Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
plan2 masthead
Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2008

T C 302 • Introduction to Greek Political Thought - W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
43760 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 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?

Grading Policy

Paper on Sophocles (3 pages): 10%
Paper on Aristophanes or Plato's Apology (3 pages): 15%
Paper on Platos Gorgias (5 pages): 25%
Paper on Thucydides (5 pages): 25%
Oral presentation 10%
Attendance (including lectures) and class participation 15%


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

About the Professor

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 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.


bottom border