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

Fall 2005

GOV 335M • America's Founding Principles

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37639 MWF
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
CBA 4.330

Course Description

Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary. America is founded on a commitment to three principles: liberty, equality, and democracy. How should each of these principles be understood? Is one of them more important than the others? Above all, are we right to make these the guiding principles of our political life? In this course, we will consider the theoretical groundwork for the American political system in the works of Hobbes and Locke. We will also read some of the most important discussions of liberty, equality, and democracy in American political thought, such as the Federalist Papers and the Lincoln-Douglas debates. But we will also consider what great thinkers through the ages have said about liberty, equality, and democracy, ranging from Aristophanes to J.S. Mill to Nietzsche.

Grading Policy

Final Exam 30% Midterm Exam 20% Paper 20% Class participation including quizzes 30%


Locke, John. Second treatise of Government. 1980. Okin, Susan Moller. Justice, Gender, and the Family. 1989. Mill, John Stuart. On Liberty. 1974. Tocqueville, Alexis de. Democracy in America, Volume 2. 1990. Marx, Karl and Frederick Engels. The Communist Manifesto. 1948. Friedman, Milton. Capitalism and Freedom. 1982.


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