Modern Political Philosophy (PHIL 474)

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Instructor: Gerald J. Postema. This seminar meets on Thursdays from 1:00 – 3:30 in Caldwell 208.

This course is the first in a two-course sequence which explores the foundations of contemporary political philosophy. The courses pivot on the work of Hobbes and Locke in the seventeenth century. This course will survey political philosophy up to and, to a limited extent, including Hobbes. The sequel considers modern political philosophy from Hobbes and Locke to Kant. The first course in the sequence focuses attention on key doctrines of modern political philosophy—authority, law, rights, property, justice, consent, the idea of commonwealth or political community, and the rule of law or constitutionalism—and seeks to enrich our understanding of these ideas by tracing their development in medieval, renaissance, and seventeenth century political philosophy. Philosophers to be considered will include: Aquinas, Marsilius of Padua, Ockham, Althusius, Suarez, and Grotius.

Gerald Postema’s webpage