The minor in Political Thought is an opportunity for students to pursue an interest in researching major issues and texts in political theory. The minor builds on students’ exposure to the question of justice and the best regime in Plato’s Republic, a text studied by all undergraduates in Philosophy 100 as part of the core curriculum.
The Political Thought minor emphasizes landmark texts that raise fundamental questions about the nature and purpose of politics. Such questions include: What is a political community? What is the best form of government? What is the philosophical basis of the American political system? What legitimates a regime or a body of law? What is the essence of justice? What are the rights and responsibilities of a citizen? What is a revolution and when is it justified? What are the proper relations between politics and ethics, and politics and religion?
18 hours of coursework are to be selected from the courses below. A 2.000 cumulative average must be attained in these courses.
338 Enlightenment and Revolution
339 Revolution and its Aftermath
355 Foundations of Critical Theory
359 Philosophy and Slavery
360 Social Contract Theory
362 Ancient Political Philosophy
363 Medieval Political Philosophy
364 Modern Political Philosophy
372 John Locke
382 John Stuart Mill
390 Topics in Political Philosophy
397 Paris Seminar in Political Theory
Political Science courses
301 Political Philosophy
302 Liberalism and its Critics
308 Rousseau and the Good Life
347 Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
350 Political Theory and the American Regime
363 Lincoln and the Conditions of Freedom
415 Paris Seminar in Political Theory
Other courses may count toward the minor if the student gains approval from the chairs of both the Philosophy Department and the Political Science Department. Ordinarily such courses will be offered by these two departments, but courses offered by other departments will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
If a Philosophy or Political Science major wishes to obtain a minor in Political Thought, that student must take at least one of the courses for the minor from the other department, i.e. the department in which he or she is not a major.