Mon, 21 Aug 2017

Introduction to Political Thinking

PS 115

From Plato to Nietzsche, great thinkers in the Western tradition have asked about the nature and practice of political action. Thinking about politics is, knowingly or not, conducted against the background of this shared tradition. This is no less true of political thought that aims to break away from "the classics" than of political thought that finds in them a constant resource for both critical and constructive thinking. This course explores fundamental questions of politics through a core body of writings. At its center (about 7 weeks of a 14 week semester) will be a sustained and close reading of Plato's Republic. Thinking with Plato and also with complementary texts, we reflect upon key political concepts such as justice, democracy, authority, and "the political." We also explore such enduring questions as the relationship between the state and the individual; the conditions for peaceful political order; and the connection between morality and politics. This course is required for all political studies majors.

View the syllabus here.