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garversyllabus,_pol_philo,spring_2010 - 1 POLITICAL...

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1 POLITICAL PHILOSOPHIES AND IDEOLOGIES Georgia Institute of Technology Spring 2010 Dr. John W. Garver INTA 2210A Office: Habersham 140 MWF 12:05-12:55 p.m. Phone: 404-894-6846 Location: IC 115 email: [email protected] Office hours: Mon. and Wed. 8-8:45 a.m. COURSE OBJECTIVES This course seeks to familiarize undergraduate students with the main ideas that have shaped and corresponded to world events over the past century or so. These sets of ideas are: Liberalism, which will be subdivided into Classic Liberalism (know in the United States as Conservatism ) and Modern American Liberalism (European Social Democracy) Fascism, and Islamic Fundamentalism Liberalism and Marxism are arguably the two most important political ideologies of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. The conflict between these two ideologies was one of the prime intellectual-political conflicts of the 20 th century. Liberalism and Marxism are based on very different assumptions about man and society, reach very different conclusions about the good society, and yet share some important common elements. Yet both schools share a common concern about human liberation, and common method of rational argumentation. Both are secular, humanist philosophies. Regarding the “classic Liberal / Conservatism” versus “modern American liberal dialectic, we will spend considerable time exploring the pivotal division of Liberalism in the mid-19 th century into “classic Liberalism” or “Conservatism” on the one hand, and into “modern American Liberalism” or social democracy, on the other, the chief emphasis of the course is on “classic liberalism.” Considerable effort will be taken to delineate the key differences between classic liberalism / conservatism and modern American liberalism / social democracy, but the readings and lectures will focus on the former, i.e. on classic liberalism. The reason for this focus is that it creates a sharp and pedagogically useful dichotomy between affirmation and rejection of markets / individual autonomy. Modernity and the Rebellion against It 1
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2 Liberalism can also be seen as an ideology of Modernity, and many of the philosophies we will consider as critiques and rejections of that Modernity. “Modernity” will be defined as a society organized on the basis of markets, individual freedom, secular rationalism, male-female equality, and democracy. More precisely, the professor will argue in the course that the forms of social and political organization that evolved beginning circa the 15 th century on the European peninsula, and today referred to as “modern,” have been characterized by these attributes. Our course will be concerned primarily with the philosophies serving as ideologies of modernity --- Liberalism in its various guises. But the achievement of “modernity” has historically been an extremely difficult and traumatic process, both from the standpoint of societies and individuals.
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garversyllabus,_pol_philo,spring_2010 - 1 POLITICAL...

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