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Critical Readings in Political Philosophy



This course offers an introduction to two of the earliest and most canonical thinkers in Western political philosophy: Plato and Aristotle. It’s aim is to offer a deep reading of several principle texts, including several of Plato’s dialogues as well as his Republic and Aristotle’s The Politics and Nicomachean Ethics. These are foundational texts in the history of political thought, and students will be asked to reflect on their lasting significance for the problems of our own day.

Course Objectives

To introduce students to fundamental texts in the history of political thought, and to close reading as a method of interpretation. By the end of the course, students should have a deep knowledge of Plato and Aristotle, as well as the tools to confront complicated philosophical texts from other authors in the canon.

Mode of Instruction

Seminar discussion, student presentations

Assessment method

20% class presentation, 80% essay (up to 4000 words)


See general information on tab 'Year 3'