Summer Timetable

POL402H1S L0101

Problems in the Political Thought of the Socratic School

What’s love got to do with it? Eros and Citizenship


In this course, we explore several perspectives on what the proper bonds of political society should entail. Critics of classical liberalism have argued that its individualistic foundations have led to societies in which citizens feel weak ties to one another. By way of remedy, some have looked to the Socratic school in order to retrieve and rehabilitate a more robust understanding of citizenship. To assess the possibilities and potential of such a retrieval, we will carefully investigate the concepts of civic rights and duties, friendship (philia), longing or desire (eros), and different conceptions of the relationship between citizens and their city as they appear in the writings of Aristotle, Plato, and Thucydides


Aristotle, Politics and Nicomachean Ethics; Plato, Republic and Symposium; Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War

Format and Requirements

Our meetings will take the form of a seminar, with the course instructors providing comments to guide us through the readings and spark a group discussion.
The marking breakdown will be as follows:
Participation: 25%;2 Reading Reflections: 10% (5% each); Argumentative Essay: 30%; Final Exam: 35%