Nita de Oliveira, Ph.D. - Office: Scott Hall 3012
Phone: 419-530-4517 - Office Hours: MF 8:30-11:00
Course Website: http://www.geocities.com/nythamar/politics.html
PHIL 3750 SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
[3 hours] A study of classic and contemporary treatments of justice, authority, the relations between individual and community, the meaning of freedom and equality, power and violence, and race and gender. In this course we will be exploring modern conceptions of the social contract, liberalism, libertarianism, republicanism, democracy, communitarianism, socialism, feminism, postmodernism, and pluralism in the writings of political thinkers such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, Georg Hegel, Karl Marx, Michel Foucault, Martin Luther King, John Rawls, Jürgen Habermas, and Martha Nussbaum.
Political Philosophy: The Essential
by Steven M. Cahn.
Grades are based on point accumulation throughout the semester. There are 2 Homeworks/Quizzes worth 15 points each and 1 Midterm worth 30 points. One of the Homeworks might be replaced by a Class Presentation. NO LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED, unless they are accompanied by evidence of a medical emergency (e.g., signed doctors note) or death in the family (e.g., funeral program). Make-up exams will be given only to those students who inform me of their emergency by email on the day of the exam. The cumulative final exam is worth 40 points, so as to make up 100 points:
30 points = Homeworks/Quizzes
30 points = Midterm
40 points = Final Exam
100 total points
Final grades for the course are based on the following scale:
93-100 pts. = A 77-79 pts. = C+
90-92 pts. = A- 73-76 pts. = C
87-89 pts. = B+ 70-72 pts. = C-
83-86 pts. = B 60-69 pts. = D
80-82 pts. = B- 59 and below = F
Neither plagiarism (i.e., presenting
the written work of another as one's own) nor cheating (i.e., providing answers
to exam questions or receiving exam answers from another) will be tolerated.
Any academic dishonesty will be disciplined according to the guidelines in the
If you need special accommodations to attend my class, please notify me immediately. Your need for special accommodations, including special testing requests, will need to be documented by the Office of Accessibility, located at 1400 Snyder Memorial.
Make sure to prepare all the readings
before the date given. The reading assignments are usually short and hopefully
pleasant. Homework is turned in at the beginning of class on the day it is due.
There will be audiovisual presentations (DVD, online videos) and oral
presentations. The idea is that we should read and discuss together all the selections by the authors indicated on the syllabus. So, for the Hobbes reading, you should read the excerpts from his major work "Leviathan." Of course, the introduction to each author is always very helpful. And so forth.
As for the Homeworks # 1 and # 2, you are asked to either write a 1-2 page essay trying to address one question, problem or topic from one of the reading assignments, or you may write an in-class essay on the day the homework is due. For the essay, you can use the texts you read and the material available on the internet, but make sure you cite your sources properly.
Class participation is essential. That includes class attendance (75%) as well as active involvement in all phases of the class.
You Tube: Ethics of Freedom - anarchocapitalist (libertarian)
Week 1: May 12 Introduction: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
Wikipedia entry on Political Philosophy
Stanford Encyclopedia entry on Libertarianism
You Tube: Hobbes / Rousseau
You Tube: Ethical Egoism
You Tube: Judith Butler on Feminism
You Tube: Sartre's Existentialist Ethics
You Tube: Just War (Howard Zinn 1/3)
You Tube: Just War (Ron Paul)
May 13 Social Contract; Liberalism, Modern Democracy
May 14 Thomas Hobbes /Leviathan
May 15 John Locke / Second Treatise
You Tube: The Obsolete Man (1/3)
Week 2: May 19 Republicanism, freedom and equality
You Tube: THX 1138
You Tube: Global Political Freedom
You Tube: Milton Friedman on Freedom
May 20 - Jean-Jacques Rousseau / Social Contract
You Tube: The French Revolution
May 21 Immanuel Kant
You Tube: Kant's Ethics
You Tube: Free Will (Waking Life)
May 22 Abraham Lincoln
You Tube: History Project on Lincoln
You Tube: The Greatness of Abraham Lincoln
You Tube: Lincoln Institute: The Pressure for Emancipation
You Tube: The Gettysburg Address
K. Marx's Letter to Pres. Lincoln
The New Yorker: The Fall of Conservatism
Week 3: May 26 No Class (Memorial Day)
May 27 - Homework # 1 (15 points) / Communitarianism, socialism, communism
You Tube: Peter Singer on Hegel and Marx
Hegel (in German)
Hegel in a nutshell
May 28 - Georg Hegel
Hegel's Hyper Text
Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit
May 29 - Karl Marx
Marx Internet Archives
You Tube: Communist Manifesto
You Tube: Marxism
You Tube: Marxism in 21st Cent.
Week 4: June 2 Power and violence
Wiki on Political Power
Wiki on Violence
On Walter Benjamin's Critique of Violence, Power, and Terrorism
You Tube: Power and Violence
"The Great Debaters"
June 3 Martin Luther King
Wiki entry on MLK
You Tube: Martin Luther King "From Birmingham to D.C." (1/2)
You Tube: 1963 BOMBINGS IN BIRMINGHAM, AL.
You Tube: Martin Luther King - Birmingham Jail
You Tube: Martin Luther King - Birmingham Speech
You Tube: Martin Luther King's "American Dream"
June 4 Michel Foucault
Foucault's Genealogy of Modernity
The James Randi Educational Foundation
YouTube: Justice vs. Power - Chomsky vs. Foucault
June 5 Class Presentations / Discussion: Power and Justice
Week 5: June 9 Justice, Deliberative Democracy, Pluralism
June 10 John Rawls
You Tube: Lecture on Rawls's Distributive Justice
You Tube: Habermas on The Kantian Project of Cosmopolitan Law
June 11 Jόrgen Habermas
You Tube: Habermas interview
Power Point: Rawls
June 12 Homework # 2 (15 points)
Week 6: June 16 - Midterm (30 points): Just War, Politics and Religion
Exhaustive Website on Just War Theories
Wikipedia on Just War Theories
Wiki on "Clash of Civilizations"
Wiki on Secularization
YouTube / Charlie Rose: Michael Walzer et al. on the Iraq War (2002)
YouTube: Chomsky on the Clash of Civilizations
YouTube: An Alternative Arabic view of the Clash of Civilizations
Islam and Secularization
Peace Now / Shalom Achshav
YouTube: Stop the Clash of Civilizations
June 17 Feminism & Postmodernism: Martha Nussbaum / Final Review
Wikipedia entry on Feminism
Wikipedia entry on Postmodernism
You Tube: Martha Nussbaum Interview
You Tube: Feminist Critique of Human Rights
YouTube on Po-Mo: David Lynch
June 18 Final Exam (40 points)
June 19 Make-ups
You Tube: Ethics of Freedom - anarchocapitalist (libertarian)
About the Textbook: Political Philosophy: The Essential Texts.
Ideal for survey courses in social and political philosophy, this volume is a substantially abridged and slightly altered version of Steven M. Cahn's Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2001). Offering coverage from antiquity to the present, Political Philosophy: The Essential Texts is a historically organized collection of the most significant works from nearly 2,500 years of political philosophy. It moves from classical thought (Plato, Aristotle) through the medieval period (Aquinas) to modern perspectives (Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hume, Adam Smith, Hamilton and Madison, Kant). The book includes work from major nineteenth-century thinkers (Hegel, Marx and Engels, Mill) and twentieth-century theorists (Rawls, Nozick, Foucault, Habermas, Nussbaum) and also presents a variety of notable documents and addresses, including the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and speeches by Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. The readings are substantial or complete texts, not fragments. An especially valuable feature of this volume is that the works of each author are introduced with an engaging essay by a leading contemporary authority. These introductions include Richard Kraut on Plato and Aristotle; Paul J. Weithman on Aquinas; Roger D. Masters on Machiavelli; Jean Hampton on Hobbes; A. John Simmons on Locke; Joshua Cohen on Rousseau and Rawls; Donald W. Livingston on Hume; Charles L. Griswold, Jr., on Adam Smith; Bernard E. Brown on Hamilton and Madison; Paul Guyer on Kant; Steven B. Smith on Hegel; Richard Miller on Marx and Engels; Jeremy Waldron on Mill; Thomas Christiano on Nozick; Thomas A. McCarthy on Foucault and Habermas; and Eva Feder Kittay on Nussbaum.
In-Class Discussion on Justice, Power, Social and Political Philosophy: