PHI 61 — Classics of Modern Political Philosophy
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 22—Dec 1
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Sep 24
Instructor(s): Admir Skodo
Class Recording Available: Yes
The classical thinkers of modern political philosophy asked questions that are still highly relevant: Who may legitimately rule over others? What is the ultimate foundation and goal of politics? When can people resist and rebel against the political order? What is the relationship between politics and legal, economic, social, and cultural life? In this course, we will discuss the range of answers offered to questions such as these by key political philosophers in the liberal, socialist, and conservative traditions. Our discussions will be based on readings from John Locke, Edmund Burke, John Stuart Mill, Alexis de Tocqueville, Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci, Irving Babbitt, Friedrich Hayek, Michael Oakeshott, and Jürgen Habermas. We will read selections from seminal texts in political philosophy, such as Locke’s Two Treatises of Government, Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, Mill’s On Liberty, and Marx’s Capital. The American political spectrum is still divided along the lines of conservatism, liberalism, and socialism. We will examine the extent to which the conservative, liberal, and socialist ideas we will be discussing can be used to philosophically justify their contemporary political expressions.
Admir Skodo is a historian of modern European ideas. He is the author of The Afterlife of Idealism: The Impact of New Idealism on British Historical and Political Thought, 1945-1980. He has lectured at the San Quentin Prison University Project. Skodo received a PhD from the European University Institute.
Textbooks for this course:
(Recommended) Iain Hampsher-Monk, A History of Modern Political Thought: Major Political Thinkers from Hobbes to Marx (ISBN 1557861471)