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

Fall 2005

GOV 382M • Aristotle and the Moral Foundations of Politics

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37920 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
BUR 436A

Course Description

Consent of the Graduate Adviser must be obtained. Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary. This course will proceed through a close reading of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, the foundational work for his politcal philosophy and for much of subsequent political thought, followed by key portions of his Politics. Themes from the Ethics will include human nature, the relation of virtue to happiness, courage and the other moral virtues, justice, natural right, moral and criminal responsibility, practical wisdom or prudence, and the relative merits of the political and philosophic lives. Themes from the Politics will include the naturalness of political life, the family, slavery, the relation between economic development and moral virtue in a polity, Aristotle's relative assessments of aristocracy, monarchy, and democracy, his arguments for the mixed regime, and his thoughts on foregn policy.

Grading Policy

10 weekly 1-page papers: 5% each class participation: 15% term paper of 10-15 pages: 35%


Strauss, City & Man. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle, Politics. Lord & O'Connor, Essays ont he Foundations of Aristotelian Political Science. Bartlett & Collins, Action and Contemplation: Studies in the Moral and Political Thought of Aristotle. Rorty, Essays on Aristotle's Ethics.


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