Political Science | History of Political Theory 2
Y382 | 9835 | Shaffer
This course is an ambitious effort to cover approximately four
centuries of political thought in one semester. Although we will
address many themes, the main concern will be the idea
of “modernity.” What does it mean to speak of “modern” political
theory? What distinguishes it from classical and “postmodern”
political thought? How have “modern” thinkers contributed to the
ways we think about politics today? A tentative list of authors to
be discussed in this course includes (but is not necessarily limited
to): Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Burke, Tocqueville, J.S.
Mill, Marx, Nietzsche, and Ortega y Gasset. There will be two in-
class examinations during the course of the semester. There will
also be a cumulative final exam.