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Lorraine and Tom Pangle, Co-Directors BAT 2.116, C4100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-6648

Devin Stauffer

Associate Professor Ph.D., Boston College

Associate Professor of Government
Devin Stauffer

Contact

Biography

Professor Stauffer specializes in classical and early modern political philosophy. Most of his research has focused on classical thought, but his current work also examines the origins of liberalism, the theoretical foundations of modernity, and the divide between ancient and modern political thought. Prior to coming to The University of Texas at Austin in 2004, Professor Stauffer taught at Kenyon College and St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. During his time at Kenyon College, he received two awards for teaching excellence. In 2009, he received the President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award from The University of Texas at Austin.

He is the author of Plato's Introduction to the Question of Justice (SUNY, 2001), coauthor and cotranslator of Empire and the Ends of Politics: Plato's Menexenus and Pericles' Funeral Oration (Focus Philosophical Library, 1999), and author of The Unity of Plato's Gorgias: Rhetoric, Justice, and the Philosophic Life (Cambridge, 2006). Professor Stauffer has also published articles on classical and modern topics in journals such as the Review of Politics and the American Political Science Review. He has an article on Hobbes's analysis of religion forthcoming in the Journal of Politics.   

Interests

classical and early modern political thought; the origins of liberalism; the theoretical foundations of modernity; the divide between ancient and modern political thought

CTI 321 • Theor Foundtns Modern Politics

34175 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.134
(also listed as GOV 351D )
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Course Description

 

This course examines the philosophic origins of modern politics and culture by looking at the works of several authors whose writings played decisive roles in the rise and development of modernity.  In our study of Machiavelli’s Prince, Hobbes’ Leviathan, Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, and selected political writings of Rousseau and Nietzsche, we will consider how modern political thought broke with the past and offered a new set of political visions.  We will consider the differing views of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Nietzsche on issues such as the aims and limits of politics, the role of morality in the harsh world of political necessity, the proper place of religion and reason in political life, and the nature and basis of justice, freedom, and equality.  Throughout the course, we will reflect of the impact that the revolutionary doctrines of modern political philosophy have had on the political world in which we live.

 

Texts

 

Machiavelli, The Prince (University of Chicago)

Hobbes, Leviathan (Hackett)

Locke, Two Treatises of Government (Yale)

Rousseau, The First and Second Discourses (St. Martin’s Press)

Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Penguin)

 

Requirements and Grading

 

Paper: 20%

First exam: 25%

Second exam: 25%

Attendance: 10%

Participation: 10%

Quizzes: 10%

 

(Note:  These percentages are approximate, and the paper may be made optional.)

 

Prerequisites

 

Sophomore standing

 

Flags:

Ethics and Leadership

Global Cultures

CTI 320 • Classical Quest For Justice

33923 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.102
(also listed as GOV 351C )
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Course Description

What is justice?  What are its demands as a virtue of individuals?  What is its status as a guiding principle of domestic politics and as a restraint or standard in times of war?  What are the strengths and weaknesses of different kinds of political orders in their quest for justice or in their pursuit of alternative ends?  What is the relationship between politics and philosophy?  In this course we will consider these fundamental and enduring questions of political philosophy primarily through a careful study of two of the masterpieces of classical antiquity:  Plato’s Republic and Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War.  Although we will supplement our study of these two great texts with a look at other works, such as Plato’s Apology of Socrates, our focus will be on reading and discussing the Republic and The Peloponnesian War.  These works will be approached, not just as crucial documents for our understanding of a distant age, but as works that still speak directly and profoundly to permanent questions of moral and political life.  

 

 

Grading Policy

Paper: 20%

First exam: 25%

Second exam: 25%

Attendance: 10%

Participation: 10%

Quizzes: 10%

(Note:  These percentages are approximate, and the paper may be made optional.)

 

 

Texts

Plato and Aristophanes, Four Texts on Socrates, trans. by T. West and G. West (Cornell)

Plato, The Republic of Plato, trans. by Allan Bloom (Basic Books)

Thucydides, The Landmark Thucydides, ed. By Robert Strassler (The Free Press) 

CTI 335 • Theoret Foundatns Of Mod Polit

33830 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.134
(also listed as GOV 351D )
show description

Course Description This course examines the philosophic origins of modern politics and culture by looking at the works of several authors whose writings played decisive roles in the rise and development of modernity.  In our study of Machiavelli’s Prince, Hobbes’ Leviathan, Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, and selected political writings of Rousseau and Nietzsche, we will consider how modern political thought broke with the past and offered a new set of political visions.  We will consider the differing views of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Nietzsche on issues such as the aims and limits of politics, the role of morality in the harsh world of political necessity, the proper place of religion and reason in political life, and the nature and basis of justice, freedom, and equality.  Throughout the course, we will reflect on the impact that the revolutionary doctrines of modern political philosophy have had on the political world in which we live.Texts Machiavelli, The Prince (University of Chicago)Hobbes, Leviathan (Hackett)Locke, Two Treatises of Government (Yale)Rousseau, The First and Second Discourses (St. Martin’s Press)Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Penguin) Requirements and Grading Paper: 20%First exam: 25%Second exam: 25% Attendance: 10% Participation: 10%Quizzes: 10%(Note:  These percentages are approximate, and the paper may be made optional.)

CTI 335 • Classical Quest For Justice

34182 • Spring 2011
Meets MW 330pm-500pm UTC 3.134
(also listed as GOV 351C )
show description

Course Description What is justice?  What are its demands as a virtue of individuals?  What is its status as a guiding principle of domestic politics and as a restraint or standard in times of war?  What are the strengths and weaknesses of different kinds of political orders in their quest for justice or in their pursuit of alternative ends?  What is the relationship between politics and philosophy?  In this course we will consider these fundamental and enduring questions of political philosophy primarily through a careful study of two of the masterpieces of classical antiquity:  Plato’s Republic and Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War.  Although we will supplement our study of these two great texts with a look at other works, such as Plato’s Apology of Socrates, our focus will be on reading and discussing the Republic and The Peloponnesian War.  These works will be approached, not just as crucial documents for our understanding of a distant age, but as works that still speak directly and profoundly to permanent questions of moral and political life.   

 

Texts

Plato and Aristophanes, Four Texts on Socrates, trans. by T. West and G. West (Cornell) Plato, The Republic of Plato, trans. by Allan Bloom (Basic Books)Thucydides, The Landmark Thucydides, ed. By Robert Strassler (The Free Press)

 

Requirements and Grading Paper: 20%First exam: 25%Second exam: 25% Attendance: 10% Participation: 10%Quizzes: 10%(Note:  These percentages are approximate, and the paper may be made optional.)

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