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

David Prindle

Professor Ph.D., MIT

David Prindle

Contact

Biography

Professor Prindle has published research in the areas of voting and parties, energy policy, the presidency, and the politics of the entertainment media. His first book, Petroleum Politics and the Texas Railroad Commission (1981) won the V.O. Key, Jr. Award, given by the Southern Political Science Association to the best book on Southern politics. He has also written The Politics of Glamour: Ideology and Democracy in the Screen Actors Guild (1988), and Risky Business: The Political Economy of Hollywood (1993).

In 1982 he received the Allen Shivers Award as the best teacher in the Department of Government, and in 1994 the Harry Ransom Award for Teaching Excellence as the best teacher in the College of Liberal Arts. Prof. Prindle won the the Eyes of Texas Teaching Award in 1998.

In 2009 Prometheus Books published his latest book, Stephen Jay Gould and the Politics of Evolution. In 2006 Johns Hopkins published his book, The Paradox of Democratic Capitalism.

GOV 310L • American Government

37760 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm MEZ 1.306
show description

Statement of Purpose

 

                        The purpose of this course is not only to provide useful information and a point of view with which to understand politics in the state and the nation.  I am an explicitly normative teacher; that is, I try to supply students with the ideal of a democratic polity as well as the reality of the system, in order that they may compare the reality with the ideal and evaluate the results.  In other words, I hope to help my students become better citizens.

 

Prerequisites

 

            Students must have one semester’s worth of credit before they are allowed to enroll for this class.  That is, a freshman can enroll, but not until after his or her first semester at UT.

 

Assigned Reading

 

American Government and Politics Today, 2012-2013 Brief ed. by Steffen Schmidt,       

    Mack Shelley, and Barbara Bardes

 

Texas Politics, 12th ed., by Charldean Newell, David Prindle, and James Riddlesperger

 

    There is a variety of ways to purchase these two books:

 

    1. In printed form, they are available as a “streamlined custom text” at the Co-op. This single volume consists of selected chapters from the two textbooks that are substantially discounted. You can also buy the whole printed books off the Cengage Website, but

you will pay more than for the custom package at the Co-op.

   2. Virtually, they are available as e-books on the Cengage Publisher Website.  This way is substantially cheaper than buying the paper copy.

 

 

Grading Policy

 

            There are three tests in this class, the score on each of which, in general, counts one third of your grade.  For a few students, I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation. Here are the average numerical grades, and their corresponding letter grades:

A:              92.3 or higher

A minus:   90 to 92

B plus:      88 to 89.7

B:              82.3 to 87.7

B minus:   80 to 82

C plus:      78 to 79.7

C:              62.3 to 77.7

C minus:    60 to 62

D:              50 to 59.7

F:               Below 50

 

            People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, in addition to those who average below 50, will receive an “F.”  I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation.

GOV 353D • Darwin & Politics Of Evolution

37985 • Spring 2015
Meets MW 430pm-600pm CLA 0.102
(also listed as CTI 372 )
show description

 

“Darwin and The Politics of Evolution”

Spring,  2015

Professor David Prindle

 

Purpose of the Course

 

            Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, generally shortened to The Origin of Species, is one of the two or three most influential science books ever published.  But unlike the case with other science books, The Origin, published in 1859, is also of profound political importance.  Part of this political importance—the implications of Darwin's theory for religious explanations of the diversity of life—is well understood by all socially-aware citizens.  But there is much less awareness of the political implications of controversies within the science of evolutionary biology founded by Darwin.

     In this class I will explicate and explore both the "outside" and "inside" political implications of the science launched by the Origin, and ask the students to evaluate them.

 

Assigned Reading

 

1)  Charles Darwin,  The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, first edition,

      (Barnes and Noble Classics, 2004) [first published 1859]

2)  Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True  (Viking, 2009)

3)  Phillip Johnson, Darwin on Trial, second edition, (InterVarsity Press, 1993)

4)  David Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould and the Politics of Evolution  (Prometheus Books,

      2009)

5)  A package of readings, available online.

 

Grading Criteria

 

        There are three assignments due in this class. I may make some minor adjustments in a few of the final grades to reflect excellent class participation, but in general, each of the three assignments counts one-third of the final grade.

        For your three assignments, you may choose to write two essays and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay.  It is up to you to decide how you mix the tests and essays, and in what order you choose to do them.  You may not, however, "load up" by turning in an essay at the same time that you take a test, thus getting two‑thirds of the assignments out of the way on the same day.

            At the end of the semester, an average of 92.3 or higher will earn an "A,", 90 to 92 will earn an “A-,” 88 to 89.7 will earn a “B+,” 82.3 to 87.7 will earn a "B," 80 to 82 will earn a "B-," 78 to 79.7 will earn a "C+," 62.3 to 77.7 will earn a "C," 60 to 62 will earn a "C-," and 50 to 59.7 will earn a "D."  People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, or who average below 50, will receive an “F.” 

           

 

 

Prerequisites

 

            Student are able to enroll in this class through two channels.  First, Government majors who are eligible for upper-division standing may enroll through the usual departmental processes.  Second, students who are participating in the Thomas Jefferson Center’s “great books” program (officially, CTI in the catalogue), may enroll in the class through that program.

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

38985 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 800am-930am GAR 0.102
show description

THE PURPOSES OF THIS CLASS:  To help students become better scholars and citizens by helping them to understand how to apply the concepts of political science to an understanding of the functioning of the American political system, and by showing them how to compare the normative concepts of the public interest and democratic theory to the actual functioning of national institutions.  The first third of the class is about Congress as an institution, the second third is about the Presidency as an institution, and the final third is about individual Presidents.

 

CLASS PREREQUISITE:  Upper-division standing in Government.

 

ASSIGNED READING:

 

  • Lawrence Dodd and Bruce Oppenheimer (eds.) Congress Reconsidered ninth edition  (CQ Press, 2009; see note below)
  • Michael Nelson (ed.) The Presidency and the Political System ninth edition (CQ Press, 2010; see note below)
  • Roger Davidson, Walter Oleszek, and Frances Lee, Congress and Its Members, 13th edition  (CQ Press, 2010; see note below)
  • Julian Zelizer, (ed.)  The Presidency of George W. Bush: A First Historical Assessment (This is a paperback, available at the usual bricks-and-mortar venues in town).    
  • Some news articles, to be distributed in class

 

NOTE: Because this course description had to be submitted far in advance of the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester, I may make some adjustments in the assigned reading to update some of the books.

 

NOTE:  Instead of making you buy these three CQ Press books, and then assigning you to read only some of the chapters, I will choose relevant chapters from each and put them into an electronic textbook, which you can access through the CQ Website.  The cost to download all the chapters will be considerably less than the cost of the three paper books.  Notice, however, that you must buy or otherwise acquire a copy of the Zelizer book, which is not published by CQ Press—if, in fact, I end up assigning the Zelizer book rather than finding a more recent analysis.

 

REQUIREMENTS

 

            Each of the three assignments in this class will be counted equally; that is, each will count one‑third toward the final grade.  At the end of the semester, the three numerical scores will be averaged, and final grades will be assigned on the basis of the conventional scale: 92.3 and above will receive an “A” in the course, 90 to 92 will receive an "A minus," 88 to 89.7 will receive a "B plus," 82.3 to 87.7 will receive a “B,” 80 to 82 will receive a "B minus," 78 to 79.7 will receive a "C plus," 72.3 to 77.7 will receive a “C,” 70 to 72 will receive a "C minus," 68 to 69.7 will receive a "D plus," 62.3 to 67.7 will receive a “D,” 60 to 62 will receive a "D-minus, and below 60 will receive an “F.”  Anyone missing a grade (that is, anyone failing to take a test or turn in an essay) will also receive an “F.”  I may make some small adjustments in these averages to reflect the quality of contribution to class discussion.

 

     For your three assignments, you may choose to write two essays and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay.  It is up to you to decide how you mix the tests and essays, and in what order you choose to do them.  You may not, however, "load up" by turning in an essay at the same time that you take a test, thus getting two‑thirds of the assignments out of the way on the same day.

GOV 310L • American Government

38965 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am JES A121A
show description

Statement of Purpose

 

The purpose of this course is not only to provide useful information and a point of view with which to understand politics in the state and the nation.  I am an explicitly normative teacher; that is, I try to supply students with the ideal of a democratic polity as well as the reality of the system, in order that they may compare the reality with the ideal and evaluate the results.  In other words, I hope to help my students become better citizens.

 

Prerequisites

 

Students must have one semester’s worth of credit before they are allowed to enroll for this class.  That is, a freshman can enroll, but not until after his or her first semester at UT.

 

Assigned Reading

 

American Government and Politics Today, 2012-2013 Brief ed. by Steffen Schmidt,       

    Mack Shelley, and Barbara Bardes

 

Texas Politics, 12th ed., by Charldean Newell, David Prindle, and James Riddlesperger

 

    There is a variety of ways to purchase these two books:

 

    1. In printed form, they are available as a “streamlined custom text” at the Co-op. This single volume consists of selected chapters from the two textbooks that are substantially discounted. You can also buy the whole printed books off the Cengage Website, but

you will pay more than for the custom package at the Co-op.

   2. Virtually, they are available as e-books on the Cengage Publisher Website.  This way is substantially cheaper than buying the paper copy.

 

 

Grading Policy

 

There are three tests in this class, the score on each of which, in general, counts one third of your grade.  For a few students, I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation. Here are the average numerical grades, and their corresponding letter grades:

A:              92.3 or higher

A minus:   90 to 92

B plus:      88 to 89.7

B:              82.3 to 87.7

B minus:   80 to 82

C plus:      78 to 79.7

C:              62.3 to 77.7

C minus:    60 to 62

D:              50 to 59.7

F:               Below 50

 

People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, in addition to those who average below 50, will receive an “F.”  I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation.

GOV 353D • Darwin & Politics Of Evolution

39205 • Spring 2014
Meets MW 430pm-600pm CLA 0.102
(also listed as CTI 372 )
show description

Purpose of the Course

 

            Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, generally shortened to The Origin of Species, is one of the two or three most influential science books ever published.  But unlike the case with other science books, The Origin, published in 1859, is also of profound political importance.  Part of this political importance—the implications of Darwin's theory for religious explanations of the diversity of life—is well understood by all socially aware citizens.  But there is much less awareness of the political implications of controversies within the science of evolutionary biology founded by Darwin.

     In this class I will explicate and explore both the "outside" and "inside" political implications of the science launched by the Origin, and ask the students to evaluate them.

 

Assigned Reading

 

1)  Charles Darwin,  The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, first edition,

      (Barnes and Noble Classics, 2004) [first published 1859]

2)  Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True  (Viking, 2009)

3)  Phillip Johnson, Darwin on Trial, second edition, (InterVarsity Press, 1993)

4)  David Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould and the Politics of Evolution  (Prometheus Books,

      2009)

5)  A package of readings, available online.

 

Grading Criteria

 

        There are three assignments due in this class. I may make some minor adjustments in a few of the final grades to reflect excellent class participation, but in general, each of the three assignments counts one-third of the final grade.

        For your three assignments, you may choose to write two essays and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay.  It is up to you to decide how you mix the tests and essays, and in what order you choose to do them.  You may not, however, "load up" by turning in an essay at the same time that you take a test, thus getting two‑thirds of the assignments out of the way on the same day.

            At the end of the semester, an average of 92.3 or higher will earn an "A,", 90 to 92 will earn an “A-,” 88 to 89.7 will earn a “B+,” 82.3 to 87.7 will earn a "B," 80 to 82 will earn a "B-," 78 to 79.7 will earn a "C+," 62.3 to 77.7 will earn a "C," 60 to 62 will earn a "C-," and 50 to 59.7 will earn a "D."  People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, or who average below 50, will receive an “F.” 

           

 

 

Prerequisites

 

            Student are able to enroll in this class through two channels.  First, Government majors who are eligible for upper-division standing may enroll through the usual departmental processes.  Second, students who are participating in the Thomas Jefferson Center’s “great books” program (officially, CTI in the catalogue), may enroll in the class through that program.

GOV 310L • American Government

38695 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm MEZ 1.306
show description

Course Description

                        The purpose of this course is not only to provide useful information and a point of view with which to understand politics in the state and the nation.  I am an explicitly normative teacher; that is, I try to supply students with the ideal of a democratic polity as well as the reality of the system, in order that they may compare the reality with the ideal and evaluate the results.  In other words, I hope to help my students become better citizens.

 

Grading Policy

            There are three tests in this class, the score on each of which, in general, counts one third of your grade.  For a few students, I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation. Here are the average numerical grades, and their corresponding letter grades:

A plus:      97 or higher

A:              93 to 96.7

A minus:   90 to 92.7

B plus:      87 to 89.7

B:              83 to 86.7

B minus:   80 to 82.7

C plus:      77 to 79.7

C:              63 to 66.7

C minus:    60 to 62.7

D:              50 to 59.7

F:               Below 50

            People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, in addition to those who average below 50, will receive an “F.”  I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation.

 

Texts

American Government and Politics Today, 2010-2011 Brief ed. by Steffen Schmidt,       

    Mack Shelley, and Barbara Bardes

Texas Politics, 11th ed., by Charldean Newell, David Prindle, and James Riddlesperger

 

    There is a variety of ways to purchase these two books:

     1. In printed form, they are available as a “streamlined custom text” at the Co-op. This single volume consists of selected chapters from the two textbooks that are substantially discounted. You can also buy the whole printed books off the Cengage Website, but

you will pay more than for the custom package at the Co-op.

   2. Virtually, they are available as e-books on the Cengage Publisher Website.  This way is substantially cheaper than buying the paper copy.

GOV 353D • Darwin & Politics Of Evolution

38863 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAI 3.02
(also listed as CTI 372 )
show description

See Syllabus

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

38835 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm MEZ B0.306
show description

Prerequisite

Upper-division standing in Government.

 

Course Description

Purpose: To help students become better scholars and citizens by helping them to understand how to apply the concepts of political science to an understanding of the functioning of the American political system, and by showing them how to compare the normative concepts of the public interest and democratic theory to the actual functioning of national institutions.  The first third of the class is about Congress as an institution, the second third is about the Presidency as an institution, and the final third is about individual Presidents.

 

Grading Policy

Each of the three assignments in this class will be counted equally; that is, each will count one‑third toward the final grade.  At the end of the semester, the three numerical scores will be averaged, and final grades will be assigned on the basis of the conventional scale: 92.3 and above will receive an “A” in the course, 90 to 92 will receive an "A minus," 88 to 89.7 will receive a "B plus," 82.3 to 87.7 will receive a “B,” 80 to 82 will receive a "B minus," 78 to 79.7 will receive a "C plus," 72.3 to 77.7 will receive a “C,” 70 to 72 will receive a "C minus," 68 to 69.7 will receive a "D plus," 62.3 to 67.7 will receive a “D,” 60 to 62 will receive a "D-minus, and below 60 will receive an “F.”  Anyone missing a grade (that is, anyone failing to take a test or turn in an essay) will also receive an “F.”  I may make some small adjustments in these averages to reflect the quality of contribution to class discussion.

For your three assignments, you may choose to write two essays and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay.  It is up to you to decide how you mix the tests and essays, and in what order you choose to do them.  You may not, however, "load up" by turning in an essay at the same time that you take a test, thus getting two‑thirds of the assignments out of the way on the same day.

 

Texts

  • Lawrence Dodd and Bruce Oppenheimer (eds.) Congress Reconsidered ninth edition  (CQ Press, 2009; see note below)
  • Michael Nelson (ed.) The Presidency and the Political System ninth edition (CQ Press, 2010; see note below)
  • Roger Davidson, Walter Oleszek, and Frances Lee, Congress and Its Members, 13th edition  (CQ Press, 2010; see note below)
  • Julian Zelizer, (ed.)  The Presidency of George W. Bush: A First Historical Assessment (This is a paperback, available at the usual bricks-and-mortar venues in town).    
  • Some news articles, to be distributed in class

NOTE: I am not completely committed to assigning the Zelizer book.  I may find another one on the Bush Presidency that I think is better suited to the needs of this class.

NOTE:  Instead of making you buy these three CQ Press books, and then assigning you to read only some of the chapters, I have chosen the relevant chapters for each and put them into an electronic textbook, which you can access through the CQ Website.  The cost to download all the chapters will be considerably less than the cost of the three paper books.  Notice, however, that you must buy or otherwise acquire a copy of the Zelizer book, which is not published by CQ Press.

 

GOV 379S • Amer Politics And Econ Thought

38870 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am MEZ 1.212
(also listed as LAH 350 )
show description

Prerequisites

In order to take this class you must be enrolled in the Government Department’s honors program.

 

Course Description

This course will offer something more, and something less, than a standard survey of American political thought.  It will offer more because its focus is just as much on economic thought as on political thought, or more precisely, its focus is on the interaction of political and economic thought.  It will offer less because it does not cover some of the standard topics of American political thought courses—much Constitutional development, federalism, civil rights, and civil liberties, for example—except where those topics directly impinge on the interaction of the political and economic.

We address such questions as:  Under what circumstances should government regulate the economy?  Should government encourage industry, or agriculture, or both, or neither?  Should taxes be progressive?  Under what circumstances, if any should government redistribute wealth?  Is the unregulated market the best producer of social wealth?  In pursuit of these and other topics we will read some of the writings of John Locke, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, the Populists, the Progressives, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, George Gilder, Paul Krugman, and many others.  In other words, this is an old-fashioned history-of-ideas course with a great deal of reading and, I hope, a significant amount of class discussion.

 

Grading Policy

Two in-class quizzes                            5% each 

Class participation                               20%

Two short essays                                 20% each

Final essay                                         30%

 

Texts

Everyone must read:

John Locke   Second Treatise Of Government (public domain)

Adam Smith   The Wealth of Nations (public domain)

Michael B. Levy (ed.)   Political Thought In America:  An  Anthology, selected readings, second edition (The Dorsey Press, 1988)

George Gilder  Wealth and Poverty   (1981; now out of print, but available through libraries, used-book stores, Amazon.com, etc.)

Paul Krugman   The Conscience of a Liberal (W. W. Norton, 2007)

Selected articles and documents from a reading packet, available at the House of Tutors on the corner of 24th and Pearl Streets

GOV 310L • American Government

38500 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 800am-930am FAC 21
show description

Course Description

The purpose of this course is not only to provide useful information and a point of view with which to understand politics in the state and nation.  I am an explicitly normative teacher; that is, I try to supply students with the ideal of a democratic polity as well as the reality of the system, in order that they may compare the reality with the ideal and evaluate the results.  In other words, I hope to help my students become better citizens.

Prerequisites

This is a required, lower-division course.  It has no prerequisites.  The University recommends, however, that students hold off enrolling in Gov. 310L until they have earned at least 12 hours of credit.

Grading Policy

There are three tests in this class, the score on each of which counts one-third of your grade, with the exception that I may make some minor adjustments in the averages to reflect class participation.  I follow the University’s policy in plus-and-minus grading.  

Assigned Reading

American Government and Politics Today, 2010-2011 brief edition, by Steffen Schmidt, Mack Shelley, and Barbara Bardes

Texas Politics, 12th edition, by Charldean Newell, David Prindle, and James Riddlesperger

GOV 335M • The Politics Of Evolution

38650 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WCH 1.120
(also listed as CTI 370 )
show description

Course Description

    Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection is one of the two or three most influential science books ever published.  But unlike the case with many other science books, the Origin, published in 1859, is also of profound political importance.  Part of this political importance—the implications of Darwin’s theory for religious explanations of the diversity of life—is well understood by all socially aware citizens.  But there is much less awareness of the political implications of controversies within the science of evolutionary biology founded by Darwin.

   In this class, we explicate and explore both the “outside” and “inside” political implications of the science launched by the Origin, and ask the students to evaluate them.

Prerequisites

    Upper-division standing in Government, or enrollment in the Thomas Jefferson Center’s “great books” program.

Grading Policy

    There are three assignments in this class.  Each will be counted equally; that is, each will count one third toward the final grade.  At the end of the semester, the three numerical scores will be averaged, and final grades will be assigned on the basis of the conventional scale: 92.3 and above will receive an AA@ in the course, 90 to 92 will receive an "A minus," 88 to 89.7 will receive a "B plus," 82.3 to 87.7 will receive a AB,@ 80 to 82 will receive a "B minus," 78 to 79.7 will receive a "C plus," 72.3 to 77.7 will receive a AC,@ 70 to 72 will receive a "C minus," 68 to 69.7 will receive a "D plus," 62.3 to 67.7 will receive a AD, 60 to 62 will receive a "D-minus, and below 60 will receive an AF.@  Anyone missing a grade (that is, anyone failing to take a test or turn in an essay) will also receive an AF.@  I may make some small adjustments in these averages to reflect the quality of contribution to class discussion.

For your three assignments, you may choose to write two essays and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay.  It is up to you to decide how you mix the tests and essays, and in what order you choose to do them.  You may not, however, "load up" by turning in an essay at the same time that you take a test, thus getting two thirds of the assignments out of the way on the same day.

Assigned Reading

1)  Charles Darwin,  The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, first edition,      (Barnes and Noble Classics, 2004) [first published 1859]

2)  Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True  (Viking, 2009)

3)  Phillip Johnson, Darwin on Trial, second edition, (InterVarsity Press, 1993)

4)  David Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould and the Politics of Evolution  (Prometheus Books,      2009)

5)  A package of readings, available at the House of Tutors, at the corner of 24th and     Pearl Streets west of campus.

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

38855 • Fall 2011
Meets MW 330pm-500pm BUR 108
show description

see syllabus

GOV 310L • American Government

38734 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 800am-930am GAR 0.102
show description

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 335M • The Politics Of Evolution

38879 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.306
(also listed as CTI 370 )
show description

Purpose

 

            Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, generally shortened to The Origin of Species, is one of the two or three most influential science books ever published.  But unlike the case with other science books, The Origin, published in 1859, is also of profound political importance.  Part of this political importance—the implications of Darwin's theory for religious explanations of the diversity of life—is well understood by all socially aware citizens.  But there is much less awareness of the political implications of controversies within the science of evolutionary biology founded by Darwin.

     In this class I will explicate and explore both the "outside" and "inside" political implications of the science launched by the Origin, and ask the students to evaluate them.

 

Class Content

 

   I.  The original theory and its context

 

       A.  Historical and scientific context of the Origin

             Reading:  1.  Chapter One of the Book of Genesis

                              2.  Extracts from William Paley's Natural Theology

                              3.  Extracts from Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology

                              4.  Stephen Jay Gould, "The Freezing of Noah"

 

       B.  The theory

             Reading:  On the Origin of Species, first edition

 

       C.  Reception of the theory in the nineteenth century

             Reading:  1.  Gould, "False Premise, Good Science"

                              2.  Gould "Fleeming Jenkin Revisited"

                              3.  Gould, "Not Necessarily a Wing"

                              4.  Gould, "Natural Selection and the Human Brain: Darwin vs.

                                     Wallace"

 

 II.  Controversies within evolutionary biology, 1972-2009, and their philosophical and

       political implications

 

       A.  What evolves?

              Reading:  1.  Richard Dawkins, selections from The Selfish Gene

                               2.  Gould, "Caring Groups and Selfish Genes"

 

       B.  What are the historical contours of evolution?

             Reading:  1.  Niles Eldredge and Gould, "Phyletic Gradualism"

                              2.  Daniel Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Chapter 10

                              3.  Richard Dawkins, The Extended Phenotype, Chapter 6

                              4.  Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, Chapter 9

                              5.  Niles Eldredge, selections from Time Frames: The Evolution of

                                   Punctuated Equilibria

                              6.  David Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould and the Politics of Evolution

                                   Chapter 3

 

      C.  Can Homo sapiens be studied using the same concepts and methods that are

            applied to animals?

            Reading:  1.  E. O. Wilson, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, Chapters 1, 2, and

                                    27

                             2.  Philip Kitcher, selections from Vaulting Ambition

                             3.  Gould, "Our Natural Place"

                             4.  Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould, Chapter 4

                             5.  John Alcock, selections from The Triumph of Sociobiology

                             6.  Steven Pinker, selections from The Blank Slate

 

     D.  Is the human species an accident or inevitable?

           Reading:  1.  Gould, selections from Wonderful Life

                            2.  Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould, Chapter 3

                            3.  Simon Conway Morris, selections from Life's Solution

                            4.  Simon Conway Morris, selections from The Crucible of Creation

                            5.  Richard Dawkins, "Hallucigenia, Wiwaxia and Friends"

 

III.  Darwinism vs. Creationism in modern society

 

        A.  The intellectual attack on Darwinism, and the defense

               Reading:  1.  Michael Behe, selections from Darwin's Black Box

                               2.   Phillip Johnson, selections from Darwin On Trial

                               3.   William Dembski, selections from Intelligent Design: The Bridge

                                       Between Science and Theology

                               4.  Selections from Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics,

                                       edited by Robert Pennock

                               5.  Michael Shermer, selections from Why Darwin Matters

                               6.  Gould, "Evolution as Fact and Theory"

                               7.  Gould, "Hooking Leviathan by Its Past"

                               8.  Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould, Chapter 6

                               9.  Selections from Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True

 

       B.  Court cases

 

             1.  Lemon v. Kurtzman, 1971 (U. S. Supreme Court decision)

                      Reading:  Read the decision

 

             2.  McLean v. Arkansas, 1982 (Federal court decision)

                  Reading:  Selections from Creationism On Trial: Evolution and God at Little

                                      Rock, edited by Langdon Gilkey

 

             3.  Tammy Kitzmiller et al v. Dover Area School District et al, 2005 (Federal

                   court decision)

                    Reading:  Read the decision

 

Assignments

 

            There are three assignments in this class.  Three times during the semester students will have a choice of taking a test or writing an essay.  The tests will consist of twenty-five multiple-choice questions and ten short-answer questions.  The essay topics will ask the students to compare, contrast, and evaluate opposing positions on various topics within the politics of evolution.  Over the course of the semester students may choose to write two essay and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay, but they may not choose three tests or three essays.

 

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

38710 • Fall 2010
Meets MW 330pm-500pm JGB 2.102
show description

THE PURPOSES OF THIS CLASS: To help students become better scholars and citizens by helping them to understand how to apply the concepts of political science to an understanding of the functioning of the American political system, and by showing them how to compare the normative concepts of the public interest and democratic theory to the actual functioning of national institutions.

GOV 379S • Amer Polit & Economic Thought

38755 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm CMA A5.136
(also listed as LAH 350 )
show description

Course Description: This course will offer something more, and something less, than a standard survey of American political thought.  It will offer more because its focus is just as much on economic thought as on political thought, or more precisely, its focus is on the interaction of political and economic thought.  It will offer less because it does not cover some of the standard topics of American political thought courses—much Constitutional development, federalism, civil rights, and civil liberties, for example—except where those topics directly impinge on the interaction of the political and economic.  We address such questions as:  Under what circumstances should government regulate the economy?  Should government encourage industry, or agriculture, or both, or neither?  Should taxes be progressive?  Under what circumstances, if any, should government redistribute wealth?  Is the unregulated market the best producer of social wealth?  In pursuit of these and other topics we will read some of the writings of John Locke, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, the Populists, the Progressives, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, George Gilder, Gar Alperovitz, and many others.  In other words, this is an old-fashioned history-of-ideas course with a great deal of reading and, I hope, a significant amount of class discussion.

Grading policy:

First essay:               10% of final grade
Second essay:           30% of final grade
Third essay:              40% of final grade
Class participation:   20% of final grade

Textbooks:  (I may slightly fiddle with this list between now and the first day of
                                 the semester)

John Locke  Second Treatise Of Government
Adam Smith  The Wealth of Nations
Michael B. Levy (ed.)  Political Thought In America:  An Anthology, selected readings
George Gilder    Wealth and Poverty   (this book is out of print; see me)
Paul Krugman   The Conscience of a Liberal
Selected articles and documents from a reading packet, available at the House of
     Tutors on the corner of 24th and Pearl Streets

GOV 370L • Politics Of Hollywood

84789 • Summer 2010
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am WEL 2.312
show description

Course Description:

Purposes of This Class:
1.  To help students become scholars about the politics of
    the screen entertainment industry.
2.  To assist students become wiser consumers of the screen
    entertainment industry's products.
3.  To enable students to be better citizens, in the sense
    of being competent to evaluate public policy questions
    involving the screen entertainment industry, in the
    light of the public interest.


Grading Policy
There are three tests in this course.  Each of the three tests will, in general, comprise one-third of your grade.  Each test will consist of two parts. In the first part, there will be twenty-five multiple choice questions, dealing with the concepts from the lectures and the reading. In the second part, you will be given a group of ten words or phrases (which will be listed on the syllabus).  You will be asked to define each word or phrase, and then explain why it is important to the study of the politics of the screen entertainment industry, all in sixty or fewer words.  
At the end of the semester, the three numerical scores will be averaged, and final grades will, in general, be assigned on the basis of a numerical scale.  For a few students, I may make some small adjustments in these averages to reflect the quality of contribution to class discussion.

Assigned Reading
1.  Dan Franklin, Politics and Film, selected chapters
2.  James Steyer, The Other Parent, selected chapters
2.  A package of duplicated articles, to be assigned; available from House of Tutors at 24th and Pearl Streets; this package includes much of my book Risky Business
3.  A few articles can be found on electronic reserve (I will hand out instructions for accessing this material in class).



GOV 310L • American Government

38675 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 1100-1200 BUR 106
show description

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 370L • Politics Of Hollywood

38975 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 300pm-400pm MEZ 1.306
show description

Course Description:

Analysis of varying topics in the study of American government and politics.

Prerequisite:

Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

Grading:

TBD

Readings:

TBD

 

 

 

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

39305 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 201
show description

Course Description:

Analysis of varying topics in the study of American government and politics.

Prerequisite:

Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

Grading:

TBD

Readings:

TBD

 

 

 

GOV 310L • American Government

38130 • Spring 2009
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm UTC 2.102A
show description

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 370L • Politics Of Hollywood

38440 • Spring 2009
Meets MW 300pm-430pm MEZ 1.306
show description

Course Description:

Analysis of varying topics in the study of American government and politics.

Prerequisite:

Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

Grading:

TBD

Readings:

TBD

 

 

 

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