||History of Political Thought I: Classical and Medieval
AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION:
||credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
||Examines major developments in the history of Western
thought from the ancient Greeks and Romans through the
Christian period up to the Renaissance, with particular
attention given to key writings by Plato, Aristotle, Augustine
and Aquinas. Examines themes such as the justice, the state,
politics, plurality, constitutionalism, power, war and the
Same as PHIL 310.
This course does not fulfil philosophy foundation requirements.
Prerequisites: PHIL 230, POLI 205
- All texts will be available as PDFs on
DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
- Provide students with an introduction to some of the
foundational claims and ideas in political theory/philosophy.
- Equip students to speak authoritatively about
thinkers Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas.
- Guide students in the process of reading ancient or
- Develop students critical faculties through extended
discussions and debates at designated points during class
- Help students to see the relevance of ancient and
pre-modern thinkers in a modern, contemporary, and post-modern
- Inquire as to the relevance of ancient and medieval
thinkers for contemporary Christian political life.
- September 5: Introductions
- September 7: The why’s, how’s and what’s of classical
and medieval political philosophy:
- THINKER I: PLATO
- THEME: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PHILOSOPHY AND
- September 12: Introducing Plato
- September 14 - 19: Socrates encounters the Sophists
- September 28 – October 3: Philosopher Kings,
democratic suspicions, and the place of morality in politics
- THINKER II: ARISTOTLE
- THEME: THE POLITICAL COMMUNITY
- October 5 - 10: Introducing Aristotle
- October 12-17: Political community vs. civil
society: on ‘the individual’, social ontologies, public life, and
- October 19 - 24: On the question of the ‘common
good’: the importance of critical theory.
- THINKER III: AUGUSTINE
- THEME: RETHINKING THE STATE
- October 26 - 31: Introducing Augustine
- November 2 – 7: How should we think about the
- November 14 - 16: Christians in politics
- THINKER IV: AQUINAS
- THEME: LAW
- November 21 - 23: Introducing Aquinas
- November 23 - 28: On checks and balances, executive
orders, and the state of exception
- November 30 – December 5: Just war theory
Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.