Fall 2007

Modern Classics in Political Philosophy

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-28


Uday S. Mehta (Section 01)


(PT) This course will be an introduction to the study of modern political philosophy. The course is organized around four classic texts which will be considered chronologically; they are: Hobbes, Leviathon; Locke, The Two Treatise of Government; J.S. Mill, On Liberty and Considerations on Representative Government; and Nietszche, Beyond Good and Evil. The questions that will structure this study will include: What do the various philosophers take to be the original motivation underlying the formation of political society? How do these motivations conform to the normative prescriptions that are proposed? What are the limits of legitimate political authority, and what are the philosophical justifications for them? What are the justifications underlying the various proposed institutional arrangements and under what conditions can these arrangements be legitimately suspended? Finally, does the organizing of political life of necessity do violence to a more noble conception of human potentiality? First semester. Professor Mehta.