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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Spring 2007

GOV 335M • Women in the History of Political Thought

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
38770 MWF
2:00 PM-3:00 PM
PAR 306

Course Description

What does justice demand in the context of the relations between men and women? What are the differences between men and women and to what extent are those differences politically relevant? Can we know the true sources of the differences between men and women; are masculinity and femininity rooted in nature, or are they the products of socialization? In this course we will take up these sorts of questions as we examine the themes of women, the family, and the private sphere in the history of political theory. We will analyze and interpret the role that political thinkers' views about the relations between the sexes played in the development of their larger political theories. After beginning in ancient Greece with Plato and Aristotle, we will move through history, considering the critiques of paternalism launched by Hobbes and Locke, and the portrait of the ideal woman advanced by Rousseau in Book V of the Emile. Then we will consider the development of early feminism in the writings of Mill, Wollstonecraft, and Stanton, and then move into the twentieth century to consider the arguments of Simone De Beauvoir and Susan Moller Okin. We will conclude with contemporary authors who address the situation of women in America today.

Grading Policy

First Exam: 20% Second Exam: 30% Paper: 30% Class Participation and Quizzes: 20%


Aristophanes' Four Comedies Simone de Beavoirs The Second Sex Susan Moller Okins Justice, Gender and the Family John Stuart Mills The Subjection of Women Mary Wollstonecrafts A Vindication of the Rights of Women Rousseaus Emile


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