Political Science | History of Political Theory I
Y381 | 3699 | Dalecki
Throughout this course we will survey the foundations of Western
political thought from the times of Plato (4th century BC) to the decline of
the Middle Ages. Two broad issues -- the vision of a perfect society and
the rules of human order -- will be the themes of our analysis.
We will look at the major texts in ancient and medieval political
thought (journeying a bit into Renaissance) with an eye on two recurrent
motifs: (1) how the writers of the past responded to the challenges of
their times and how the events they studied and/or witnessed influenced
their ideas and philosophies; and (2) how relevant their beliefs are to our
about politics and political life in general. The course is, therefore,
designed to touch upon notions that are both historical and contemporary in
nature: to comprehend the key theoretical concepts that, while originated in
the oft-forgotten past, have shaped the climate of political discussions in
the subsequent eras, and to engage in a critical and civilized dialog about
politics and a general condition of homo sapiens.
Students will be evaluated on the basis of two essay-type exams
(midterm and final) and two papers, each worth 25% of the final grade.
Credits will be given for marked improvement in written work.
There are no prerequisites for this course except for the following:
I expect you to exercise your powers of judgment, reflection and inference.
In a nutshell: I expect you to THINK.