Value Theory (PHIL*6000) | College of Arts

Value Theory (PHIL*6000)

Term: Fall 2015


In this course we examine the origins of liberalism and modern social contract theories, through careful reading of Hobbes’ Leviathan and Locke’s Two Treatises of Government. We will examine several key concepts in these works — the postulate of initial equality, natural law and natural right, property, the family, the state of nature, reasons for the formation of civil society, and the nature of the contract. We will give particular attention to the idea of political equality, for in Hobbes’ and Locke’s works we see examples of its first coherent articulation in western philosophy. We will work to understand Leviathan and the Two Treatises on their own terms and in historical context, and we will also discuss the contemporary relevance of their ideas.


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