Core Texts in Constitutionalism and Citizenship: Economics, Politics, and Justice

Primary Number: X

ConStudies Number: CNST 30645

ConStudies CRN: 21416

Primary CRN: X

Instructor: Foster, Luke

Day/Time: TTh 12:30pm-1:45pm

Attributes: X

Location: DeBartolo Hall 305

This course in American political economy seeks to understand philosophically the relationship between politics and economics. We will begin by exploring the fundamental theories of economic life in the West through the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and Pope Leo XIII, paying particular attention to arguments for and against commercial society. We will then turn to the development of the American market and its role in shaping the character of individuals and the meaning of citizenship. Readings are drawn from, among others, Franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton, Douglass, Wilson, Dewey, and DuBois. The course will end by considering the relationship between citizen and government in the contemporary United States. Throughout, we consider the ethics of the market economy, the system of production and exchange within which we live. Are its tremendous inequalities and accumulations just? How can we cultivate moderation amid consumerism? What role do virtue and leisure play in this system? Our task is to learn to produce and purchase in the service of a good life.