Professor — Ph.D., University of Chicago
Classical political philosophy; the eighteenth century theoretical foundations of modern and especially American constitutionalism and political culture; nineteenth and twentieth century German political philosophy; post-modern political theory; the moral-philosophic basis of international relations; the dialogue between political theology and political philosophy.
Before joining the University of Texas in 2004, Prof. Pangle held the University Professorship in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He is a lifetime Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 1987 he delivered at the University of Chicago The Exxon Distinguished Lectures in Humane Approaches to the Social Sciences. In 2004 he was a featured speaker at the first Cultural Summit of the European Union, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. In January 2007 he delivered the Werner Heisenberg Memorial Lecture, in Munich, Germany, at the invitation of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. He has won Guggenheim, Killam-Canada Council, Carl Friedrich von Siemens, and four National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships. He has been awarded The Benton Bowl (for contribution to education in politics) by Yale University, the Robert Foster Cherry Great Teacher of the World Prize, by Baylor University, and the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, Univ. of Texas.
He is the author of articles in Journal of Politics, American Journal of Political Science, Canadian Journal of Political Science, Polity, Political Theory, Review of Politics, and American Political Science Review; and of Montesquieu's Philosophy of Liberalism (U. of Chicago Press, 1973); The LAWS of Plato (U. of Chicago Press, 1988); The Spirit of Modern Republicanism: The Moral Vision of the American Founders and the Philosophy of Locke (U. of Chicago Press, 1988); The Ennobling of Democracy: The Challenge of the Postmodern Age (Johns Hopkins U. Press, 1992); The Learning of Liberty: The Educational Ideas of the American Founders, co-authored with Lorraine S. Pangle (Univ. Press of Kansas, 1993); Justice Among Nations: On the Moral Basis of Power and Peace, co-authored with Peter J. Ahrensdorf (Univ. Press of Kansas, 1999); Political Philosophy and the God of Abraham (Johns Hopkins U. Press, 2003); Leo Strauss: An Introduction to His Thought and Intellectual Legacy (Johns Hopkins U. Press, 2006); The Theological Basis of Liberal Modernity in Montesquieu’s “Spirit of the Laws” (U. of Chicago Press, 2010); Aristotle's Teaching in the POLITICS (U. of Chicago Press, 2013); The Key Texts of Political Philosophy: An Introduction, co-authored with Timothy Burns (Cambridge U. Press, 2014). He is the theory editor of the Encyclopedia of Democracy (4 vols, Congressional Quarterly Press, 1995).
EUS 348 • Might And Right Among Nations
36125 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as CTI 335, GOV 335M)
A study of major alternative approaches, elaborated by the greatest political theorists, to the question of the moral character of international relations.
The basic aim of the course is twofold: 1) to gain a better understanding of what kind of justice and law exists among nations; and 2) to gain a better understanding of what justice itself means, in human relations, as its nature is revealed under the stress of the intensely competitive international arena, always overshadowed by the threat of war.
We will examine the original, foundational philosophic arguments for: the classical republican struggle for and against empire (Thucydides); Christian Just War theory (Aquinas and Vitoria); Islamic Jihad Theory (The Koran and Hadith; Shaybani, Alfarabi, Avicenna, Ibn Khaldun); the moral supremacy of independent national sovereignty (Hobbes); globalizing moral community achieved through commercialization (Montesquieu); and world legal order achieved through international legal organization (Kant).
We will try to uncover the hidden philosophic foundations of our contemporary ways of thinking, and confront our assumptions with challenges from earlier, alien ways of conceiving the world.
While we will not forget contemporary issues, we will try to transcend our passionate biases, and view our own immediate situation from a liberating distance, by taking as our chief empirical focus the philosophic historian Thucydides’ dramatic presentation of The Peloponnesian War—a moral as well as military struggle pitting the imperialism of one of history’s greatest democracies (Athens) against the anti-imperialism of one of the most conservative and pious aristocracies in history (Sparta).
Course Requirements/Grading Policy: THERE ARE TWO OPTIONS, ONE OF WHICH YOU MUST CHOOSE BY Monday, Aug. 30 .
OPTION ONE—Mid-term exam option
40%—Final Exam, held in the final exam period; format will be questions selected at random from study questions handed out at the end of term covering material from the entire term.
30%—Mid-term closed book exam on Thucydides, administered in class, on questions chosen at random from study questions handed out two weeks before.
20%—Attendance (required) at all lectures; each absence after the second, not excused by a doctor’s note, will subtract 2% from the overall final grade. Attendance at lecture will be recorded by noting empty seats; each student must choose a permanent seat to occupy, by beginning of class Mon., Aug. 30.
10%—Answers to closed book quizzes on the readings (clues for which will be in the weekly study questions) administered at the start of the class hour on the Fridays of weeks when Option Two will have their discussions sessions..
OPTION TWO—PAPER and DISCUSSION SECTION OPTION
35%—Final Exam, held in the final exam period; format will be questions selected at random from study questions handed out at the end of term covering material from the entire term.
30%—Two short analytical/interpretative essays (each 1200-1500 words) on topics to be assigned. Late papers penalized 3% per calendar day.
15%—Attendance (required) at all lectures and all discussion sections; each absence after the second, not excused by a doctor’s note, will subtract 2% from the overall final grade. Attendance at lecture will be recorded by noting empty seats; each student must choose a permanent seat to occupy, by beginning of class Mon., Aug. 30.
10%—Answers to closed book quizzes on the readings (clues for which will be in the weekly study questions) administered at the start of each discussion section.
10%—Participation, in discussion sections, which will once on each of six weeks during term
Required Texts (be sure to get the correct editions and translations!)
—The Landmark Thucydides, Simon & Schuster, ISBN# 0684827905 Robert B. Strassler, ed. The translation is not always accurate, and key passages will be found in accurate translation in the photocopied booklet (see below).
—Vitoria, Political Writings, Cambridge, ISBN# 052136714x Pagden & Lawrence, eds
—Thomas Hobbes, On the Citizen, Cambridge, ISBN# 0521437806 Tuck and Silverthorne, eds.
—Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws, Cambridge, ISBN# 0521369746 Anne Cohler et al., eds. and trans.
—Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Harper, ISBN# 0061311596 H. J. Paton, trans.; and
Political Writings, Cambridge, ISBN# 0521398371, H. Reiss, ed
—Selected excerpts from Thucydides, in accurate, literal translation, and from Thomas Aquinas, Rousseau, and The Federalist as well as readings on the theory of jihad in photocopied booklet available for purchase at Co-op.
This book aims to help readers, through study of key texts in the history of political philosophy, begin to move toward a position from which they can freely judge for themselves whether and to what extent they should embrace, or take a critical distance from, the principles underlying and animating today’s civic culture. The authors stimulate and respond to a thirst in readers to confront and wrestle with the most fundamental questions. The thinkers and works of the past are studied here not as objects of antiquarian curiosity but as powerful voices that challenge us to join in searching debates. The point is not to learn about these thinkers and texts but to learn from them. This overall aim dictates the selective choice of texts interpreted. Every chapter is a provocative invitation and guide to the reader’s own deeper encounter with each great philosopher.
Aristophanes has been said to recreate the life of ancient Athens more convincingly than any other author.
—The Review of Metaphysics
"Pangle's close textual analysis time and again sheds new light on passages that scholars have been citing for years. His interpretive lens helps to make sense of them in ways that genuinely advance our knowledge of Montesquieu's own project, the rise of liberal modernity, and the contemporary dilemmas of secularism."—Sharon Krause, Brown University
"Pangle's work is a must read for Montesquieu scholars, and for those who want to explore further the relation between religion, on the one hand, and liberty and commerce on the other. By stating his case so strongly, Pangle has given us much to consider on all of these fronts."—Société Montesquieu
"If Enlightenment is 'man's release from his self-incurred tutelage,' especially in 'matters of religion,' Montesquieu is a more central figure than many have realized in the Enlightenment's project of religious emancipation. Such is the theme of Thomas L. Pangle's [book] focusing on the theological assumptions that inform the political superstructure of Montesquieu's analysis—a dimension of his thought that is underappreciated, if not entirely neglected, by scholars attending to more salient features of the work. Scrutiny at the 'theological-political' level reveals that underlying Montesquieu's well-known commitment to political moderation and legislative restraint is a vision of man and the historical process that is among the more radical instances of Enlightenment thought."—Perspectives on Political Science