Summer Timetable

POL320Y1Y L5101

Modern Political Thought


This course offers an introduction to key political themes and thinkers in 18th and 19th century Western thought. Through a careful examination of canonical texts, we will consider the great ideals of the Enlightenment—liberty, equality, humanity, constitutional government, and the relationship between politics and religion—as well as various attempts to modify, perfect, and challenge these ideals. This course will encourage students to consider the historical context from which these debates emerge, as well as their enduring influence on political thought and practice.


Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Discourses, The Social Contract
Edmund Burke: Reflections on the Revolution in France
Immanuel Kant: Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals
Tocqueville: Democracy in America
John Stuart Mill: On Liberty
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: The Marx-Engels Reader
Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil.

The following texts will be available as a Course pack: Immanuel Kant, “Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose,” and “What is Enlightenment?”; G.W.F. Hegel, Philosophy of Right, selections

Format and Requirements

Attendance and participation, two papers, and a final exam.


POL200Y1 or POL200Y5 or (POLC70H3, POLC71H3)

POLC73H3 or POLC74H3 or POL320Y5