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Political Science

1110. Introduction to Political Thought
This course examines major texts in the history of political thought and the questions they raise about the design of the political and social order. It considers the ways in which thinkers have responded to the particular political problems of their day, and the ways in which they contribute to a broader conversation about human goods and needs, justice, democracy, and the proper relationship of the individual to the state. One aim will be to understand the strengths and weaknesses of various regimes and philosophical approaches in order to gain a critical perspective on our own. Thinkers include Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, and Tocqueville. (Video/audio recordings of the lectures are currently not available)
(Prof. Sarah Song, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare)

1120. Introduction to Political Philosophy
This course is intended as an introduction to political philosophy as seen through an examination of some of the major texts and thinkers of the Western political tradition. Three broad themes that are central to understanding political life are focused upon: the polis experience (Plato, Aristotle), the sovereign state (Machiavelli, Hobbes), constitutional government (Locke), and democracy (Rousseau, Tocqueville). The way in which different political philosophies have given expression to various forms of political institutions and our ways of life are examined throughout the course.
(Prof. Steven B. Smith, Yale University: Open Yale)

1210. Justice
This course explores three fundamental questions about the ideal of a just society and the place of values of liberty and equality in such a society. Answers to the questions provided by three contemporary theories of justice: Utilitarianism, Libertarianism, and Egalitarian Liberalism will be examined. To assess the strengths and weaknesses of these theories, a discussion of their implications for some topics of ongoing moral-political controversy will also be covered. (Video/audio recordings of the lectures are currently not available)
(Prof. Joshua Cohen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare)

1310. Nonviolence Today
The development of nonviolence since the Civil Rights movement. Nonviolent theory and practice seen in recent insurrectionary movements (freedom struggles), social justice struggles, nonviolent intervention across borders and protection of the environment in the emerging world of global corporatism.
(Prof. Michael Nagler, University of California, Berkeley: Webcast.Berkeley)

 

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