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

Jeffrey Abramson

Professor Ph.D., Harvard University

Professor of Government
Jeffrey Abramson

Contact

Biography

Courses taught: Jeffrey Abramson teaches in the areas of constitutional law, civil liberties, the jury, and political theory. He is the author of We, the Jury: the Jury System and the Ideal of Democracy (Harvard 2000) as well as numerous law review articles. Professor Abramson teaches courses in the Department of Government in political theory.

Awards/Honors:
Professor Abramson clerked for Rose Bird, the late Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, and served as an assistant district attorney in Massachusetts. He has recently completed an assignment as a court-appointed jury expert for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Massachusetts.

Recent Publications:
2009. Minerva's Owl: The Tradition of Western Political Thought. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Interests

constitutional law, civil liberties, the jury, and political theory

CTI 303 • Competing Visions Good Life

34505 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as GOV 314 )
show description

Course Description:

This is a basic introductory course to political philosophy. Through a reading of works of political thought from Plato to the present, we confront enduring debates about the meaning of liberty, tolerance, equality, justice and the good life.

 

Preequesities: none

Grading Policy:  plus or minus grades.   Midterm Exam counts 25%; Final exam counts 60%; attendance and participation counts 15%

Texts: see accompanying syllabus

Flag: Ethics and leadership.

CTI 303 • Competing Visions Good Life

34055 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm UTC 3.112
(also listed as GOV 314 )
show description

This is a basic introductory course to political philosophy. Through a reading of works of political thought from Plato to the present, we confront enduring debates about the meaning of liberty, tolerance, equality, justice and the good life.

                         

Books for Purchase:

Plato:        Euthyphro, Apology, Crito (Library of Liberal Arts)

Plato:       Republic (Basic Books)

Sophocles:   Three Theban Plays (Penguin)

Aristotle:   Nichomachean Ethics (Hackett)

Aristotle:   Politics (Oxford)

Augustine:   Confessions (Penguin)

Machiavelli: The Prince and the Discourses (Modern Library)

Hobbes:      Leviathan (Penguin)

Locke:       Letter Concerning Toleration (Hackett)

Locke:       Second Treatise on Government (Hackett)

Rousseau:    Basic Political Writings (Hackett)

Mill:        On Liberty (Hackett)

Abramson:    Minerva’s Owl (Harvard)    

                                

Topics and Readings:

 

1.  Introduction:  Human Nature and Politics.

 

2.  The Greek Polis:  Citizenship and the Good Life:

 PLATO          Apology  (entire).

                     Crito    (entire).

                     Republic (entire).

 SOPHOCLES Antigone (entire).

 ARISTOTLE Politics (Oxford, pb) Bk. I, Chs. 1-6;                            

Bk II, Chs. 1-5; Bk. III, Chs. 6-13; Bk. IV,

                     Chs. 1,2, 6-9, ll; Bk. V, Chs. 1,2; Bk. VI,

                     Chs. 2,3; Bk. VII, Chs. 1-3, 9.

 

                     Ethics, Bks. III (secs. 6-12; IV-V; VIII-IX.

                  

3.  The Fall of the Greek Polis and the Rise of the City of God:

 

      AUGUSTINE Confessions, Bks I-V, VII, VIII.

 

4.  The Origins of a New Secular State:  The Power Vocabulary of the Political Professional:

 

      MACHIAVELLI   Prince (entire).

 Discourses,  Bk. I, introduction, Chs. 1-21, 24-27, 37, 40, 47, 49, 55, 58; Bk. II,                          Introduction, Chs. 1, 2, 6, 13, 19, 20, 23;Bk. III, Chs. 1, 3, 6, 19-22, 25, 30, 41.

 

5. Liberalism:  Rights, Privacy, Individualism, and Tolerance:

 

      HOBBES        Leviathan, Introduction, Part One (entire);                     Part Two, Chs. 17-21,24, 26, 28, 30.

              

      LOCKE         Letter Concerning Toleration (entire).

 

                     Second Treatise of Govt., chs.1-14, 18-19.

 

6.  Combining Democracy with Liberalism:  Emerging Tensions

    between the Values of Equality and Freedom:

 

      ROUSSEAU      Discourse on the Origins of Inequality (all)

                    

                     The Social Contract (all)               

 

      MILL          On Liberty (all)

 

Course Requirements

Attendance and Participation: 10% of grade

 

Mid-term Examination (Feb. 23): 25% of grade

 

Paper (7-8 pages)(April 5):  25% of grade

 

Final Examination (Wed., May 9, 9:00-12:00 noon): 40% of grade

 

(Course grading policy is plus or minus grades)

 

CTI 303 • Competing Visions Good Life

33920 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm UTC 3.110
(also listed as GOV 314 )
show description

 

This is a basic introductory course to political philosophy. Through a reading of works of political thought from Plato to the present, we confront enduring debates about the meaning of liberty, tolerance, equality, justice and the good life.

Books for Purchase:

Plato:     Euthyphro, Apology, Crito (Library of Liberal Arts)

Plato:     Republic (Basic Books)

Sophocles:   Three Theban Plays (Penguin)

Aristotle:   Nichomachean Ethics (Hackett)

Aristotle:   Politics (Oxford)

Augustine:   Confessions (Penguin)

Machiavelli: The Prince and the Discourses (Modern Library)

Hobbes:      Leviathan (Penguin)

Locke:       Letter Concerning Toleration (Hackett)

Locke:       Second Treatise on Government (Hackett)

Rousseau:    Basic Political Writings (Hackett)

Mill:        On Liberty (Hackett)

Abramson:    Minerva’s Owl (Harvard)    

 

Course Requirements

Attendance and Participation: 10% of grade

Mid-term Examination (Feb. 24) (25% of grade)

Paper (7-8 pages)(April 5) (25% of grade)

Final Examination (May 17) (40% of grade)

Course grading policy is plus or minus grades

CTI 303 • Competing Visions Good Life

34158 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm UTC 3.110
(also listed as GOV 314 )
show description

This is a basic introductory course to political philosophy. Through a reading of works of political thought from Plato to         the present, we confront enduring debates about the meaning of liberty, tolerance, equality, justice and the good life.

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