Modern Political Philosophy: Authority, the Origin of Rights, and Civil Society

Schools of Public Engagement: BPATS

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Modern Political Philosophy
Spring 2024
Taught By: Karsten Struhl
Section: A

CRN: 14271

Credits: 3

This course is an introduction to theories that have shaped our thinking about power, authority, justice, and social change in modern liberal societies. We examine the meanings and moral foundations of rights; the idea of a social contract; state sovereignty vs. individual autonomy; competing conceptions of human nature; the role of reason in politics; the concepts of justice, liberty, equality, individualism, and democracy; the way in which political ideals can have different meanings in different historical contexts; exploitation and class struggle; patriarchy and feminism; violence and non-violence; the re-emergence of political authoritarianism; and the economic and political roots of the ecological crisis. Students critically analyze selections from the primary texts by Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Thoreau, Mill, Marx, Dewey, and Gandhi as well as those of selected contemporary theorists. The relevance of these thinkers and their theories to contemporary social and political issues will be a concern throughout the course.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: BPATS (BPAT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 21

Add/Drop Deadline: February 4, 2024 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2024 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 5:10am EDT 7/24/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Thursday
Times: 6:00pm - 7:50pm
Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th
Room: 509
Date Range: 1/25/2024 - 5/9/2024