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

Lorraine Pangle

Professor Ph.D., University of Chicago

Professor and Co-Director, Thomas Jefferson Center
Lorraine Pangle

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Biography

Lorraine Pangle studies and teaches ancient, early modern, and American political philosophy, with special interests in ethics, the philosophy of education, and problems of justice and moral responsibility. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Earhart Foundation.

Her publications include Virtue is Knowledge: The Moral Foundations of Socratic Political Philosophy (University of Chicago Press, 2014), The Political Philosophy of Benjamin Franklin (Johns Hopkins, 2007), Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship (Cambridge, 2003), The Learning of Liberty: The Educational Ideas of the American Founders (co-authored with Thomas L. Pangle, Kansas, 1993), and articles on Plato, Aristotle, the American founders, and the philosophy of education.

GOV 382M • Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

39060 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BAT 1.104
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Course Description:

 

This course will proceed through a close reading of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, the foundational work for his political philosophy and in many ways for all subsequent political thought. Themes will include human nature; the relation of virtue to happiness; the character of moral education; courage and the other moral virtues; reciprocal, distributive, and corrective justice; natural right; moral and criminal responsibility; practical wisdom or prudence; friendship; and the relative merits of the political and philosophic lives.

 

Course Requirements and Grading Policy:

5 bi-weekly 1-2 page papers (maximum 500 words) on a passage not yet discussed in class, 5% each.

5 bi-weekly question sets (maximum 200 words), elucidating a few of the most important problems in a section of the text not yet discussed in class, 5% each.

Term paper of 10-15 pages on a topic of your choosing (35%).

Class Participation: 15%.

 

Texts

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, trans. Robert Bartlett and Susan Collins (Chicago).

Aristotelis, Ethica Nicomachea, ed. I. Bywater (Oxford). 

GOV 351G • Critics Of Modern Liberalism

39200 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm WAG 420
(also listed as CTI 322 )
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Course Description

 

This course will study Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origins of Inequality and Emile, followed by selections from Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals and Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Our aim will be to understand both thinkers’ radical and comprehensive critiques of the Enlightenment or the modern rationalist project of reforming politics and society. Major themes will be human nature and its relation to history, the character of human excellence, freedom, religion, and the relationship of the philosopher to the rest of society. Special attention will be given to Rousseau’s and Nietzsche’s opposing assessments of compassion, equality, democracy, and the Christian faith. Throughout the course, we will reflect on the impact that the revolutionary teachings of these philosophers have had on the political world in which we live.

 

Some previous study of political philosophy is strongly recommended.

 

 

Texts

Rousseau, The First and Second Discourses, ed. Masters (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1964), ISBN 0312694407.

Rousseau, Emile, trans. Bloom (Hanover, NH: Dartmouth U Press, 2009), ISBN  1584656778.

Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo (New York: Vintage, 1989), ISBN 0679724621.

Nietzsche, Portable Nietzsche, ed. Kaufmann (New York: Penguin Books, 1977), ISBN 0140150625.

 

 

Course Requirements and Grading Policy

attendance, quizzes, and participation                                                                    20%

short paper on Rousseau                                                                                      25%

short paper on Nietzsche                                                                                       25%

final exam                                                                                                           30%

 

Flag: Ethics and leadership

GOV 382M • Xenophon And Machiavelli

39070 • Spring 2013
Meets MW 200pm-330pm BAT 1.104
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Course Description

This course will consist in a close reading of Xenophon’s Education of Cyrus and selections from Machiavelli’s Prince and Discourses. In the Education of Cyrus we have Xenophon’s rich fictional depiction of a virtuous ancient polis and the process by which a talented man of boundless ambition might easily subvert it. In place of the virtuous republic, Xenophon’s Cyrus creates a progressive, dynamic, multi-ethnic society, aimed at wealth and expansion and glory, in which merit is rewarded and a self-sacrificing view of justice is replaced by a frank pursuit of the good things of this world. Yet in exploring this entrancing vision, Xenophon gives clear reasons why, in the end, he rejects it as the best model for a healthy society. Machiavelli had the highest opinion of Xenophon and gave all his works the closest study. Yet he came to the opposite conclusion from Xenophon, and devoted his writings to promoting the progressive, expansive political vision and the embrace of ambition that Xenophon had rejected. What did Machiavelli see that Xenophon did not, or what did Xenophon see that Machiavelli did not? How can these contrasting works help us understand and assess the deepest differences between ancient and modern republicanism and the fundamental presuppositions of modern liberalism?

 

Course Requirements and Grading Policy

5 bi-weekly 1-2 page papers (maximum 500 words) on a passage not yet discussed in class, due at the beginning of class on alternate Mondays for the first 10 weeks of term (5% each).

5 bi-weekly question sets, elucidating a few of the most important problems in a section of the text not yet discussed in class, and submitted by e-mail before Monday’s class in alternate weeks for the first 10 weeks of term (5% each).

Term paper of 10-15 pages on a topic of your choosing (35%).

Class Participation: 15%.

 

Texts

Xenophon, Education of Cyrus, trans. Ambler, Cornell University Press,

ISBN 0-8014-8750-1. Required.

Xenophon, Memorabilia of Socrates, trans. Bonnette, Cornell University Press, ISBN 0-8014-8171-6. Recommended.

Machiavelli, Prince, trans. Mansfield, Chicago, ISBN 0-226-50038-1 Required.

Machiavelli, Discourses on Livy, trans. Mansfield, Chicago, ISBN 0-226-50036-5 Required. 

GOV 351L • Morality And Politics

38725 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm WAG 420
(also listed as CTI 325 )
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Prerequisites

Some previous study of political philosophy is recommended.

 

Course Description

This course will explore the themes of morality and leadership in the writings of two great political philosopher, the ancient Athenian Xenophon and the renaissance Florentine Machiavelli. First, we will read Xenophon’s Education of Cyrus, a rich fictional depiction of a virtuous ancient polis and the process by which a man of boundless talents and ambition easily subverts it. In place of the virtuous republic, Xenophon’s Cyrus creates a progressive, dynamic, multi-ethnic society, aimed at wealth and expansion and glory, in which merit is rewarded and a self-sacrificing view of justice is replaced by a frank pursuit of the good things of this world. Yet in exploring this entrancing vision, Xenophon gives clear reasons why, in the end, he rejects it as the best model for a healthy society. Thus we will turn next to Xenophon’s Memorabilia of Socrates, in which he presents an alternate model of human excellence, that of the philosopher Socrates. Machiavelli had the highest opinion of Xenophon and gave all his works the closest study. Yet he came to the opposite conclusion from Xenophon, and devoted his writings to promoting the progressive, expansive political vision and the embrace of ambition that Xenophon rejected. We will read next Machiavelli’s two great masterpieces, the Prince and Discourses on Livy. What did Machiavelli see that Xenophon did not, or what did Xenophon see that Machiavelli did not? How can these contrasting works help us understand and assess the deepest differences between ancient and modern republicanism and the fundamental presuppositions of modern liberalism?

 

Grading Policy

Attendance, quizzes, and participation- 20%

5-page paper on Xenophon- 25%

5-page paper on Machiavelli- 25%

Final exam- 30%

 

Texts

Xenophon, Education of Cyrus, trans. Ambler, Cornell University Press, ISBN 0-8014-8750-1.

Xenophon, Memorabilia of Socrates, trans. Bonnette, Cornell University Press, ISBN 0-8014-8171-6.

Machiavelli, Prince, trans. Mansfield, Chicago, ISBN 0-226-50038-1

Machiavelli, Discourses on Livy, trans. Mansfield, Chicago, ISBN 0-226-50036-5

GOV 351C • Classical Quest For Justice

38705 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm UTC 3.134
(also listed as CTI 335, EUS 348 )
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In this course we will look at the problem of justice as it was explored in some of the greatest literary and philosophic works of ancient Greece. In the first part of the course, we will explore the challenges posed to political authority by three famous rebels: Achilles, a man of outstanding courage; Antigone, a woman who chose to obey the gods rather than a human king; and Socrates, a philosopher whose pursuit of the truth brought him to be condemned for impiety and corruption of the youth by the city of Athens. After reading their stories in Homer’s Iliad, Sophocles’ Antigone, Aristophanes’ comedy The Clouds, and Plato’s Apology, we will turn to Plato’s masterpiece on justice, The Republic. In this dialogue we will see how Socrates defends justice to the young, skeptical Glaucon by creating in speech a perfectly just city. This city, ruled by philosopher-kings, is an attempt to do justice to every claim to authority based on human excellence, inspiration, and wisdom, so as to win the loyalty of every reasonable person. In the course of creating the city in speech, Socrates explores the problem of justice from every angle and shows why a “perfect” political order may not even be desirable.

Prerequisites: thirty hours of coursework.

Required Texts:

Homer, Iliad

Sophocles, Antigone

Aristophanes, Clouds

Plato, Apology, Republic

Course Requirements:

Three short (3-5 pp.) papers, final exam.

GOV 382M • Plato's Laws

38925 • Spring 2012
Meets MW 200pm-330pm BAT 1.104
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Course Description:

This seminar will proceed through a close reading of Plato's Laws, examining it as an ancient alternative to modern liberal conceptions of the just society. What is the proper relation of religion to government? Can and should laws be framed so as to teach virtue and not merely to restrain citizens from harming one another? How can a penal code be framed so as to reflect a rational understanding of moral responsibility? What type of education and way of life is best for the happiness of male and female citizens, for the cultivation of political leadership, and for philosophy?

Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of the instructor

Course Requirements and Grading Policy:5 bi-weekly 1-2 page papers (maximum 500 words) on a passage not yet discussed in class, due at the beginning of class on alternate Mondays for the first 10 weeks of term (5% each).

5 bi-weekly question sets, elucidating a few of the most important problems in a section of the text not yet discussed in class, and submitted by e-mail before Monday’s class in alternate weeks for the first 10 weeks of term (5% each).

Term paper of 10-15 pages on a topic of your choosing (35%).

Class Participation: 15%.

Texts: Plato’s Laws, trans. Pangle (Chicago). Required.

Platonis, Opera, Volume V, J. Burnet, ed. (Oxford Classical Texts). Recommended for all students who know any Greek.

GOV 335M • Rousseau And Nietzsche

38875 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WAG 420
(also listed as CTI 335, EUS 347 )
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This course will study Rousseau’s Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts and Emile, followed by Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil. Our aim will be to understand both thinkers’ radical and comprehensive critiques of the Enlightenment or the modern rationalist project of reforming politics and society. Major themes will be human nature and its relation to history, the character of human excellence, freedom, and the relationship of the philosopher to the rest of society. Special attention will be given to Rousseau’s and Nietzsche’s contrasting assessments of compassion, equality, democracy, and the Christian faith. Throughout the course, we will reflect on the impact that the revolutionary teachings of these philosophers have had on the political world in which we live.Some previous study of political philosophy is strongly recommended.

GOV 382M • Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics

38780 • Fall 2010
Meets MW 130pm-300pm BAT 1.104
show description

Course Description:

This course will proceed through a close reading of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, the foundational work for his political philosophy and in many ways for all subsequent political thought. Themes will include human nature; the relation of virtue to happiness; the character of moral education; courage and the other moral virtues; reciprocal, distributive, and corrective justice; natural right; moral and criminal responsibility; practical wisdom or prudence; friendship; and the relative merits of the political and philosophic lives.

Grading Policy:
5 bi-weekly 1-2 page papers (maximum 500 words) on a passage not yet discussed in class, due at the beginning of class on alternate Wednesdays for the first 10 weeks of term (5% each).

5 bi-weekly question sets, elucidating a few of the most important problems in a section of the text not yet discussed in class, and submitted by e-mail before Monday’s class in alternate weeks for the first 10 weeks of term (5% each).

Term paper of 10-15 pages on a topic of your choosing (35%).

Class Participation: 15%.


Recommended Texts:

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, trans. Joe Sachs (Focus). Recommended for literalness.

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, trans. Martin Ostwald (Macmillan). Recommended for clarity.

All students who know any Greek at all are strongly urged to buy a Greek text and consult it continually as you read. Best is:

Aristotelis, Ethica Nicomachea, ed. I. Bywater (Oxford).
 
Three useful collections of articles are:

Bartlett, Robert and Susan Collins, eds., Action and Contemplation: Studies in the Moral and Political Thought of Aristotle (SUNY).

Lord, Carnes and David O’Connor, eds., Essays on the Foundations of Aristotelian Political Science (California).

Rorty, Amelie, ed., Essays on Aristotle's Ethics (California).

GOV 335M • Rousseau And Nietzsche

38810 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 1100-1230pm WAG 420
(also listed as EUS 347, WCV 320 )
show description

 

 

Books

Virtue is Knowlege: The Moral Foundations of Socratic Political Philosophy (University of Chicago Press, 2014)

Virtue is Knowledge"Virtue Is Knowledge is an extraordinary accomplishment: suffused with insight, gracefully written, and powerfully argued. It will challenge much of the received wisdom about the meaning of the Socratic ‘paradox’ and set down important signposts for students of Socrates who wish to understand the full dimensions of his defense of philosophy and its significance for moral and political life. The book will easily take its place as one of the gems among the books devoted to the Platonic dialogues.”

(Susan D. Collins, University of Notre Dame)

“Lorraine Smith Pangle has written an ambitious and important book, one that richly rewards the effort it requires of readers. In it, she advances our understanding of Plato and unravels with remarkable clarity and comprehensiveness an important and enigmatic Socratic teaching. The power of her argument and the fruitfulness of her approach will make her book one with which every serious scholar will have to reckon.”


(Aristide Tessitore, Furman University)

“Pangle leads the reader on a thrilling intellectual journey, through Plato’s five most important dialogues on virtue, in search of a clear understanding of the moral character of Socratic philosophy. By demonstrating that Plato combines philosophic intransigence with a consummate moral and political realism, Pangle provides a vital correction to the traditional stereotype of Plato as a hopelessly naïve idealist. Through a remarkable combination of rigorous textual analysis, deft psychological insight, and bold philosophic reflection, Virtue Is Knowledge offers both a singularly illuminating account of the central moral teaching of Socratic philosophy and also a wonderfully vivid account of the life and soul of the philosopher.”

(Peter J. Ahrensdorf, Davidson College)

  


The Political Philosophy of Benjamin Franklin (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007)

Political Philosophy of Ben FranklinThis insightful and elegantly written book is a joy to read and highly recommended.

(Choice)

A learned, wise, and well-written account... for giving readers one of the very finest introductions to this remarkable American's thought, we must thank Lorraine Pangle.

(Ralph Ketcham Claremont Review of Books)

An excellent piece of work, gracefully written, as befits a work on the printer and master-writer himself. Its insight into Benjamin Franklin's thought is fresh and penetrating. Among the distinctive features of this work is its running comparison of Franklin with Socrates and with the high tradition of political philosophy. Pangle digs unusually deeply into Franklin's writings and the history of his doings.

(Steven Forde, University of North Texas)

Smith Pangle... Brings an impressive knowledge of philosophy and Western intellectual traditions.

(Carla Mulford Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography)

 


Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship (Cambridge University Press, 2002)

Aristotle Philosophy of Friendship"[Pangle's] focus on friendship enables the reader to appreciate more deeply the tensions of political life, virtue, and ultimately the life of philosophy...Aristotle's insights come alive in these pages. She also provides convincing proof that the relationship between teacher and student is the paradigmatic friendship, and we are in debt for her benefaction."

(Review of Politics)

"[G]ood discussions of textual problems..... Recommended."

(Choice)

"A valuable contribution to our undertanding of an important topic, not least because it is willing to take risks by including a wide range of philosophical opinions, and by presenting the author's own views alongside those of Plato, Aristotle, Montaigne and Cicero. It repays careful reading by Classicists, historians of philosophy, and all others interested in learning more about friendship."

(Classical Bulletin)

"Pangle has given us a deeply humane account of Aristotelian ideas...At the same time, Pangle's acute critical intelligence enables her to enrich our understanding of Aristotle's doctrines and to bring to light his argumentative and rhetorical strategies."

(Ancient Philosophy, Dirk t. D. Held, Connecticut College)

 


The Learning of Liberty: The Educational Ideas of the American Founders (co-author, with Thomas Pangle, The University Press of Kansas, 1993)

Learning of Liberty"Essential reading for every student and scholar of American education. I found myself wondering why no one had written this book before."

(Diane Ravitch, author of The Schools We Deserve: Reflections on the Educational Crisis of Our Time and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education)

"This thoughtful and thought-provoking book demonstrates that the contradictions that informed the educational theories of even the noblest and most generous Founders continue to haunt American education today, notably the challenge of reconciling the claims of a secular democracy with the claims of excellence, honor, and reverence that are necessary to individuals and to the quality of our political life."-

(Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, author of Feminism without Illusions: A Critique of Individualism)

"The authors make a powerful case that in a democratic republic, education must focus on civic and moral questions. Their sympathetic and critical account of the ideas and lives of such men as Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin is fascinating in itself and a superb way to illuminate the issues. No one seriously interested in the character of education in America should miss this book."

(Donald Kagan, author of The Fall of the Athenian Empire and co-author of The Western Heritage)

"This wonderful book reminds us of the importance that the Founders placed on education. Their ideas are full of sustenance and provocation for anyone interested in improving our schools."

(Lynne V. Cheney, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities)

"The Pangles direct our attention to what is best in America, the thought of our Founders, and make it available to the debate on education today. This is a work of careful scholarship and political philosophy in high style."

(Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr., author of America's Constitutional Soul)

"A truly admirable work written with genuine grace. To my knowledge, this is the fullest, richest study of the subject."

(Lance Banning, author of The Jeffersonian Persuasion: Evolution of a Party Ideology)

  


 

Educational Resources

Reclaiming the Core: Liberal Education in the Twenty-first Century

reflections on teaching and learning for current and future professors, especially in political science

Advice on Essay Writing

advice for undergraduate and graduate students

Essay Evaluation Rubric

criteria I use in grading essays that make a good checklist for reviewing one's work

Habits of Highly Successful Students

especially for undergraduates

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