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UCSD PHIL 166 - Syllabus

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PHILOSOPHY 166 CLASSICS OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY INTRODUCTORY HANDOUT revised 11/19/2007 Fall, 2007 Professor Richard Arneson Class meets MWF 1:00-1:50 in Warren Lecture Hall 2207. For further information about the course, which will change week by week, consult the Philosophy Department web site, at http://philosophy.ucsd.edu/ and click on courses, then click on Fall, 2007, then on Philosophy 166. This course is an introduction to the issue of political legitimacy: What is required in order that a government’s coercion of its citizens to obey the law should count as morally legitimate? What are the legitimate functions of the state? We explore these questions by studying some classic texts of political theory. The authors of these texts radically disagree in their answers. Our working assumption is that these differences are instructive, partly because in modern democracies today these questions remain unsettled. The goal of the course is to improve our understanding of these core texts in political theory, to assess their arguments, and to reflect on our own political values. Course Texts: John Locke, Second Treatise of Government; Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality; Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract (both of these Rousseau texts are included in Rousseau, The Basic Political Writings); Robert Tucker (editor), The Marx-Engels Reader; John Stuart Mill, On Liberty; John Stuart Mill, Considerations on Representative Government. Note: The Mill writings are also available on the web at http://www.utilitarian.net/jsmill/ Course Requirements: A midterm exam in class, an analytical writing assignment (about five to seven pages in length), and a regular final exam. The writing assignment will not require extra reading, but will ask you to interpret and assess some course texts. On the writing assignment you will have a choice among topics assigned in class. The final exam will comprehend all course materials (readings, lectures, and handouts). The final exam will consist of one and a half hours of essay questions (these will emphasize material covered after the midterm) and one and a half hours of short “paragraph essay” questions testing reading comprehension (these will range over all course readings). The final exam for this class is scheduled for Monday, December 10 from 11:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m.0 a.m. You should be sure that you can attend this final exam (i.e., that you do not have too many other finals on this same day) before you enroll in this class. Grading: The midterm exam counts for 30 per cent of your final grade, the writing assignment for 30 per cent, and the final exam counts for 40 per cent. Course grading for those enrolled on a Pass/Not Pass basis: If you are taking the course on a Pass/Not Pass basis, you must get a C- or better on the final exam in order to earn a Pass grade in the course, with one exception: If you have an A- average or better on all class work up to the final, you will be excused from the final exam. SCHEDULE OF REQUIRED READINGS AND LECTURE/DISCUSSION TOPICS Week 1. September 27-30 FRI: Introduction to Locke. Reading: None.2 Week 2. October 1-7 MON: Locke on natural rights; the state of nature, the right to property. Reading: Locke, Second Treatise, chapters 1-5. WED: Same topic continued. Reading: same as for Monday.. FRI: Consent and tacit consent; Locke on the family. Reading: Locke, Second Treatise, chapters 6-8; also John Simmons, “Tacit Consent and Political Obligation,” to be made available at course web page. Week 3. October 8-14 MON: Limited government. Reading: Locke, Second Treatise, chapters 9-14. WED: Tyranny and the right of revolution. Reading: Locke, Second Treatise, chapters 15-19. FRI: Conclusion of Locke discussion. Reading: no extra reading. Week 4. October 15-21 MON: Natural man. Reading: Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Part I (pages 23-60 in The Basic Political Writings), plus Rousseau’s notes to Part I. WED: The founding of civil society. Reading: Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Part II (pages 60-81 in The Basic Political Writings), plus Rousseau’s notes to Part II. FRI: Conclusion of discussion of Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. Week 5. October 22-28 UCSD closed in response to Southern California fires The classes initially scheduled for week five will need to be rescheduled. The next four classes will take place during Week 6, October 29-November 4. Two of these classes on Rousseau, The Social Contract, will be regular lectures in class Monday and Wednesday. Two will be makeup classes at times and places to be announced—probably Monday Oct 29 and Tuesday Oct 30 in the evening. The Midterm exam covering Locke and Rousseau and associated readings (Simmons and Neuhouser) is postponed to Friday, November 2, 1:00-1:50 p.m., in class. Complete notes for makeup lectures will be available at the course web site. I’ll also hold extra office hours. An advance handout on the midterm will be available. (One further makeup class on Marx will be held during week 7.) Week 6. October 29-November 4. MON: The Social Contract. Reading: Rousseau, The Social Contract, Book I. MAKEUP LECTURE: The general will. Reading: Rousseau, The Social Contract, Book II; also Frederick Neuhouser, “Freedom, Dependence, and the General Will,” available at course web page. MAKEUP LECTURE: Government and direct democracy. Reading: Rousseau, Rousseau, The Social Contract, Book III. WED: Rousseau: liberal, radical democrat, or totalitarian? Reading: Rousseau, The Social Contract, Book IV. FRI: MIDTERM EXAM IN CLASS. Week 7. November 5-11 MON: Karl Marx on alienated labor. Reading: Marx, “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844,” sections on “Estranged Labour” and “Private Property and Communism,” in Marx-Engels Reader. Recommended reading: excerpt from “Hard Work,” chapter 6 of his Spheres of Justice, available at course web page. MAKEUP LECTURE: Marx versus money and exchange. Reading: Marx, “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844,” sections on “The Meaning of Human Requirements” and “The Power of Money in Bourgeois Society,” in Marx-Engels Reader. Recommended reading: Michael Walzer, excerpt from “Money and Commodities,” chapter 4 of his Spheres of Justice., available at course web page. WED: Historical materialism.


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