American Political Thought

Primary Number: PHIL 30409

ConStudies Number: X

ConStudies CRN:

Primary CRN: 31943

Instructor: Weithman, Paul

Day/Time: MWF 2:00pm-2:50pm


Location: Geddes Hall B001

Coming to grips with American political thought is at once an historical and a philosophical task. Students in this course will take on that task under the guidance of one faculty member from the Department of History and one from the Department of Philosophy. The guiding questions of the course are: How have ideas about freedom, equality and the social contract played out in the history of American political thought? When have we realized those ideas and when have we failed? Do those ideas provide us adequate guidance? The exploration of American political thought will be divided into six periods: The Founding, the Civil War era, the late 19th-century, the New Deal to the 1960s, the 1960s to the 1990s, and the 1990s to the present. The course has no prerequisites, though students wishing to count it toward the Philosophy requirement must previously have taken "Introduction to Philosophy."