Jason F Lambacher
POL S 309
Continuation of POL S 308, treating materials from the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries, Machiavelli through Rousseau.
This course is primarily a historical survey of the pre-modern period in Western political theory from the late medieval to the Industrial Revolution, though we will also engage non-Western texts and worldviews. We will examine how a number of factors changed how thinkers thought about political legitimacy, such as The Renaissance and the re-discovery of ancient thought, secular humanist conceptions of the good life, the emergence of the “new science,” the transition from feudal/agricultural to market economies, and European expansionism. The course also asks the question “What is ‘modern’?” in order to gain a better understanding of the political and historical transformations of the pre-modern era.
Student learning goals
Refined reading proficiency
Increased analytic, interpretative, and argumentative writing skills
Improved participation during discussion
Practice in the art of questioning
General method of instruction
Lecture, discussion, film
Class assignments and grading
Question Journal (10%), two papers (40%), Final Exam (30%), participation (20%)