Introductory Philosophy: Social and Political Issues (PHIL*1010-01)
Term: Fall 2013
This introduction to social and political philosophy begins with the classical modern period and ends with current postmodern theory. The course will focus on the concept of freedom: what do we need to escape in order to be free?
"Man is born free, and yet we see him everywhere in chains". Rousseau begins his book with this sentence in order to ask how government, with the rules that are necessary for human society, can nevertheless maintain human freedom. We then read J.S. Mill's analysis of the nature and the role of liberty in democracy. We will read Marx and Engels to consider the role of class consciousness in achieving economic liberty. How much government, security, or even individuality do we have to give up in order to be free? Towards the end of the course, we consider exustentialist and postmodern arduments that we have to give up meaning, identity, and even selfhood in order to be free. We will read feminist arguments that we have to give up gender definitions in order to be free. Finally, we read Foucault's analysis of the history of prisons, to think about where freedom might still be possible in a society structured around discipline.
|PHIL1010-01 Syllabus.pdf||31.39 KB|