Political Science | Classical Political Thought
Y381 | 20070 | Craiutu


Meets w/ W406

The course offers a close examination of some of the most important
works and themes in classical political thought, both Western and
non-Western. It includes representative selections from Thucydides’
History of the Peloponesian War, Plato’s Republic and Seventh
Letter, Aristotle’s Politics, Cicero’s On Duties, Plutarch’s Lives,
and St. Augustine’s Ci! ty of God. The course will also examine two
key political texts that loom large in non-Western (Chinese and
Indian) political thought: Sun-Tzu's The Art of War, and Kautilya's
Arthasastra. We shall end with the book that marked a radical
departure from the politics of the ancients: Machiavelli’s The
Prince.

The course will focus on key topics such as morality and political
power, the role of laws and constitutions, civic virtue,
statesmanship, democracy, justice, and freedom. Special attention
will be paid to examining the context in which these authors wrote
their works, the main concepts they used, and the implications of
their ideas for our contemporary debates. The class will use a
combination of lecture and discussions. The requirements include two
in-class exams (a mid-term and a final), two discussion papers
(essays), and short quizzes on specific themes announced in the
syllabus.