PHIL 474.001 – Foundations of Modern Political Philosophy

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Instructor: Gerald J. Postema. This course meets T 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. in CW 208.

This course offers the first in a two-course sequence which explores the foundations of modern political philosophy, from the late medieval period to Kant. It focus on key doctrines of modern political philosophy—authority, law, justice, rights, political community, and the rule of law. PHIL 474, the first course in the sequence, seeks to enrich our understanding of these ideas by tracing their development in medieval, renaissance, and seventeenth century political philosophy. It begins the survey with Roman and Canon Law theorists, then looks briefly at Arab and Jewish theories of authority and law, then explores the work of Aquinas, Marsilius of Padua, Ockham, Althusius, and Grotius. In the sequel (PHIL 470), to be offered Spring 2016, the same topics will be considered in the works of modern political philosophy from Hobbes to Kant.

Prerequisite: PHIL 170