Horizons of Political Reflection
A survey of the political philosophy of twelve of the most radical and intellectually ambitious political philosophers of the 20th century. The course aims at sketching the intellectual range of political philosophy in the 20th century, with an emphasis on breadth rather than depth. The seminar is intended to be accessible to non-Theory graduate students who must fulfill the Department’s Theory requirement (hence partly catering to students who may have limited previous background in political theory). However, graduate students who major in political theory are also very much welcome in the course.
One essay or selection by each of the 12 philosophers covered in the course: Hannah Arendt, Michael Oakeshott, Leo Strauss, Karl Löwith, Eric Voegelin, Simone Weil, Alasdair MacIntyre, Michel Foucault, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jürgen Habermas, John Rawls, Richard Rorty. A collection of readings can be purchased at the bookstore. Beiner’s book, Political Philosophy, covers all of these thinkers, and hence should be a helpful companion text.
Format and Requirements
Two-hour weekly seminar. Seminar participation and assignments; term paper.