Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jason F Lambacher
POL S 309
Seattle Campus

The Western Tradition of Political Thought, Pre-Modern

Continuation of POL S 308, treating materials from the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries, Machiavelli through Rousseau.

Class description

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

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Question Journal (10%), two papers (40%), Final Exam (30%), participation (20%)


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jason F Lambacher
Date: 05/28/2013