Examination of basic problems in political philosophy, e.g. morality and law; punishment; freedom; equality; obligation and disobedience.
Patrick Neal ()
Dates: May 18 - June 12, 2015
This course is designed to introduce you to some important issues in the field of political theory, and to encourage and stimulate you to think seriously about them. The course presupposes no prior knowledge of political theory. The only "prerequisites" are an interest in the philosophical questions that lie at the heart of political life, and a willingness to read and think seriously about them. This semester, we will address questions like these: Can the state enforce morality? If not, why not? If so, how is that morality to be determined? What are the limits of individual liberty? What duties do we owe to the political community? Is it ever legitimate to disobey the law? When? The means of addressing these questions will be the close and critical examination of various texts by both contemporary and classical writers.
1. You will need daily computer access during the four week duration of our course. 2. You will be required to do a reading each day, and there will be writing related to the reading each day. 3. 8:00 am (Burlington time) will be the time when work assigned on the previous day is due. For example, suppose that your assignment on a Monday is to read an essay and to write 150 words about it in the course blog. You will have until 8:00 am on Tuesday morning to complete this assignment. It is up to you to decide at what time before that you will do your writing. The 8:00 am time is because I plan to work on this course every morning; between 8 and noon on any given day, I?ll read the required writing you?ve done and respond appropriately. 4. A primary means of communicating with you will be podcasts. I will do one of these daily, and it is vital that you listen each day. The podcasts have two parts. Part A will be a brief overview of the course tasks and business for that day. Part B will be a substantive discussion of the course material.
The Basic Grading Scheme 2 essays at 30% each = 60% Required Writing on Course Blog = 20% Participation on Discussion Board = 20%
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