The orientation of this course will be philosophical, with considerable emphasis on metaphysics and political philosophy. The initiation and successful acceptance of the modern notions of man, nature, government, progress, science, and history will be studied. General themes that will be explored include:
2. Liberal democracy versus communism -- the relation of the private and the public spheres.
3. The promise and problems of technology -- the application of science to the problems of political and private life.
4. The epistemological attacks on moral knowledge -- the fact-value dichotomy, moral relativism, etc.
5. Historicism -- the premise that all thought is time-bound, true for its era and culture
6. Free will – the challenge
Readings will include:
The Abolition of Man C.S. Lewis
The Prince Machiavelli
New Atlantis Bacon
Wisdom of the Ancients (selections) "
Great Instauration (selections) "
New Organon (selections) "
Essays (selections) "
Discourse on Method Descartes
Leviathan, I, II Hobbes
Letter on Liberty and Necessity "
(selections on) causation Hume
Second Treatise of Government Locke
Letter on Toleration "
Declaration of Independence Jefferson et. al.
Selected Speeches Lincoln
U.N. Declaration on Human Rights
Discourse on the Origin of Inequality Rousseau
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals Kant
Reason in History Hegel
Introduction to the Phenomenology of Spirit "
Communist Manifesto Marx and Engels
The Use and Abuse of History Nietzsche
Beyond Good and Evil "
The Dilemma of Determinism William James
Existentialism and Human Emotions
additional readings may include:
Antony and Cleopatra Shakespeare
First Discourse Rousseau
Social Contract "
Gulliver's Travels Swift
The German Ideology Marx
One-page -- due every Tuesday on a reading question assigned the
Five-Seven pages -- from a choice of topics assigned.
(A topic of your own may be substituted with the prior approval of
All papers due at 9 am in the Honors
Office on day/date specified.
Two one-hour essays (no choices) to be taken from a list of six which will be
distributed in class the final week.
Each student will read and defend one of his or her one-page papers in class.
Weeks will be assigned at the second meeting.