineteen Century Radicalism, Communism, and Social Democracy
Read: Marx & Engels, The Communist Manifesto: http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html
Thiele, Chpt. 5 pp. 139-154
Britannica Article on Saint-Simon: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9064947/Henri-de-Saint-Simon
Britannica Article on Auguste Comte: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9025064/Auguste-Comte
Britannica Article on Robert Owen: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9057793/Robert-Owen
Britannica Article on Charles Fourier: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9035043/Charles-Fourier
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Article on Hegel: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hegel/
Eduard Berstein: Evolutionary Socialism: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/bernstein-revsoc.html
Britannica Article on Eduard Bernstein: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9078867/Eduard-Bernstein
Britannica Article on Lenin: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9108666/Vladimir-Ilich-Lenin
Optional Background Material: Germino, Chpt. 14; Wiser, Chpt. 16, Wiser, Chpt. 17, pp. 400-406
What were the main claims of utopian socialism and nineteenth century radicalism?
How does Marx understand society? What is his method of analysis? What are the central elements of historical materialism? How does Marx go about developing his critique of capitalism? What is the vision of the good society put forth by Marx?
How have some later thinkers modified the theory advanced by Marx? What did Lenin contribute to the Marxist tradition? What are the main claims of Communism?
What are the principal ideas advanced by social democratic theorists? How does the social democratic tradition differ from revolutionary socialism?
Extra topic for the entire week: What did various nineteenth and twentieth century radicals say about social and economic inequalities, the nature of justice, and the best form of government? How do these political theorists link together fundamental concerns of many different social sciences and provide insights that reveal the connections between thinkers in all the social sciences and humanities?
Thursday Burkean Conservatism,
Contemporary Conservatism, and Fundamentalism
Read: Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France: http://www.constitution.org/eb/rev_fran.htm
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Article on Edmund Burke: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/burke/
Michael Oakeshott: "Rationalism in Politics" http://www.conservativeforum.org/EssaysForm.asp?ID=6102
Essay on Communitarian Theory by Amitai Etzioni: http://www.conservativeforum.org/EssaysForm.asp?ID=12542
George Will, "The Case for Conservatism" http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/30/AR2007053002026.html
Do additional web-based research on contemporary conservative ideologies
Optional Background Material: Germino, Chpt. 8; Wiser, Chpt. 13; Harbour volume
How did Burke critique the Enlightenment and the French Revolution? What was Burke’s vision of the good society?
How has conservative thought evolved? What are the principal ideas advanced by contemporary schools of conservative thought?
What are the main criticisms of existing societies advanced by rival versions of religious fundamentalism?
NOTE: You will have your third test on Thursday, June 3. It will count for 1/4 of your semester grade.
Monday Fascism and Anarchism
Read: Mussolini, "The Doctrine of Fascism" http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaster/Reading/Germany/mussolini.htm
On-line statement by Aryan Nations: http://www.aryan-nations.org/about.htm
Emma Goldman, "Anarchism: What It Really Stands For" http://sunsite3.berkeley.edu/Goldman/Writings/Anarchism/anarchism.html
Peter Kropotkin, "Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Ideal" http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/kropotkin-peter/1890s/x01.htm
Mikhail Bakunin, "Marxism, Freedom, and the State" http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/anarchist_Archives/bakunin/marxnfree.html#chap3
What ideas about society were put forth by fascism and nazism?
How did anarchists critique existing societies?
Tuesday Feminism, Environmentalism, and Beyond Ideology
Read: Thiele, Chpt. 5 pp. 118-139
Also check out the material found at the following sites and its links:
Senaca Falls Declaration of Sentiments: http://www.closeup.org/sentimnt.htm
Petra Kelly: http://peopleinaction.com/petrakelly/
Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic: http://home.btconnect.com/tipiglen/landethic.html
Green Party Platform: http://www.gp.org/platform/2004/intro.html#998204
Betty Friedan, excerpts: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/betty_friedan.htm
Kate Millett, Sexual Politics: http://www.marxists.org/subject/women/authors/millett-kate/sexual-politics.htm
Betty Friedan, Interview: http://www.pbs.org/fmc/interviews/friedan.htm
Betty Friedan, The Problem That Has No Name: http://www.h-net.org/~hst203/documents/friedan1.html
Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex: http://www.marxists.org/subject/women/authors/firestone-shulamith/dialectic-sex.htm
Friedrich Nietzsche: http://www.pitt.edu/~wbcurry/nietzsche.html
What are the most important ideas advanced by modern feminism?
How do environmentalist theories challenge modern society?
How do "beyond ideology" theorists challenge all modern ideologies?
Wednesday Postmodern Political Theory
Read: Thiele, Thinking Politics, Chpts. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
What does Thiele say about politics, power, and the public good? How does Thiele distinguish modern from postmodern political theory?
What does postmodern political theory say about identity and difference? What is the role of feminist theory in debates over identity and difference?
What does Thiele mean by terms like “statecraft” and “soulcraft?" What does postmodern theory say about irony and ideology?
Thursday June 10
- Review and Final Examination - Note your final examination will be worth 1/4 of your semester grade.
Your grade will be based upon three tests given during the course of the semester and a final exam. Each of these will count for 1/4 of your grade. Each of the exams will involve an essay format. The final examination will be comprehensive.
Exams must be taken on time. You are expected to provide proof for any legitimate reason (illness, participation in a University-sponsored activity, or recognizable emergency) you have for missing an exam. Having another test on the dame day or having problems with the person you are dating are not valid reasons for missing a test.
Machiavelli, Selected Political Writings
Locke, Treatise of Civil Government & A Letter Concerning Toleration
Rousseau, The Essential Rousseau
Kramnick, The Portable Enlightenment Reader
Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France
Marx, Selected Writings in Sociology & Social Philosophy
Thiele, Thinking Politics: Perspectives in Ancient, Modern, and Postmodern Political Theory
Dante Germino, Modern Western Political Thought: Machiavelli to Marx
James Wiser, Political Philosophy: A History of the Search for Order
(There will be a few assigned chapters from the above two volumes. Other selections will also be placed on
reserve for either required reading or optional background material.)
Suggested Reading or Reference:
Hannah Arendt. The Human Condition
Cesare Beccaria. On Crimes and Punishments
Eduard Bernstein. Evolutionary Socialism
Edmund Burke. Reflections on the Revolution in France
Jeremy Bentham. Fragment on Government; An Introduction to the Principles of Morals And Legislation
William E. Connolly. Identity and Difference
Marquis de Condorcet. Sketch of a Historical Portrait of the Human Mind
Simone de Beauvoir. The Second Sex
Betty Friedan. The Feminine Mystique
Georg Hegel. Philosophy of Right
Thomas Hobbes. Leviathan
Immanuel Kant. Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals; The Metaphysical Elements of Justice
John Locke. Essay Concerning Human Understanding; Letter Concerning Toleration; Second Treatise of Government
James Lovelock. Gaia: A New Look At Life On Earth
Jean-Francois Lyotard. The Postmodern Condition
Niccolo Machiavelli. The Discourse; The Prince
Herbert Marcuse. One-Dimentional Man
Karl Marx. The Communist Manifesto
John Stuart Mill. On Liberty; Utilitarianism
Baron De Montesquieu. The Spirit of the Laws
Thomas More. Utopia
Friedrich Nietzsche. On the Genealogy of Morals
Lenin. What Is To Be Done?
John Rawls. A Theory of Justice
Jean Jacques Rousseau. A Discourse on the Origin of InequalityAmong Men; The Social Contract
Adam Smith. The Wealth of Nations
Herbert Spencer. Man Versus The State
Eric Voegelin. The New Science of Politics
Mary Wollstonecraft. A Vindication of the Rights of Women
Some Secondary Sources and Collections of Readings of Primary Sources:
Robert Audi. General Editor. The Cambridge
Dictionary of Philosophy. Second Edition.
New York: Cambridge U
University Press, 1999.
Lawrence Cahaoone. Editor. From Modernism to Postmodernism An Anthology. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell
Publishers, Ltd., 1996.
Steven M. Cahn. Editor. Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Robert C. Cummins, Thomas D. Christiano. Editors. Modern Moral and Political Philosophy. Mountain View,
California: Mayfield Publishing Company, 1999.
Dante Germino. Modern Western Political Thought: Machiavelli to Marx
Steven Luper. Editor. Social Ideals and Policies: Readings in Social and Political Philosophy. London: Mayfield
Publishing Company, 1999.
Louis P. Pojman, Robert T. Westmorland. Editors. Equality: Selected Readings. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
George H. Sabine. A History of Political Theory. Revised Edition. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1958.
James Wiser. Political Philosophy: A History of the Search for Order
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