Professor Benjamin McKean
Classics of Social and Political Thought
29 May 2012
The Veil and the Otherness: The Role of Unnatural Identities in the Reinforcement of the
Subjugation of Women and African-Americans
Both Simone de Beauvoirs The S
W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk
Ch. 1, Ch. 3-6
General Topics / Themes
problem-based over theoretical
starts with poems and songs
more literary than previous works of the course
emphasis on political power as means to end
Frontispiece for democratic despotism
Tyranny of the majority is when the majority abused the minority due to their ability to
completely control every law passed and enforced.
Democratic despotism is when a democratic love of equality leads people to gi
Donald Sterling Discussion
To what extent does the harm principle protect offensive (i.e. racist) speech?
How does privacy factor into the harm principle?
Just as Plato was an Idealist often juxtaposed to Aristotles materialism, Hegel is
What is a manifesto?
Zahra - Introduces and proclaims ones goals and beliefs
Commodities are simple and easily understood
What is a commodity? - anything that has been alienated as an object with a
corresponding monetary value
As Mill points out, Queen Victoria (a woman) successfully lead the most powerful
empire in human history during a time when misogyny was still rampant. Given the idea
that women are inferior to men, the irony of this is particular inte
Throughout most of the work, Mill is arguing in favor of negative liberty, or the ability to
do as you wish without any restrictions.
In Chapters 3,4, and 5, he also speaks of positive liberty, or the freedom to pursue a
higher goal or state of intellect
Contemporaries/ Influences on Marx
Marx and the Greeks
Idea of humans having abstract functions and higher virtues that place them above beasts
Communism is similar to the perfectly just society envisioned in Platos Republic
The Utility of the Harm Principle: A Critique
John Stuart Mills essay On Liberty seeks to justify a policy of universal tolerance for
behaviors that do not hurt anyone besides the actor. To this end, Mil
Nietzsche Zarathustra Quotes
What have YOU done to overcome man?
Can be democratically read to be speaking to all readers. The limitations of being
men is something that must be overcome together.
Transcends the limits put on man by oneself, society, a
There is a jovial nature to the discussion that Nietzsche attempt to encourage.
While the first treatise attempted to show how society came to morally label certain traits
over time, the second displays why people began to ascribe negative lab
Second Sex Presentation: Eliora Katz
Was religion designed by men partly to give a divine justification for the
subjugation of women? If so, was it even necessary? After all, one could argue
that men were able to dominate over women out of their physica
His project is to revalue all morality and to reject the conventionally accepted wisdom of
his time, especially Christianity and Kantianism.
Cover image - Mountain.
Life is like climbing a mountain. It is difficult, arduous, and easy to succu
Manifesto of the Communist Party
Why are people poor?
from a poor family
survival of the fittest
valuing jobs/skills differently (479)
oversupply of unskilled labor
capital provides the means to acquire m
Professor Benjamin McKean
Classics of Social & Political Thought
23 April 2012
The Oppressed and the Oppressors: The Use of Mores as Tools of Racial Tyranny and
Democratic Liberty in Tocquevilles Democracy in America
Alexis de Tocquevilles D
Volume 2 is more about democracy in France than American democracy.
Tocqueville is now interested in examining the greater ideas behind democracy and how
these ideas can take different forms depending on history, location, etc.
Democracy is not only a go