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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "PL 210-1"
COURSE NAME: "Introduction to Political Theory "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2019
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Seth Jaffe
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 1:30-2:45 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
An introduction to the history of political thought, from Ancient Greece to the 19th century. Through a close reading of selected canonical texts, students will examine the evolution of ideas about democracy, liberty, equality, justice, political authority, the social contract, different conceptions of human nature and the role of the individual in society. The theorists examined may include Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, de Tocqueville and John Stuart Mill.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

This course seeks to introduce students to some of the fundamental questions of political life: What is the relationship of the individual to the political community? What is the purpose of political life? Virtue? Freedom? Glory? What is virtue? How does the classical understanding of virtue differ from the modern view? What is the significance of human nature for politics? What is the relationship of property to justice and liberty?  Of religion and politics? How should we live and what may we hope for?

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

• Read ancient and modern political texts with care and insight
• Articulate the opposing theoretical positions and arguments contained in these texts
• Analyze issues in the light of these competing positions and arguments
• Develop your own reasoned views on the theoretical and political issues involved

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Plato, translator WestFour Texts on SocratesCornell University Press978-0801485749 Almost Corner
Aristotle’s PoliticsAristotle, translator Lord (second edition)University of Chicago Press978-0226921846 Almost Corner
Machiavelli’s The PrinceMachiavelli, translator Mansfield (second edition)University of Chicago Press978-0226500447 Almost Corner
Locke’s Second Treatise of GovernmentLockeWiley-Blackwell978-0882951256 Almost Corner
The Major Political Writings of Jean Jacques RousseauRousseau, translator ScottUniversity of Chicago Press978-0226151311 Almost Corner
On the Advantages and Disadvantages of History for LifeNietzsche, translator PreussHackett978-0915144945 Almost Corner
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
TBATBA 

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
TBA
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

NOTE: I reserve the right to modify these reading assignments, and on occasion, I will add a reading (and more rarely, subtract one).

1. Introductory remarks, syllabus review, course expectations

2. The Grandeur that was Greece! “Pericles’ Funeral Oration” and chap. 3 of D. Kagan’s Pericles of Athens (Prof. Jaffe will furnish both).

3. Aristophanes’ Clouds from Plato’s Four Text’s on Socrates, pp. 115 - 148.

4. Clouds from Plato’s Four Text’s on Socrates, pp. 148 -176.

5. Apology, from Plato’s Four Texts on Socrates, pp. 63-89.

6. Apology, pp. 89-97; Xenophon’s Apology of Socrates (Prof. Jaffe will furnish).

7. Crito, from Plato’s Four Texts on Socrates, pp. 99-114.

Socrates paper prompt one assigned.

8. Selections from Aristotle’s Ethics, Book II (Prof. Jaffe will furnish).

9. Aristotle, Politics, Book I, pp. 1-24.

10. Aristotle, Politics, Book III. pp. 62-96.

11. Aristotle, Politics, Book IV, chs.1-13, pp. 97-120.

Aristotle paper prompt two assigned

12. Machiavelli, The Prince, Dedicatory Letter + chs. 1-5, pp. 3-4; pp. 5-21.

13. Machiavelli, The Prince, chs. 6-9, pp. 21-42.

14. Machiavelli, The Prince, chs. 10-15, pp. 42-62.

15. Machiavelli, The Prince, chs. 16-21 AND chs. 25-26; pp. 62-91; 98-105.

Machiavelli paper prompt three assigned

16. Midterm (in class)

17. Locke, Second Treatise of Government, chs. 1-3, pp. 1-14.

18. Locke, Second Treatise, chs. 4-5, pp.  15-31.                

19. Locke, Second Treatise, chs. 7-9, pp. 47-78.  (Make up American T-Day.)

20. Locke, Second Treatise, chs. 10-12, 14, 19, pp. 79-91; 99-104; 130-148.

Locke paper prompt four assigned

21. Rousseau, First Discourse, pp. 1-37 plus notes.

22. Rousseau, Second Discourse, pp. 51-64 plus notes.

23. Rousseau, Second Discourse, pp. 65-90 plus notes.                  

24. Rousseau, Second Discourse, pp. 91-117 plus notes.

Rousseau paper prompt five assigned.

25. Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, pp. 7-32.

26. Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, pp. 32-64.

27. Marx, “The Communist Manifesto” (Prof. Jaffe will furnish)

28. Course review

Final exam