This course will address a number of the most important and vexing questions of political philosophy: what is justice, what is the relationship between knowledge and politics, how is political power created and maintained, and what is the best regime? We will consider the relationship between philosophy and politics, asking what it means to think theoretically about politics. And finally, we will analyze crucial issues concerning class, gender, and subordination that remain inextricably connected to these primary questions. The class will survey the thought of a range of ancient political thinkers, such as Sophocles, Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Lucretius, Epictetus, and Sextus Empiricus. And we will study Christian political thought and the demise of classical idealism through writers such as Augustine, Aquinas, More, and Machiavelli.
2016-2017 Course Catalog / Courses / Classical Political Thought