Syllabus.docx - Political Science 171.F16 Introduction to...

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Chapter 9 / Exercise 122
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Political Science 171.F16 Introduction to Political Theory Professor Cruikshank Teaching Assistants 336 Thompson Hall Beki Atkins [email protected] [email protected] Maylin Hernandez [email protected] Office Hours: Tuesday 10-1 Candice Travis [email protected] and by appointment Mailboxes: 321 Thompson Hall “True and false are attributes of speech, not of things.” Thomas Hobbes Course Description What is politics and what does it mean to live a political life? Is politics the problem or is it the cure for conflict, disagreement, injustice, and strife? Why do inequality and division persist even in democracies? Who, if anyone, should rule and on the basis of what authority? Do the powerful alone determine the course of history? What is freedom and why is there such a long history of disagreement about what it is and whether or not we truly have it? These and other big questions will be the focus of your introduction to political theory. Emphasis will be placed on addressing the different ways that the history of political thought is and might be used in contemporary political life. We will hone our interpretive, conceptual, critical, and analytical skills by thinking about disagreements, conflicts, and forces in the present day from the vantage point of the past. In turn, we will examine how the language politics in the present shapes our interpretations of politics beyond our own experience elsewhere in the world and in history. We will wrestle with the fact that definitions of political concepts and interpretations of events and texts are hotly contested and rarely settled, and how to enter into these ongoing contests and disagreements in political life. We begin at the dawn of political philosophy in ancient Athens with Plato’s ideal city in The Republic. Contemporary photography, historical and currents, and a film, The Matrix, will help us to illuminate this ancient text . Centrally, we will examine the relationship of power and knowledge by asking fundamental questions: Is scientific or philosophical knowledge a cure for the fact that our eyes, education, and experience deceive us? Can the truth resolve political disputes without the exercise of power? We will also ask, is the privacy of citizens or the secrecy of governments more important for our freedom? Are divisions and inequality due to nature or to politics? Is idealism dangerous or necessary? Was Plato serious that the kallipolis is the ideal city? What tyrannies lurk in our own visions of a better world? We will also begin to confront the limits upon settling interpretive disputes. Themes including perception and deception, violence and persuasion, conceptual confusion and disagreement, censorship and justice, political order and division (including hierarchy and inequality, occupational, educational, ethnic, sexual, and racial divisions,), and the relationship of public to private life, will focus our discussions of The Republic in relation to more recent readings.
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The document you are viewing contains questions related to this textbook.
Business English
The document you are viewing contains questions related to this textbook.
Chapter 9 / Exercise 122
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Guffey/Seefer
Expert Verified

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