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

Fall 2007

GOV 314 • Competing Visions of the Good Life

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39935 MW
F
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
MEZ B0.306
MEZ B0.306
Pangle, T

Course Description

This course introduces students to the great warring conceptions of the moral foundations and goals of political life, as these have been elaborated by the most revolutionary thinkers in the history of political philosophy. We will begin by confronting the radical challenges posed to our contemporary, liberal-democratic moral assumptions by the visions of justice, of citizenship, and of human flourishing that are elaborated in classical republicanism (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle), and in medieval Christian political theology (Thomas Aquinas). Next we will explore, in Hobbes and Locke, the philosophic ground of "The Enlightenment"the vast cultural revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that overthrew classical and traditional Christian theory and practice, in order to bring into being the unprecedented secular, technological, rights-centered ideals and institutions and practices that culminate in our American society as analyzed by Tocqueville. In the last weeks we will confront the shattering late-modern and post-modern rejections of our bourgeois, capitalist, mass-democratic society: first, in Rousseau's still-reverberating rebellion against the liberal Enlightenment, and then in the consequent late-modern and post-modern revolutionary atheisms of the Left (Marx) and of the Right (Nietzsche).

Grading Policy

OPTION One 40%Final Exam, held at regularly scheduled time in exam period; format will be broad essay questions selected from study questions handed out at the end of term, together with specific questions testing knowledge of the assigned texts. 15%Attendance at every lecture (required, except for signed doctor's excuse); each unexcused absence will cost one tenth of this portion of the grade, or 1.5 percent of the overall grade. Attendance will be registered by handing in the answer to the quiz question 10%Answers to quizzes in lectures on the reading (each student should bring to every lecture a 3" X 5 card for answering in a couple of minutes a quiz question, that will be easy if you have done the reading). 35%mid-term exam. OPTION TWO (Discussion Section Option): 25%Final Exam, held at regularly scheduled time in exam period; format will be broad essay questions selected from study questions handed out at the end of term, together with specific questions testing knowledge of the assigned texts. 10%Attendance at and participation in a discussion section that meets seven times (requirednone of the credit will be given if more than one discussion section is missed). DISCUSSION SECTIONS WILL BE ORGANIZED AT THE LECTURE, ON FRIDAY, SEPT. , and will meet the weeks of: Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec. . 15%Attendance at every lecture (required, except for signed doctors excuse); each unexcused absence will cost one tenth of this portion of the grade, or 1.5 percent of the overall grade. Attendance will be registered by handing in the answer to the quiz question 10%Answers to quizzes in lectures on the reading (each student should bring to every lecture a 3 X 5 card for answering in a few minutes a quiz question, that will be easy if you have done the reading). 20%first take-home exam paper. 20%second take-home exam paper.

Texts

(be sure to get the precise editions listed below!): Plato, Apology of Socrates (in Four Texts on Socrates, West trans., Cornell U. Press); and Republic, first ten pages (in handout) Aristotle, Politics (Simpson trans., Univ. of North Carolina) St. Thomas Aquinas, On Law, Morality, and Politics, 2nd ed. (Regan, trans.; Baumgarth and Regan, eds., Hackett Publ.) Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (Curley, ed., Hackett Publ.) John Locke, Second Treatise of Government (Cox, ed., Crofts Classics) Jean-Jacques Rousseau, First and Second Discourses (Masters trans., St. Martins) Karl Marx, 1844 Manuscripts, and Communist Manifesto (Prometheus) Alexis DeTocqueville, Democracy in America (Kessler, ed., Hackett Publ.) Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Kaufmann trans., Penguin) THE LECTURES WILL PROCEED MAINLY BY WAY OF CLOSE TEXTUAL ANALYSIS: YOU SHOULD BRING YOUR COPY OF THE ASSIGNED READING TEXT TO EVERY CLASS, SO AS TO BE ABLE TO FOLLOW THE LECTURE.

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