PLSC+100+Fall+2016+Syllabus - PLSC 100 Political Theory MWF...

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PLSC 100: Political Theory MWF 10:25-11:15 Prof. Martin Claar Office: Coffey 351 Office Hours: MWF 11:15-12:00 Email: [email protected] In politics, there are some fundamental questions that we wrestle with on a daily basis. Is politics natural for man? What is justice? What is the purpose of law? What is the best political regime and who is best suited to rule it? What are my legal and moral obligations to others? Ultimately, what will make me (or all of us) happiest? But these questions are not even remotely new -- we've dealt with them for the entirety of record history. Philosophers from the Ancient Greeks to those of the modern era have created a running dialogue in attempts to answer these questions definitively. This course will introduce you to that running dialogue on these lofty questions. By reading the great writings of major philosophical thinkers, you will be asked to critically think about how you view the world around you and answer these running questions on your own. This course is an option in the "Philosophical Knowledge" section of the core curriculum. Course Objectives: As a result of taking this course, students will be able to: Identify major themes in the history of political philosophy and understand the position of key authors on those debates Compare, analyze, and apply key ideas to historical events Critically engage with academic debates and articulate original arguments in verbal and written forms with support and sufficient evidence  Required Texts: St. Thomas Aquinas, On Law, Morality and Politics , trans. Richard Regan All other readings will be available on Sakai in PDF format. Assessment: 10% Attendance and Participation 30% for Weekly Reflections (10 total at 3% each) 15% Midterm 25% Final Exam 20% Term Paper (research design and final paper) Attendance and Participation: 10% of your grade will depend upon attendance and participation. Attendance will be required at the start of every class via a sign-in sheet. Failure to sign-in will result in an absence. Every student begins with a 100% for attendance and each absence will result in a 1 point deduction from that. Participation means answering and asking
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questions about the readings.
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