Deborah Baumgold GTFs: Dan Andersen (email@example.com)
305 MCK Office hr: M, 12-1, 261 PLC
firstname.lastname@example.org Jessica Hejny (email@example.com)
Office hrs: TR 4-5:30 Office hr: W, 2-3; 307 MCK
CRNs: 25160; 25170
POLITICAL THEORY: RENAISSANCE, REFORMATION, AND EARLY MODERN
The course covers sixteenth- through eighteenth-century political thought, with special emphasis on major works by Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. Topics include the secularization of political thought in the period, republicanism, the social contract, natural rights, and popular sovereignty. Attention will be given to the historical contexts within which these ideas emerged.
Machiavelli, Prince (Penguin)
Machiavelli, Discourses (Penguin)
Hobbes, Leviathan (Penguin)
Locke, Second Treatise of Government (Hackett)
Rousseau, Social Contract (Penguin)
Course Requirements & Grading
Mid-term examination: Wednesday, 2/15
Final examination: Thursday, 3/22, @ 3:15
Optional papers (assigned topics follow the Course Outline below)
#1 due 2/22
#2 due 3/5
#3 due 3/14
The midterm and final examinations are required of all students. In addition, you may choose to write one, two, or three optional short papers. Each short paper is worth 13% of the grade (so that if you write all three, they will count for 39% of your final grade). The two examinations will each be worth half the remainder. Thus the possibilities are as follows.
3 papers @ 13% each + midterm and final @ 30.5% each
2 papers @ 13% each + midterm and final @ 37% each
1 paper @ 13% + midterm and final @ 43.5% each
Midterm and final @ 50% each
Course Outline and Reading Assignments
(with approximate dates)
1/11 1. Introduction
1/18- 2. Niccolo Machiavelli
1/25 a. Prince (entire).
b. Discourses: Book I, preface, chaps. 1-6, 9-11, 16-18, 26, 34, 37, 47, 49, 55, 58;
Book II, chaps. 2, 29; Book III, chaps. 3, 9, 41-42.
1/30- 3. Hugo Grotius, The Rights of War and Peace (Blackboard): Prolegomena; Book I, chap. 2/1 secs. 1-14; chap. 2, sec. 1; chap. 3, secs. 1-2, 7-8, 17; chap. 4, secs. 1-2, 7,11, 13-14.
2/6- 4. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Introduction, chaps. 13-19, 21, 26, 29-30.
Midterm Examination: Wednesday, 2/15
2/20- 5. John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, chaps. 1-5, 6 (sec. 57), 7-14, 18-19.
Thursday, 2/22: optional paper (#1) on Hobbes due
2/29- 6. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract, entire.
Monday, 3/5 : optional paper (#2) on Locke due
3/12- 7. David Hume, "Of the Original Contract" (Blackboard)
Wednesday, 3/14: optional paper (#3) on Rousseau due
Final examination: Thursday, 3/22 @ 3:15
For each paper, in addition to the regular reading assignment, pay specific attention to the material listed below. From all the readings (assigned + additional) for the thinker, select two or three passages that telegraph the thinker’s major arguments on the topic assigned below. In a short paper (5 pp.), critically address the assigned question and explain the passages and the arguments. Textual material must be adequately and correctly footnoted (citation guide below). Papers are to be submitted electronically to the instructor (firstname.lastname@example.org).
1. Thomas Hobbes (due 2/22)
Question: Would a Hobbesian ruler be a tyrant?
Review: Leviathan, chs. 18 and 30
2. John Locke (due 3/5)
Questions: Should governments tolerate different religions, and to what extent? Is Locke’s view one that modern secular thinkers would find familiar?
Additional reading assignment: Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration (Blackboard), esp. pp. 213-20, 228-51
3. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (due 3/14)
Question: Is it correct to call Rousseau a “democratic” thinker?
Review: Social Contract, Bk II. chs. 1-7, 11-12; Bk III, chs. 1-10, 12-18
Citations must be used whenever you use another’s ideas - by quotation, paraphrasing, or general discussion. You may choose to use either of the following citation forms
A. Citation in the text: “…” (Locke, x).
Locke, John. 1980. Second Treatise of Government. Indianapolis: Hackett.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1968. The Social Contract, trans. Maurice Cranston. Harmondsworth:
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract, trans. Maurice Cranston (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1968), pp. x-y.
Rousseau, p. z.