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Effective: Summer 2015
POLI 3HHONORS INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY/POLITICAL THEORY5 Unit(s)

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: Honors Institute participant.
Advisory: Advisory: Not open to students with credit in POLI 3.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Social & Behavioral Sciences Transferable: CSU/UC
5 hours lecture. (60 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Critically Analyze the historical development of political thought focusing on the works of any of the following political philosophies: Augustine & Aquinas, Machiavelli and Hobbes, Locke & Rousseau, Bentham and Mill, Hegel and Marx, Antonio Gramsci.
  • Critically analyze any of the models of political justification, forms of the state, civil and political society, and their institutional manifestation in government.
Description -
Analysis of the history of political thought, the development of various forms of political ideologies and their manifestation in forms of the state. Philosophical formulations of concepts of state of nature, natural law, natural rights, civil and political society explored as integral parts of political philosophies of: Plato and Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, Machiavelli and Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, Bentham and Mill, Hegel, Marx and Gramsci. As an Honors Course, it is a full seminar with advanced teaching methods focusing on major writing, reading, and research assignments, student oral class presentations, group discussions and interactions.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Analyze historical development of political thought of: Plato and Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, Machiavelli and Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, Bentham and Mill, Hegel, Marx and Gramsci.
  2. Compare and contrast competing philosophical concepts of state of nature, human nature, natural law, natural rights, civil society, political society, and locate concepts in governmental structure, law, and society.
  3. Analyze models of political justification, forms of the state, civil society and political society, and their institutional manifestation in system of government.
  4. Identify and analyze the various models of political justification of forms of the state and connect them to their philosophical roots.
  5. Explore the philosophical basis of law and justice in society.
  6. Analyze the influence of political philosophies on the historical development of various forms of civil society, political society and the state.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
None

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Ancient/Classical/Medieval Political Philosophy: Plato and Aristotle
    1. Philosophy vs politics
    2. The ideal City and concept of Justice
    3. Virtue Politics and the best and worst regimes
  2. Models of Political Justification: Augustine and Aquinas
    1. The City of God and the City of man
    2. The virtuous man
    3. Augustine's best form of Government
    4. Aquinas' Purposes and Aims of Society and Government
    5. Forms of Government
    6. Eternal Law and Natural Law
    7. Justice and Civil Disobedience
  3. Modern Political Philosophy: Models of Political Justification: Machiavelli and Hobbes
    1. Machiavelli's Republics vs Principalities
    2. Use of political power and why Virtu' is never Virtue
    3. Hobbes Concept of state of nature
    4. The Social Contract
    5. Concept of the Leviathan and defense of monarchy
  4. Models of Political Justification: Locke and Rousseau
    1. Locke's state of nature, natural law, natural rights, civil society, state
    2. The Social Contract
    3. Concept of Separation of Powers
    4. The Labor Theory of value
    5. Concept of the Common Good
    6. Rousseau and The Social Contract
    7. Rousseau's state of nature, direct democracy, and freedom
    8. Concept of the General Will
  5. Models of Political Justification: Bentham and Mill
    1. Bentham's Utilitarian Concept of the State
    2. Hedonism, Justice and Utility.
    3. Critique of Natural law and Natural Rights
    4. Critique of Social Contract Theory and Consent
    5. The role of Government, Civil Disobedience
    6. Mill's Concept of Utilitarianism
    7. Justice as the basic Moral and Political Objective
    8. The Meaning of Justice
    9. Mill's form of Government
  6. The Historicist Theory of the State: Hegelian Philosophy
    1. Hegel's Metaphysics
    2. Hegel's Dialectic
    3. Moral and Political Institutions
    4. Abstract Right, Morality, and Ethical Life
    5. The Family, Civil Society, and the State
    6. Hegel's concept of Democracy and Constitutional Monarchy
    7. Hegel's Philosophy of Right
  7. The Historicist Theory of the State: Marxian Philosophy
    1. Marx's Philosophy of History
    2. Marx's Historical and Dialectical Materialism
    3. The Concept of the State
    4. The Concept of the Labor Theory of Value
    5. The Concept of Alienation and Freedom
  8. Contemporary Political Philosophy: Antonio Gramsci's Contribution to Marxist Theory
    1. The Concept of Historical Bloc in Gramsci
    2. Gramsci's refinement of Superstructual Elements in Marx
    3. The role of Ideology and Politics in Gramsci's Theory
    4. Concept of Hegemony and Counter-Hegemonic Struggle
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Development of research paper topic and outline on selected philosopher's work or some aspects of that work utilizing the scientific method of analysis.
  2. Development of 20 page analytical research paper utilizing the scientific method of analysis.
  3. Intensive in class participation in discussions demonstrating through level of analysis a systematic understanding of philosophical works
  4. Oral class presentation (power point) on selected philosophical works
  5. Weekly written Five page outline of the main themes of each philosophical works.
Professor meets in extra sessions with all seminar students in a series of individual and small group learning communities out-of-class to work together on students' research paper and oral presentation preparation.
Representative Text(s) -
Bagby, Larurie M. Political Thought: A Guide to the Classics.Wadsworth, CENAGE Learning, Belmont, CA. 2008.
Bronner Stephen Eric (ed) Twentieth Century Political Theory: A Reader, Routledge, N.Y. 2006.
Cahn, Steven M. Political Philosophy: The Essential Texts. Cambridge: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Losco, Joseph and Leonard Williams, eds. Political Theory: Classic Writing Contemporary Views. New York, NY: St. Martins Press, 1992.
Wootton, David, ed. Modern Political Thought: Readings from Machiavelli to Nietzsche. (2nd ed) Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Inc., 2008.

Original Works of Philosophers on Library Reserve
Articles on Antonio Gramsci on Library reserve

Although these texts are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they still remain seminal pieces of scholarships (texts) in this area of study.

Disciplines -
Political Science
 
Method of Instruction -
  1. Formal weekly lectures
  2. Intensive seminar style discussions
  3. Oral (Power Point) presentations by students
  4. Small group meetings with professor to design, develop and organize topics and themes for class discussions
 
Lab Content -
Not applicable.
 
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Weekly reading assignments of 200-300 pp and written notes on central themes and ideas in each philosophical works
  2. Library research on assigned philosopher for oral presentation
  3. Development of research paper topic, thesis and outline utilizing the scientific method of analysis