Intro Philosophy: Social & Political Issues (PHIL*1010-02)
Term: Winter 2013
This course will provide an historical examination of some of the most influential philosophical writings on issues of political authority, social inequality, revolution and democratic change, minority rights, socialism and communism. This kind of survey usually concentrates on the writings of such thinkers as Locke, Rousseau, Mill and Marx. However, this course will take a somewhat different approach to historical political debate. We will examine the works of the canonical male thinkers in dialogue with a selection of women thinkers who have contributed to social and political philosophy. To this end, we will be reading the works of early British political theorists Mary Astell and Mary Wollstonecraft, the radical feminist theorist Matilda Joslyn Gage, and African- American theorists Maria Stewart and Anna Julia Cooper. In this way, we will be able to explore social and political philosophy from a wider variety of social, economic and racial backgrounds than is usually offered in historical survey courses. As well, this course will give some much needed attention to the women who have made important but undervalued contributions to social and political philosophy.
Textbook(s): Women and Men Political Theorists, ed. Kristin Waters (Massachusetts: Blackwell, 2000)
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