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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Spring 2006

T C 301 • The Problem of Justice: An Introduction to Greek Political Thought-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
42580 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
CRD 007A

Course Description

This course will study works of ancient Greek poetry, philosophy, and history that explore fundamental themes of political philosophy as they first emerged in the brilliant, tumultuous world of ancient republicanism. We will focus especially on the challenge that philosophy posed to piety and traditional notions of justice and the ways in which philosophic thinkers defended their claim to provide the best guidance for political life. Is unaided human reason adequate for grasping the proper ends and limits of political action? What new understandings of justice and moral responsibility did political philosophy offer? What can it teach us about how to arbitrate between the claims of justice and the demands of necessity or national security? Is a truly enlightened society possible? Is it desirable?

About the Professor Lorraine Pangle is Associate Professor of Government at UT Austin. Her research interests include ancient and early modern political philosophy, ethics, the philosophy of education, and problems of justice and moral responsibility. She has a B.A. in history from Yale, a B.Ed. from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Committee on Social Thought. Her publications include The Political Philosophy of Benjamin Franklin (Johns Hopkins, forthcoming), Aristotle and the Philosophy of Friendship (Cambridge, 2003), The Learning of Liberty: The Educational Ideas of the American Founders (co-authored, Kansas, 1993) and articles on Plato, Aristotle, the American founders, and the philosophy of education.

Grading Policy

This course contains a substantial writing component. Paper on Sophocles (3 pages): 15% Paper on Aristophanes or Plato's Apology (3 pages): 15% Paper on Plato's Gorgias (5 pages): 25% Paper on Thucydides (5 pages): 25% Attendance and class participation: 20% Late penalties will apply. Any paper may be re-written at any time for a revised grade, which will then be averaged with the original grade on that assignment.


Plutarch, Greek Lives Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus and Antigone Aristophanes, The Clouds Plato, Apology of Socrates and Gorgias Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War


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