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

Fall 2008

GOV 314 • 6-Competing Visions Good Life

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39393 MW
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, Locke, and The Federalist, 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).


Schedule of lectures and required readings (be sure to get the precise editions listed below!) to be covered in each lecture: YOU SHOULD BRING YOUR COPY OF THE ASSIGNED READING TEXT TO EVERY CLASS, SO AS TO BE ABLE TO FOLLOW THE LECTURE. Introductory Lecture Five Lectures on Plato, Apology of Socrates (in Four Texts on Socrates, Cornell U. Press) Seven Lectures on Aristotle, Politics (Simpson trans., Univ. of North Carolina), Bks. 1, 3, 6, 8 Three Lectures on Thomas Aquinas, On Law, Morality, and Politics, 2nd ed. (Hackett Publ.), pp. 1-4, 10-96, 130-58 Four Lectures on Hobbes, Leviathan (Curley, ed., Hackett Publ.)begin reading with chap. 46, and then read Hobbes's Introduction, and chaps. 6-8, 10-21, 28, 30. Four Lectures on Locke, Second Treatise of Government (Cox, ed., Crofts Classics), secs. 1-51, 120-196, 199-230, 240-43; and selections from The Federalist (in handout) Five Lectures on Rousseau, First and Second Discourses (Masters trans., St. Martins), be sure to read Rousseaus footnotes, which are key! Four Lectures on Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto (Prometheus, pp. 208-43); and then Marx, 1844 Manuscripts, (ibid., pp. 19-34, 69-140) Three Lectures on Tocqueville, Democracy in America (Kessler, ed., Hackett Publ.), pp. 1-15, 34-41, 101-46, 169-286, 304-19 Three Lectures on Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Kaufmann trans., Penguin), Prologue (pp. 9-28), and selected speeches (pp. 46-51, 58-60, 67-69, 96-102), including "On Old and New Tablets," #1-5, 11-12, 25 (pp. 196-99, 202-4, 211-12)


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