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BHUM 17A07 - Private Vices, Public Virtues

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Pre-requisite

aucun

Course Description

This course will offer a close reading of major texts in western political thought within their political and intellectual contexts, starting from Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince (1532) and ending with J.S. Mill's On Liberty (1859). The course will touch upon a range of topics, events and modes of thought but will give particular attention to the concepts of evil, freedom and human nature and their relation to social and political order in modern thought. These concepts, it will be suggested, are all related and can serve as useful tools for understanding the ‘spirit' of modern thinking about politics. We will start by looking into the differences in the use and meaning of these concepts in modern political texts in comparison to ancient and scholastic traditions. We will then continue by analysing the variances among modern thinkers regarding the same ideas while taking into account the specific political debates and events they were responding to. The reading for the course will be challenging but rewarding. Students can expect to acquire substantial knowledge of major political ideas and debates in modern times which will allow them to continue into further learning of political ideas in more focused courses and seminars in later years. Each session in the course will address a different author/text which will be read in advance and discussed in class. Authors will include: Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Paine, Burke, De Maistre, Marx and more.

Teachers

ROUSSIN, Juliette (Maitre de conférence)

Required reading

Machiavel, The Prince

Additional required reading

  • Hobbes, Leviathan (Books 1 and 2)
  • Kant, Doctrine of Right
  • Kymlicka, Contemporary Political Philosophy : An Introduction