POL 210 Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2017)

Welcome to the course! This is a course that studies some of the basic concepts of Western political thinkers from Plato through Hobbes. The purpose is to help you understand the fundamental questions that our greatest political theorists and philosophers address in their writings and to indicate how several great traditions of philosophy answer those questions.

The assignment for Friday's class is the essay entitled "Introduction to Political Theory" that was handed out in class. Extra copies of the handout, as well as extra copies of the syllabus, will be available in the rack on my office door: Ireton G107. You should come to class with an idea of the five fundamental conceptions of political philosophy and the four philosophical traditions that we will be studying. I will be asking you a lot of questions.

POL 211 always addresses the question of authority, or "What gives you the right to tell me what to do?" Though this question is inherent in the very concept of politics, it has been particulary troublesome in the modern era—the period of Western history beginning in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This period of history saw the Epicurean tradition become the predominant tradition in Western political thought, but as with any historical period, modernity is also heir to what has gone before. Thus, the Classical, Classical-Christian, and even the Esoteric responses to the question of authority are still part of the discussion.

The course this semester will focus on three significant political thinkers: Machiavelli, Marx, and Mill. Machiavelli may be said to have one foot in the Middle Ages and one in the modern world. Marx and Mill are definitely part of our contemporary political culture. We will study some of the works of these authors, contemporary works by other authors, and works directly addressing the ideas of these three.

The material below is from past semesters of both POL 210 and 211. You may review it if you wish.

For the FINAL:

Exam will be in the usual classroom at 3:00. The exam will be 90 minutes. Make-up exams for earlier mid-terms may be taken immediately before or after the final.

The final will be comprehensive but will focus a bit more on the material from Bentham, Mill, and Plato that we studied since Easter Break than the other material on Machiavelli and political ideologies. Because there was so little material since the last mid-term, the final will ask you to think about and apply what you have learned throughout the semester to the writers that we have studied throughout the semester.

There will be three essay questions:

If you have read the assignments throughout the course, you should be in good shape if you carefully review Machiavelli, review the ideological approaches that you used on the second mid-term, and study the recent reading assignments by Mill, Bentham, and Plato.

For the Last Week of Class:

For Friday, please read the excerpt from Plato's Gorgias that I gave you in class. Extra copies are in the rack on my office door.

For Tuesday, May 2d, please read chapter 3 and pages 73-82 of chapter 4 of On Liberty. The final one page paper is also due.

The Question that you should address in the final paper is this: Why is freedom of action beneficial to society as a whole? The assigned reading discusses this and the benefit of liberty of action to the individual himself in great detail, so the only material that you need, and the only material that you must cite, is the assigned material for Tuesday.

The usual rules for one-page papers that I handed out to you in class apply to this last paper. I will also take your footnotes into account as part of the grade. You must use "ibids" on this one! See below.

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed (see below) will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials—written or oral, internet, paper, or personal—may be used or consulted, either on the content or on the writing of the paper. This is essentially a closed-book exam.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use an eleven or twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like this one and the one I handed out in class. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words. Begin the paper immediately with your thesis statement: "According to Mill, liberty of action benefits society because . . . .
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Tuesday, May 2d. This means you must come to class and stay for the whole class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class. If you cannot make it to class, you must email a copy of the paper to me by 2:00am Tuesday and get me a hard copy by noon on Wednesday the 3d at the latest. I will not read the emailed copy, but will check it against the hard copy after I correct the hard copy. The absence will be excused or unexcused, as appropriate under the rules of the syllabus.
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) a good-faith, on-time submission that shows effort will receive the full five points for the first paper, (2) 50-50 writing-content on the second ten-point paper so a paper with lousy writing but good content (or vice-versa) will pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on this third ten-point paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content. Failing to follow any of these directions is also a factor, and a significant factor, in grading the paper.

FOOTNOTES: Really easy for this paper! The purpose of the footnote references is to enable me to find the exact passage of the Wood article you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. Titles of works like On Liberty are italicized; titles of "articles," "essays," and "chapters," like "On Individuality, as One of the Elements of Well-Being," are placed in quotes. You do not have to cite any of Mill's writings by chapter, though; just by book title and page number. At least five references/footnotes are required. Models for all Chicago Style references can be found here.

For this paper there is really only one source to cite—John Stuart Mill's On Liberty, though you may make a reference to Utilitarianism, too, if you find it necessary for your argument. You must use the Oxford University Press edition that we have been using in class. If you do not, your footnotes will be useless to me and will also make me wonder if you have used illicit sources. That is then an Academic Integrity problem.

Remember, in a quote the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final punctuation mark of the sentence, and the footnote number is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence (the second quotation mark). For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 Or, Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles."2 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK (if it is a quote), and then the FOOTNOTE NUMBER IN SUPERSCRIPT. Each footnote itself is punctuated with a final period. Use Ibid. as appropriate. It isn't difficult. See the examples below.

Cite Mill's books exactly like this, using the page numbers of the Oxford University Press edition:

1John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 27.

2Ibid., 54. (Subsequent reference to the same book but a different page.)

3Ibid. (Subsequent reference to the same book and the same page as in the immediately preceding footnote. This footnote indicates another reference to page 54 of Mill's On Liberty.)

4Utilitarianism, 125. (In case you use Mill's other work (rare). Since Mill also wrote this one, you need not cite his name in the footnote.)

BTW, Do not use the title of the Oxford edition—On Liberty, Utilitarianism, and Other Essays: Mill never wrote such a collection. This collection was edited and put together by Messrs. Philp and Rosen from works that Mill actually wrote. Just cite On Liberty and, if you must, Utilitarianism.

Models for all Chicago Style references can be found here.

The other punctuation to be mastered is the introduction of quotes. If you introduce them using the word "that" (what Turabian calls run-in quotes), then you do not put any punctuation before or after the word "that." Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. The content of the quotes must be absolutely perfect; proofread the quotes several times to make sure.

One further note: do not use the noun "human" as a synonym for "man" unless you are specifically distinguishing between a human trait (note the adjective here) and a divine or animal trait. The noun "human" implies this distinction. In this discipline, the noun "man" is the standard reference in works of political theory and philosophy.

For the Week of April 24th:

For Tuesday, please chapters 1 & 2 of John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism. I suggest that you also take a look at the biographical material in the introduction to the text. Interesting guy.

As you read Mill's Utilitarianism, ask yourself how Mill's doctrine was similar to Bentham's and, more importantly, how it differed. What was the key difference? Defining hedonism as the ethical doctrine that holds pleasure and pain to be the ultimate standards of conduct, is Bentham a hedonist? Is Mill?

For Friday, please read chapter 1 and pages 18-19, 51-54 of chapter 2 of On Liberty.

For the Class of Friday, April 21st:

In the five classes remaining, we will focus on the works of John Stuart Mill, but we will first start with a reading from his godfather, Jeremy Bentham. Please read chapters 1 & 4 of the Principles of Morals and Legislation.

Jeremy Bentham's Principles of Morals and Legislation, Preface and chapters 1-4.

Mill, "The Contest in America", in Dissertations and Discussions

For the Week of April 3:

The handout by Richard Ellis on radical environmentalism is for Friday. Which of the approaches to political ideologies fits these apocalyptic environmentalist scenarios the best?

Please note: "A volunteer note-taker is needed for this class, to assist a classmate who has a disability. This is an easy job that only requires the note-taker to share their notes within 24 hours after class. Additionally, it is an opportunity to give back to others and it looks great on a resume. The note-taker and the requesting student can each decide whether or not they wish to be openly identified, as a personal choice. "Anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer note-taker should e-mail access@marymount.edu. Lastly, as a Thank You for their awesome efforts, all note-takers will receive a $100 gift card from Student Access Services at the end of the semester!"

Next Tuesday, April 11th, is the second mid-term (when we return, we will begin a brief study of John Stuart Mill's political ideas). The exam will be an essay exam, as usual, with three questions focusing on the readings and the approaches to ideologies that we have studied in the past few weeks.

Here's what you've got to know:
  1. The exam will cover all of the primary and secondary materials listed above.
  2. You should learn Watkins's approach to political ideology and the approach of one other analyst: Cohn, Voegelin, or Minogue. You will have to apply the approach of Watkins and the approach of the second analyst that you choose to ideological material found in the primary and secondary readings listed above. Learn Watkins's approach and one other approach backwards and forwards!
  3. One question will ask you to characterize the difference(s) between ideological and non-ideological "theories" using Jaggar's essay on feminism and Ellis's essay on environmentalism as focal points. Both Jaggar's and Ellis's essays present a variety of positions one can take on women's rights and the environment—from non-ideological to "ideological," as we have used that term; from attitudes of basic fairness and practical reform to rigidly ideological attitudes. You will have to cite details from these two articles
  4. You should also consider (hint, hint) how some of the ideological thought that we have read reflects similarities to the Judeo-Christian apocalyptic myths described by Cohn or how they "sacralize" reality, as explained by McKnight.

As always, I want to see real, detailed evidence that you have read the assignments and have tried to understand the material. Specific, relevant details from the readings in support of your general statements in the essays is the key to a good grade.

There. You now have a good idea of the three questions that will be on the exam and what to study to prepare for the exam.

Two more readings before the exam next week (April 11th): for Tuesday, please read the handout on feminism by Alison Jaggar. I will give you a handout by Richard Ellis on radical environmentalism for Friday. As you read Jaggar, also consider the approach to ideology outlined by Kenneth Minogue, which can be found on the Approaches to Political Ideologies link below Voegelin's "gnostic mass movements" criteria.

For the exam, you must know (1) the components of Richard Watkins's concept of political ideologies and (2) the components of one other approach that we have gone over in class (Cohn's, Voegelin's, Minogue's). Get familiar with these approaches by applying them to each of the reading assignments for this middle segment of the course.

Papers are looking pretty good. Will have all or most of them corrected by Tuesday, and any that I have not corrected by Tuesday will be handed back by Friday.

For the Week of March 27th:

For Friday, please read the excerpt from Stephen McKnight's Sacralizing the Secular, which I handed out before Break. I am sorry; I have no extra copies. If you misplaced yours, get a copy from a classmate. Material from McKnight will be on the exam, so do your best to recover your copy.

The assignment for Tuesday is (1) the handout by Graeme Wood on "What ISIS Really Wants" and (2) a one-page paper that applies one of the approaches to ideology on the "Approaches to Ideologies" that we have been using. The Cohn material on apocalyptic and millenarian myths pertains directly to the paper and your paper may include references to this reading, if you find it relevant.

I would like the following students to apply Watkins's approach (these are in alphabetical order, actually): Max, Anthony, Angela, Micaela, Theo, Patricia, Mary, and Natalie.

I would like the following students to apply Cohn's approach: Jennifer, Dai, Lily, Shelby, Carolina, Shin, and Alisa.

Note: if anyone in either group wishes to apply the Voegelin "gnostic mass movements" criteria to the ISIS material, you may do so. Otherwise, you must use the approach that I have assigned.

The paper is intended to be a simple, straight-forward exercise in systematic application of the elements or criteria of a test/concept/rule to a given subject matter. Orderly, systematic, and reasonable application of the criteria of the approach by Watkins or Cohn (or Voegelin) to the account of the ISIS worldview is the core of this assignment.

I BEG YOU TO READ AND RE-READ ALL OF THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE PAPER BELOW!!!!! YOU MUST FOLLOW DIRECTIONS; YOU MAY FAIL IF YOU DO NOT!!

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed (see below) will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials—written or oral, internet, paper, or personal—may be used or consulted, either on the content or on the writing of the paper. This is essentially a closed-book exam.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use an eleven or twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like this one and the one I handed out in class. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words. Begin the paper immediately with your thesis statement: "The ISIS doctrine is/is not a political ideology according to Richard Watkins's criteria" or "The ISIS doctrine is/is not millenarian according to Norman Cohn's criteria" or "The ISIS movement is/is not a gnostic mass movement according to Eric Voegelin's criteria." Then report your step-by-step application of each criterion of the approach that you are using in two or three paragraphs.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Tuesday, March 28th. This means you must come to class and stay for the whole class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class. If you cannot make it to class, you must email a copy of the paper to me by 2:00am Tuesday and get me a hard copy by noon on Wednesday the 29th at the latest. I will not read the emailed copy, but will check it against the hard copy after I correct the hard copy. The absence will be excused or unexcused, as appropriate under the rules of the syllabus.
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) a good-faith, on-time submission that shows effort will receive the full five points for the first paper, (2) 50-50 writing-content on this second ten-point paper so a paper with lousy writing but good content (or vice-versa) will pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on the third ten-point paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content. Failing to follow any of these directions is also a factor, and a significant factor, in grading the paper.

FOOTNOTES: Really easy for this paper! The purpose of the footnote references is to enable me to find the exact passage of the Wood article you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. Titles of works are italicized; titles of articles, essays, and chapters are placed in quotes.

For this paper there is really only one source to cite—Graeme Wood's article, "What ISIS Really Wants"— unless you want to cite something from the Norman Cohn handout that we discussed in class. As I explained in class, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CITE the source of Watkins's, Cohn's, or Voegelin's criteria.

Remember, in a quote the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final punctuation mark of the sentence, and the footnote number is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence (the second quotation mark). For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 Or, Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles."2 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK (if it is a quote), and then the FOOTNOTE NUMBER IN SUPERSCRIPT. Each footnote itself is punctuated with a final period. Use Ibid. as appropriate. It isn't difficult. See the examples below.

Cite the Wood article this way (use the page numbers of the handout):

1Graeme Wood, "What ISIS Really Wants," The Atlantic, March, 2015, 9.

2Ibid., 12. (Subsequent reference to the same article but a different page.)

3Ibid. (Subsequent reference to the same article and the same pages as in the immediately preceding footnote. This footnote indicates another reference to page 12 of the Wood article."

4Norman Cohn, The Pursuit of the Millennium, rev. ed., 35. (In case you use Cohn's excerpt that I handed out in class.)

Models for all Chicago Style references can be found here.

At least five references/footnotes are required (six if you use Voegelin).

The other punctuation to be mastered is the introduction of quotes. If you introduce them using the word "that" (what Turabian calls run-in quotes), then you do not put any punctuation before or after the word "that." Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. The content of the quotes must be absolutely perfect; proofread the quotes several times to make sure.

One further note: do not use the noun "human" as a synonym for "man" unless you are specifically distinguishing between a human trait (note the adjective here) and a divine or animal trait. The noun "human" implies this distinction. In this discipline, the noun "man" is the standard reference in works of political theory and philosophy.

Here is an online version of "What ISIS Really Wants," but if you use it you still must get the handout for the page numbers. YOU MUST CITE THE ARTICLE BY PAGE NUMBER!!

Assignment for Friday: McKnight's Sacralizing the Secular excerpt that I handed out before the Spring Break.

For the Week of March 20th:

The reading assignment for Friday is the excerpt from Norman Cohn's The Pursuit of the Millennium. Please read the whole excerpt, but pay cloase attention to chapter one. List the various apocalyptic myths that Cohn describes. I will ask about their similarities and differences. Cohn's criteria of millenarian salvation should apply very neatly to thm. Do Watkins's and Voegelin's approaches fit as well?

We will also continue to relate Marx's and Hitler's "scientific" mythologies to these religious, apocalyptic myths. Bring your copies of the Communist Manifesto and Hitler's chapter to class with you. I will also give you the reading for Tuesday's one-page paper. The reading that I gave you before Break on Sacralizing the Secular will be the assignment for next Friday.

For Tuesday, please (1) read this excerpt from Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf (what does Kampf mean?) and (2) read Eric Voegelin's "Six Characteristics of Gnostic Mass Movements," listed as # 4 (not #1) on the "Approaches to Political Ideologies" link. We will also complete the discussion of the Communist Manifesto, as well. Don't forget to sign up for an appointment to discuss your first paper with me. It's worth 2% of your final grade.

In class, we will apply Watkins's and Cohn's concepts to Hitler's myth or account of the world. We will also review the Voegelin approach and apply it to Hitler and Marx.

As you read the Manifesto try to answer the following questions. As you read Hitler's chapter, ask yourself if there are counterparts in his account to the particular ideas in Marx's account.

  1. In the first section of the Manifesto, "Bourgeois and Proletarians," what theory of history does Marx present?
  2. Who or what are the bourgeoisie?
  3. Who or what are the proletarians or the proletariat?
  4. What is the foundation of all history, politics, and civilization?
  5. What are the laws of history, according to Marx?
  6. What do Marx and Engels expect to happen soon?
  7. In the second section, "Proletarians and Communists," who are the communists and what is their relation to the proletarians?
  8. What is the problem with "property"? all property?
  9. What is the foundation of human culture?
  10. What is the proletarian programme (to borrow the Brit spelling)?
  11. In the third section of the Manifesto, "Socialist and Communist Literature," what is Marx's main criticism of all other socialist or communist theories?
  12. A "manifesto" is a statement in support of a call to action: what is the call to action in Marx's manifesto? (Section four of the Manifesto).

For the Week of March 13th:

For Tuesday, please finish the Communist Manifesto. Pay close attention to the mytho-historical scheme Marx describes in Parts I and II, and the alternative forms of socialism in Part III. Part IV contains the political agenda of the Communists. Please review Voegelin's, Watkins's, and Cohn's concepts of ideology and ideological salvation on the Approaches to Political Ideologies link.

For the Week of February 27th:

I hope the exam was what you expected it to be. I tried to stick close to the script.

On Friday, we begin the next major section of the course: the study of political ideologies. Friday's class will be the introduction to this section of the course. This section is a bit different from the first section. The paper and the exam will be different. You will be required to apply given concepts or conceptual approaches to different examples of ideology. It is important to get off on the right footing, so there are two reading assignments for Friday. First, please read pages 29-46 of the required Pathfider edition of the Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels, and, second, please read the intro and parts 1 (Voegelin) and 2 (Kramnick and Watson) on this Approaches to Political Ideologies link. See you Friday!

Mid-Term Exam Tuesday. The exam will consist of four relatively short essays rather than two long ones.

The main assignments over the past month have been Machiavelli's Prince, excerpts from works by Leo Strauss, Sheldon Wolin, Garrett Mattingly, and Philip Bobbitt, and a few readings from other works of Machiavelli. We also read Robert Adams's "Historical Introduction" to The Prince. At the beginning of the semester, we read the introduction to political theory, excerpts from Aristotle and St. Thomas, and excerpts from Hobbes and Locke. I will assume that you know the vocabulary outlined in the introductory essay that we read (as well as in the other readings), that you have a pretty good idea of the basic philosophical outlooks that we label "Classical" and "modern" from the excerpts that we read before turning to Machiavelli, and that you have a basic—very basic—understanding of the historical situation in which Machiavelli lived and wrote from the readings of Adams and Bobbitt. There will be no separate questions on these writers, but you should use this stuff in your essays. Show me that you are tying things together, that you are working through the ideas and arguments and not just desperately trying to memorize details.

On the main readings, rather than ask you compare-contrast type questions, I will ask four straightforward questions on (1) the assigned writings of Machiavelli, (2) Leo Strauss's criticism of Machiavelli, (3) Garrett Mattingly's interpretation of The Prince, and (4) Sheldon Wolin's interpretation of Machiavelli's political science. The questions will be in that order. The first question will be aimed directly at your understanding of Machiavelli's writings—The Prince, the letters that were assigned, and the sections of The Discourses that were assigned. You must be able to give some reasons from the texts to support your answer. On the three named commentators, I will ask you (1) to explain their interpretations of Machiavelli; I will also ask you (2) whether you agree with each and (3) why. You must be able to present a plausible reason or two for your opinion in a full paragraph. I expect each essay should be about three pages long. You will have 80 minutes for the exam if you get there on time.

This is more detail about exams than I usually give, but most of you seem to be new to political theory, so I want to let you know exactly what to expect. Again, this kind of material should be chewed and digested, not memorized. Strauss's, Mattingly's, and Wolin's intelligent arguments should make sense to you, even if they cannot all be correct (can they?) or if you do not agree with each of them. Try to figure out exactly what each is arguing and, from your readings of Machiavelli, whether you think their arguments are sound. For Machiavelli—better read the Discourses material if you have not already.

I truly hope this is helpful.

For the Week of February 20th:

Sorry for this late posting. As announced, please (1) review chapter 13 of Hobbes's Leviathan, which was handed out some weeks ago, (2) the letter to Francesco Vettori (pp. 1-4 of Wootton text), and (3) these pages and chapters of Machiavelli's Discourses, found in the Wootton text (Roman numberal ius the book, Arabic numeral is the chapter)—pp. 81-82 (letter dedicatory; compare it to the letter dedicatory to The Prince), Book I. Preface, chapters 2, 10, 26, 55; Book II. Preface, chapter 1.

Do these readings give you a different opinion of Machiavelli? Do they reveal that he is a champion of republics as opposed to principalities? of good rules rather than tyrants?

The assignment for next Tuesday (the 21st) will be the handout of an excerpt from Philip Bobbitt's book, The Shield of Achilles. Extra copies are available in the rack on my office door. Look up the words that you do not know!

On Thursday we will review Hobbes's chapter 13 of Leviathan and perhaps one other short excerpt. The mid-term will be on Tuesday the 28th.

Wikipedia on the trace italienne.

For the Week of February 13th:

For Friday, February 17, please read the excerpt from Sheldon Wolin that I handed out in class. What does Wolin mean by an "economy" of violence? An economy based on violence? A minimization of violence? What attitude does Wolin seem to have toward Machiavelli—favorable? unfavorable? approving? disapproving? Same as Strauss's? What is Wolin's main point or points?

Wonderful discussion on Friday. I will call on the few of you who have not volunteered. I'd love to have more discussions as good as that one.

Let me switch up the assignments for this week. I found the Garrett Mattingly article that I was looking for online, and I want to give you the longer assignments over the weekend, when you have more time to read them. This assignment is not too long, but it is a bit longer than the Wolin excerpt. So please read (1)"The Prince: Political Science or Political Satire" by Garrett Mattingly and (2) in your copy of The Prince by David Wootton, pages xvi-xxiii (last paragraph on xvi up to and including the first paragraph of xxiii. I will ask you questions to see how well you are understanding the words on the page, so use dictionaries and look up words that you don't know.

In addition, try to determine

  1. What is Mattingly's main point in his article?
  2. What is the best evidence that Mattingly adduces in support of his point?
  3. Does Mattingly's argument persuade you?
  4. What is Wootton's interpretation of the reason that Machiavelli wrote The Prince?
  5. What is Wootton's best evidence in support of his argument?
  6. Does Wootton's argument appear to be correct?
  7. If Wootton is correct, does this refute Mattingly's argument, or not?

For the Week of February 6th:

For Friday, please read the excerpt from Leo Strauss that I handed out in class. You should take a look Machiavelli's little speech that is in the handout, too, but the Strauss excerpt is the most important.

For Tuesday, please finish the Prince (through page 80) and be sure to read any of the earlier parts of the Prince if you missed them.

For the Week of January 30th:

We will cover (please read!) chapters 11-20 of the Prince. Here is the writing assignment due Friday. You must have/use the Wootton text and translation for this assignment. Though I should not have to say this to college students, let me add that the paper must be (1) typed, (2) double-spaced, (3) with normal margins and fonts. Bring the paper that you signed in class with you and hand it in separately with—not stapled to—you assignment. You will get a full 5% IF YOU FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. I honestly cannot make it simpler than this.

Now that the beginning-of-the-semester preliminaries are out of the way, on Tuesday we begin our study of Machiavelli. Please read the "Historical Introduction" that I handed out in class and pages 5-35 of David Wooton's Machiavelli, Selected Political Writings. As I explained in class and in the syllabus, the Wooton book is required. There may be a short quiz at the beginning of class. I will also give you a very short written assignment for Friday.

For the Week of January 23d:

For Tuesday, please read the handout with excerpts from Aristotle and St. Thomas. Extra copies are in the rack on my office door. Try to relate the subjects that these two authors discuss in the excerpts to the concepts and traditions that we discussed on Friday.

For Friday, please read the excerpts from Thomas Hobbes and John Locke that I gave you on Tuesday. Next week: Machiavelli!

The reading assignment for Friday will be excerpts from modern political writers. I will hand it out in class.

For the Class of Friday, January 20th:

Please read this short excerpt for Friday. Focus on the five fundamental conceptions of political philosophy and the four traditions that we track in POL 210-211.

Map of Italy circa A.D. 1500

Machiavelli's Philosophical Anthropology

The material below is from past semesters.

THE SECOND HALF OF THE FINAL EXAM WILL BE HELD ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16th AT 12:00 NOON IN CARUTHERS 1021.

It will be no more than one-hour long. It will be one question focusing on the Classical Christian tradition, but may require some comparing and contrasting with the other traditions.

Because it will be proctored by MU staff, do not be late. Do not miss it completely. The staff has absolutely no discretion to extend the exam time or accept excuses for missing the exam. You gotta take it at noon on Friday.

For the Week of December 5th, the last week!:

For Friday: the first half of the final exam: a cumulative summary of the Classical tradition.

You will have one-hour to write an essay that connects the five fundamental concepts of the Classical—not Classical-Christian—tradition: ontology/cosmology, epistemology, philosophic/empirical anthropology, ethics, and politics, just like you were asked to do for the Esoteric tradition in the mid-term and the Epicurean tradition in Tuesday's one-page paper.

The second half of the final, on Friday, December 16th. It will also be one hour, one question.

For Tuesday: (1) return of the mid-terms, (2) the one-page paper, and (3) excerpts from St. Thomas on Christian ethics and politics.

The Tuesday reading assignment is excerpts from St. Stomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica, a 3500-page summary of Christian theology heavily influenced by Aristotle ("the Philosopher"), Plato, and St. Augustine ("the Theologian"). Your assignment is a bit shorter than that. Read the articles in Questions 91 and 95 and answer the following questions. Read all of Article 1 in Question 91. Thereafter, you need only read the paragraphs that begin "I answer that" and "On the contrary" in each of the rest of the articles.

  1. Is there an "eternal law"? What is it?
  2. Is there a "natural law"? What is it?
  3. Is there a "human law"? What is it?
  4. Is there a "divine law"? What is it?
  5. (Question 95) Why are human laws—laws enacted by men—useful? Are they necessary?
  6. How does the content or substance of human laws differ from natural laws?

I don't expect you to study these excerpts at length because of the paper, but the assignment is only a couple of pages lang when you skip the objections and reply to objections. Come to class prepared to answer a few of the questions.

The topic for the one-page paper that is due on Tuesday is the cumulative summary of all five fundamental conceptions of Epicurean political theory as I explained on class on Friday and as Question #1 of the mid-term already asked about the Esoteric tradition: How does Epicurean political theory reflect the Epicurean conceptions of ethics, anthropology, epistemology, and ontology? The topic of the exam on Friday, December 9th is the same for the Classical tradition. You will have to similarly understand the Classical Christian tradition for the second part of the final on Friday, December 16th. This is the final end or final cause or highest good of the course.

The topic is a demonstration of how the Epicurean conception of politics depends upon the Epicurean conceptions of ontology, epistemology, anthropology, and ethics.

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used or consulted are your notes and the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials—written or oral, internet, paper, or personal—may be used or consulted. Except for using these sources, the paper should be treated like a closed-book exam.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like the one I show you in class. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class. You must have at least five footnotes.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Tuesday, December 6th. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class.
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) the grade on the first paper/writing sample was based upon (a) following the directions, (b) making a good faith effort, and (c) reflecting the readings in your argument; (2) the grade on the second paper will count the writing & content equally so a paper with lousy writng but good content (or vice-versa) might pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on this third paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content.

The purpose of the references, in addition to avoiding plagiarism, is to enable the reader to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. For this paper these are the only sources for you to use or to cite: (1) the assigned readings from Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe (cited by book and line numbers); (2) the assigned readings from Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (cited by chapter number); and (3) the assigned readings from Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (cited by paragraph number).

Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: (1) the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, (2) then the END QUOTATION MARK, and (3) then the FOOTNOTE. Also, as I explained to you in our individual meetings, you must use "Ibids" in this paper, too. Here are some sample footnotes:

1Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, III.333.

2Ibid. (Reference to exact same work, book, and line number as cited in the immediately preceding footnote.)

3Ibid., IV.666. (Reference to same work but different book and line number.)

4Hobbes, Leviathan, VI.3. (New source, never cited before in your notes.)

5Lucretius, V.555. (Subsequent reference to a source you cited earlier. You may only use Ibid. when the citation is referring to the same source as the immediately preceding note.)

6Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, par. 36. (New source, never cited before in your notes.)

Tips for the Final Paper (same as the green sheet that I handed out in class)

For the Week of November 28th:

We start to wrap up the course with the Epicurean, Classical, Classical-Christian politics and ethics, just as we did with the Gnostic-Esoteric tradition. Here's an outline of the schedule:

For Tuesday, read the short introductions to ethics and politics on the "Ethics Readings" and "Politics Readings" sites linked on the "Readings for Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2016)" page. Then read the excerpts from chapters 13, 14, 16, and 17 (you may skip the excerpts from chapters 18 and 20) of Leviathan. Use these study questions to help you work through the chapters.

For Friday, these excerpts from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Politics, which I handed out in class. Extra copies are in the rack on my office door. I will also hand out material that explains exactly how you should write the last paper on Epicurean politics. Don't miss it!

For the Mid-Term:

As I indicated in class, there will be three essay questions: one entirely on the Esoteric-Gnostic tradition and two that compare and contrast different aspects of the Epicurean, Classical, and Classical-Christian traditions—epistemology, philosophic anthropology, and empirical anthropology.

The Gnostic-Esoteric question includes the readings since the first mid-term: the excerpt on "gnosis" from Jonas's book, The Gnostic Religion; the Gnostic story of The Quest for the Priceless Pearl; the Hermeticist or Esoteric classic Poemandres; and the excerpts on Gnostic and Esoteric ethics that were the assignment for last Friday's class. You may want to briefly review the Apocryphon of John: as you may recall, I used it alot to put the Gnostic ideas in context; you should use it, too. By now, given these readings, you should have a pretty good idea of how the Gnostic epistemology (and cosmology), philosophical anthropology, and ethics fit together. As I told you, I will ask you to fit them together in one of the questions on the mid-term.

The other two questions will be similar in form to the comparison-contrast questions on the first exam. One or both may include quotes to identify by author, title, and tradition. While the focus of the questions will be on the epistemological and anthropological writings that we have been studying, it should be clear that you cannot discuss epistemology—theories of what we can know and how we can know it—without referring to ontology— what is real or "what is there to know." Your essays should include brief references to the material from the first month of the course that are necessary to explain the epistemology and the philosophical anthropology. The course is necessarily culumulative, like math and science. Each part builds on what went before.

If you have kept up with the readings, you should be in pretty good shape. I urge you to use my commentaries on the Epistemology and Anthropology Readings sites, and the study questions that are meant to lead you through the readings. To pass, you must show me some evidence that you are familiar with details from the readings, not just the lectures or Wikipedia. I know that some of you have difficulty with the concepts we are studying, but I also urge you to try to process the information—see how the different ideas of epistemology and anthropology fit together with the prior ideas of consmology and ontology—rather than simply memorizing phrases or sentences. To get more than a passing grade, you must show me how well you understand the material, too.

For the first class after the break, Tuesday, November 29th, we will look at Hobbes's and Rousseau's ideas of a "social contract." The final one-page paper will be due on December 2d and will ask you to put together all five philosophical conceptions of the Epicurean tradition.

For the Week of November 14th:

Two famous readings from the Esoteric tradition: In Quest of the Priceless Pearl (or somtimes simply, The Pearl) and the more challenging Hermetic or Hermeticist tract, Poemandres. In both, look for evidence of the concepts of man: empirical anthropology and philosophic anthropology. Use the questions on the Anthropology Readings page to help.

On Friday, some readings on Gnostic ethics: please read the handout of excerpts about Gnostic ethics by Jonas, Cohn, Knox, and Mahe. See the Ethics Readings page for a couple of study questions. Extra copies are in the rack on my office door.

Mid-term, next Tuesday, the 22d.

For the Week of November 7th:

For Friday, please read the excerpts from St. Augustine on empirical and philosophical anthropology. Again, there are study questions to take you through the readings on the "Anthropology Readings" page at #3, Classical-Christian anthropology. If you did not pick up the handout, you may print one out from the link—"City of God excerpts on anthropology"—at #3 of the "Anthropology Readings" page. How does St. Augustine's view differ from Plato's and Aristotle's.

For Tuesday, please read the excerpts from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Book I: the handout I gave you on Friday. Look for clues or remarks that indicate Aristotle's view of how people behave (empirical anthropology). Importantly, also look for evidence of Aristotle's philosophical anthropology, his understanding of the essential nature of man—man's place in the cosmos. In Aristotle, and in many philosophers, the philosophical anthropology is tied to his understanding of man's essential purpose, function, and goal, often characterized as "happiness"; in Greek, eudaimonia. Hobbes discusses this same thing using the word "felicity" rather than "happiness" in the last few paragraphs of chapter 6 of Leviathan, part of the last Hobbes handout that I gave you. Compare Hobbes's and Aristotle's views.

As always, all of these readings, along with study questions and commentary, are available on the "Anthropology Readings" link of my web page. Use the comments on the Anthropology and Epistemology Readings pages. We will also be discussing the close tie between anthropology and ethics, so use the Ethics Readings page as well.

For Halloween Week:

For Friday, one short new reading assignment from Plato's Republic: Books II.358c-362d and VI.489d-497a. This is linked on the Anthropology Readings page under "Classical anthropology," 2.a. Use the questions in that paragraph as a study guide.

We will also go over the last papers in class in some detail.

Finally, I am moving the mid-term from Friday, November 11th, to Tuesday, November 22d. Make your travel plans accordingly.

Readings from Lucretius, Hobbes, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau for Tuesday. Please go to the "Anthropology Readings" page (just below the "Epistemology Readings" link that we have been using the past three weeks) and read (1) the introductory paragraphs on the top of the page and (2) the texts from Lucretius, Hobbes, and Rousseau set out in the first section on "Epicurean Anthropology." The passages from Lucretius add up to only a few pages. Chapter 13 of Hobbes's Leviathan is one of the most famous pieces of English literature. Chapter 6 was included in the handout a couple of weeks ago of Hobbes's account of epistemology; you only need to review the very important last few paragraphs where Hobbes defines "felicity," a synonym for "happiness." Happiness is an important concept in this discussion. The paragraphs from Rousseau have been very influential in contemporary (recent) theories of human nature. Important stuff all.

Next mid-term is scheduled for November 11th. I try to stick to the syllabus schedule, but if we cannot cover the necessary material by that time, I will move the exam back. Stay tuned.

For the Week of October 24th:

As nnounced in class, please read the handout of excerpts from the writings of St. Augustine. Use these study questions to help you through the excerpts.

First, let me say that Friday's class was one of the best this semester. Many of you participated, whether to ask or to answer questions, and that was great! Keep it up. This is difficult stuff and is also new to most of you. You learn it best by getting involved in the discussion, not by sitting quietly and simply trying to absorb it.

Second, do not be upset if you had difficulty understanding the Aristotle excerpt for the paper. I require you to use the material that I assign for the day that the paper is due. I cannot expect you to understand the new material as well as the material that we have already discussed in class, but if I don't require you to use the assigned material in the paper, most of you will not read the assigned material and focus only on the paper. I do not base much of your grade on the paper's content regarding the newly assigned material. Just show effort in trying to understand the material. As per the syllabus, papers will be returned in two weeks.

Finally, assignments for the week: for Tuesday, please read the handout on Gnostic knowledge or gnosis that I handed out to you. Specifically what is the content of gnosis? How is it acquired? See the last batch of these study questions to help you through the excerpt. Use the first batches of questions for Friday's excerpts from St. Augustine.

For Friday, I will have a handout of excerpts from St. Augustine for you.

For the Week of October 17th:

For Friday: the One-page Paper is Due. For the paper, please read Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Book Six, chapters 6 and 7, which I handed out in class and which is also linked here. I am also assigning the "Divided Line Graphic," which is linked on the Epistemology Readings page and which I showed on the screen in class Tuesday, which you may use to help you with the terminology only: do not quote or cite it!

The paper must compare and contrast Aristotle's conception of "intuitive reason," which Aristotle describes in chapter 6 of Book Six, and his conception of "wisdom"—"philosophic wisdom"—which he discusses in chapter 7 with Plato's conceptions of "reason" and "understanding," which Plato discusses in his account of the "divided line." These are the only two sources that you may cite, though you may also use the "Divided Line Graphic" to help to clarify the key terms of Plato's account. Your translation of Plato is the Jowett translation; Jowett's names for what can be known and for the different intellectual capabilities are listed under his name on the chart. YOU SHOULD USE THE JOWETT WORDS IN YOUR PAPER.

As in the first paper, two full paragraphs—one on Plato and one on Aristotle—with a strong introductory statement or concluding statement will be enough. Note, you must use "Ibid." properly in your notes for this paper.

Use the study questions on the readings by Plato and Aristotle to guide our class discussion and to guide your study of the readings for the paper. The study questions are available, as always, on the "Epistemology Readings" page under the "Readings for Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2016)" link.

Grading Scale for Essays

Outlines of Model Answers for First Exam

Please read all of the following material on the papers and follow directions.

Topic for One-Page Paper: compare and contrast Aristotle's conception of "intuitive reason," which Aristotle describes in chapter 6 of Book Six, and his conception of "wisdom"—"philosophic wisdom"—which he discusses in chapter 7 with Plato's conceptions of "reason" and "understanding," which he discusses in his account of the "divided line." Are they, despite each author's different terms, the same thing(s)? If not, how are they different?

Rules for One-Page Papers

The question will be a comparison of Plato's epistemology to Aristotle's. The Epicurean materials will not be relevant.

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials—written or oral, internet, paper, or personal—may be used or consulted. This is essentially a closed-book exam.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like the one I show you in class. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class. You must have at least five footnotes.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Friday, October 21st. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class.
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) the grade on the first paper/writing sample was based upon (a) following the directions, (b) making a good faith effort, and (c) reflecting the readings in your argument; (2) the grade on this second paper will count the writing & content equally so a paper with lousy writng but good content (or vice-versa) might pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on the third paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content.

The purpose of the references, in addition to avoiding plagiarism, is to enable the reader to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. For this paper there are only two possible sources for you to cite: (1) The passages from Plato's Republic are cited by Stephanus numbers only. (2) Passages from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics are cited by book and chapter numbers: book numbers in Roman numerals; chapter numbers in Arabic numerals.

Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: (1) the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, (2) then the END QUOTATION MARK, and (3) then the FOOTNOTE. Also, as I explained to you in our individual meetings, you must use "Ibids" in this paper, too. Here are sample footnotes for the Plato and Aristotle:

1Plato, Republic, 507(a).

2Ibid. (Reference to exact same work and page as previously cited.)

3Ibid., 509(a). (Reference to same work but different page number.)

4Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, VI.3. (New source, never cited before in your notes.)

5Plato, 510(a). (Subsequent reference to a source you cited earlier. You may only use Ibid. when the citation is referring to the same source as the immediately preceding note.)

6Aristotle, VI.7. (Another subsequent to a source you cited earlier.)

For Tuesday, please read these excerpts on Aristotle's four intellectual virtues of "scientific knowledge" (episteme), "art" or "craftsmanship" (techne), "practical wisdom" or "prudence" (phronesis), and political wisdom (politike): chapters 3, 4, 5, & 8 of Book Six of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. We will continue to discuss Plato's divided line and cave parable in the Republic on Tuesday.

We will also discuss the one-page paper due Friday. You will be asked to compare an aspect of Plato's epistemology in the Republic with the aspect of Aristotle's epistemology that will be assigned for Friday. I will give you the specific questiion here and in class on Tuesday. At this point, study Plato's argument closely; you will have to write one paragraph about it for the paper.

For the Class of October 14th:

We will go over the exams first. Then we will turn to Classical epistemology. Please read the handout of Plato's "divided line" and "parable of the cave." There are study questions on this material on the "Epistemology Readings" page. The assignment for Tuesday the 18th is the excerpt from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Book VI, on the intellectual virtues, also linked with study questions on the "Epistemology Readings" page.

I posted Wednesday and Friday times next week for appointments to go over your papers. By my calculation, I posted enough times to accommodate all of the students who have not yet me with me. Please sign up for a time by Friday or lose 2% of your semester grade. I am planning to assign the paper for Tuesday, October 18th. The topic is a comparison-contrast of Epicurean and Classical epistemology.

For the Week of October 3d:

For Friday, please read chapters 1-5 of Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan. There are study questions on the "Epistemology Readings" page under the "Readings for Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2016)" link. As you read Hobbes, note the similarities (and differences) between Hobbes's epistemology and Lucretius's.

The eye and the mind.

It looked like you all survived the examination. I will grade them and hand them back in two weeks—October 14th—as promised in the syllabus.

We will begin on Tuesday to study the concept of epistemology, the study of "knowledge"—what we can know and how we know things. Two readings: (1) please review the article on "Myth and Reality" by the Frankforts on the ancient methods of knowing the world and (2) please read Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, IV.26-614, 722-908; II.788-864 (Book IV, lines 26-614, 722-908; Book II, lines 788-864). As with the earlier material on cosmology and ontology, go to the "Readings for Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2016)" link directly below this one, and then click on "Epistemology Readings" for the readings assignments and study questions.

A sign-up sheet is on my office door for Tuesday and Friday appointments this week to go over your papers. Appointments will continue into next week as well. Let me know immediately if you have class or other obligations that prevent you from meeting with me at the times on the sign-up sheet, and I will make special arrangements with you. Please sign up as soon as you can. Next paper is scheduled for Friday, October 14th.

For the Week of September 26th:

Friday is the mid-term. You have an excellent chance here to catch up on all of the readings assigned thus far in the semester. Here are some basics:

  1. There will be three essay questions, each asking for an answer of about two-to-three bluebook pages (about 250 words). The material that we have been studying will be sliced into narrow, focused questions on ontology/cosmology, mostly comparing and contrasting the different writers on issues that they have commonly addressed (the nature of the gods or God, the relation of the divine to the universe, the relation of God or the gods to individuals, the creation of the universe (cosmogony).
  2. From the "Introduction to Political Theory" essay, you should have a clear idea of the four philosophical traditions that we will be studying throughout the semester. We began the semester with two excerpts (the Eliade and Frankfort essays) about the ancient, pre-philosophic understanding of the world, and the first mid-term will include them, but the ancients do not constitute one of the four traditions that are identified in the "Introduction to Political Theory" essay.
  3. From the "Introduction to Political Theory" essay, you should have a pretty good idea of the five fundamental philosophical conceptions that we will be studying, but you should have a very good understanding of the conceptions of ontology/cosmology that we have been studying for the past three weeks.
  4. You should be able to identify (and spell correctly) the authors and titles of the works that have been assigned. The exam will include identification questions that are worth a few bonus points—not as much as the essays, but worth enough to give you reason to learn the authors and titles of the works.

An example of an identification question:

Identify the following quotation by author, title of the work in which it appears, and the philosophical tradition to which it belongs:

Nothing is ever created by divine power out of nothing.

Author:

Title:

Tradition:

And the answers, of course, are Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, and Epicureanism.

When you come to class, place all of your belongings—including all cell phones and other electronic devices—at the front of the room. Turn all cell phones and other devices off so that they do not make noise or ring while the exam is taking place. YOU MAY NOT HAVE ANY ELECTRONIC DEVICE OR ANY PAPER OTHER THAN THE EXAM AND BLUE BOOK WITH YOU WHEN YOU TAKE THE EXAM.

Please bring a couple of black or blue ink pens. You must use a pen; no pencils. I will bring some extras.

For Tuesday, please read the handout by Hans Jonas on the Gnostic and Classical conceptions of the cosmos. It is an excellent review for Friday's exam.

For the Week of September 19th:

For Friday, please read the handout "The Apocryphon of John," which also happens to be on the "Cosmology-Ontology Readings" page under paragraph #5. There is no separately-linked list of study questions for the Apocryphon, but there are many study questions in paragraph #5 on the "Readings" page.

First mid-term essay exam is next Friday, September 30th. Try to start processing the information that you have read and heard thus far. Essays require you to explain, compare, and evaluate what you have read.

There is a sign-up sheet for discussions of your papers on my office door, Ireton, G107. The sheet lists two days so far: this Friday and next Tuesday. We will not have appointments the day of the exam, but the appointments will resume on Tuesday the 4th.

For Tuesday, please read the excerpts from St. Augustine that are linked on the "Cosmology-Ontology Readings" page under #4. Study questions are provided there as well. The "Cosmology-Ontology Readings" page is on the "Readings for Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2016)" link.

For the Week of September 12th:

For Friday, (1) please read the material by Aristotle on the "four causes," which is the first excerpt in the handout that I gave you last Friday for this week, and (2) hand in your one-page paper.

The study questions that you have been using for the Stoic writers also include a few questions on Aristotle's four causes. Aristotle, the three Stoics, and Lucretius should all be used and cited in your paper: Aristotle and Lucretius must be used! As I mentioned in class, your answer/paper should be divided into two main paragraphs of four or five sentences each and either an introductory paragraph or a concluding paragraph, not both. Make sure your paper shows me that you understand the difference between cosmology and ontology: you should focus on one or the other.

Please, please, read all of the following material on the papers and follow directions. This is more of a writing sample than a test of your knowledge of the thought of Lucretius, Aristotle, and the Stoics.

Rules for One-Page Papers

The question to be addressed in the paper is "How does the Epicurean cosmology (or ontology) differ significantly from Classical cosmology (or ontology)?"

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials—written or oral, internet, paper, or personal—may be used or consulted. This is essentially a closed-book exam.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like the one I show you in class. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Friday, September 16th. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class.
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) the grade on this first paper/writing sample is based upon (a) following the directions, (b) making a good faith effort, and (c) reflecting the readings in your argument; (2) the grade on the second paper will count the writing & content equally so a paper with lousy writng but good content (or vice-versa) will pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on the third paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content.

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. For this paper there are four possible sources for you to cite: (1) The passages from Lucretius's poem are to be cited by book number (Roman numeral) and line numbers (Arabic numerals) as illustrated in the sample paper I handed out. You should know this by now. (2) Passages from Eliade and the Frankforts are cited by page number. (3) Passages from Aristotle, Cicero, Epictetus, or Marcus Aurelius are to book and part/chapter/section number. Book numbers in Roman numerals; chapter numbers in Arabic numerals in both these cases, just like in the linked text.

Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE. Here are sample footnotes for the Frankforts, Eliade, Lucretius, Aristotle, Cicero, and Epictetus:

1Henri and H.A. Frankfort, "Myth and Reality," in Before Philosophy, 18. (Note: end all footnotes with a period.)

2Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane, 8.

3Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, I.350.

4Cicero, On the Nature of the Gods, VII.6.

5Ibid. (A reference to the exact same source—author, title, the location in the text—in the very next footnote. "Ibid." refers back to the source in the previous footnote.)

6Lucretius, III.135. (A subsequent reference to a source cited before, but not immediately before. You cannot use "Ibid.," so you abbreviate the previously cited sources so that the reader recognizes what you are referring to.)

7Epictetus, Discourses, V.13. (new source)

8Aristotle, Physics, II.3. (new source)

9Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, iv.4. (new source)

I hope this stuff is starting to make some sense to you. I think all of us have thought about and talked about this subject—the nature of the world around us, the nature of reality. Perhaps our religions have given us ready answers to these questions; that is certainly where my first understanding came from. What we are doing here is studying alternative conceptions of cosmology and reality. Do not just try to memorize the positions of the different writers. Try to process, to digest, their arguments so that their overall logic makes sense to you. I look for evidence of this processing of information in your papers and exams, and in your class responses.

For Tuesday, please read the excerpts by Cicero, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius in the handout that I gave you. Do not read Aristotle for Tuesday; the Aristotle excerpt on the four causes is the assignment for Friday. Study questions are linked on the "Cosmology-Ontology Readings" link on the "Readings for Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2016)" link, which is directly below, in §3.

We will begin class by concluding the discussion of Lucretius that we began last Friday. Bring your books.

We will also discuss the details for the first paper, due Friday. The question to be addressed in the paper is "How does the Epicurean cosmology (or ontology) differ significantly from Classical cosmology (or ontology)?" This is the kind of question you might be asked on the first mid-term exam. The difference between a paper and an exam is that you must document the basis of your answer in a paper; you do not have to do that in an exam.

You answer must include references to Lucretius, to the Stoics writers that we are reading for Tuesday, and to Aristotle's four causes. The papers will always include references to the material that is assigned for the class at which the papers are due. Otherwise, the assigned readings do not get done.

See you Tuesday!

For the Week of September 5th:

Assignment for Friday is several passages from Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, which are spelled out in detail on the "Cosmology-Ontology Readings" link on the "Readings for Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2016)" link, which is directly below this one. Read the passages set out in §(Section)2.a and use the study questions linked in §2.a. YOU WILL NEED A COPY OF THE ASSIGNED TEXT: THESE PASSAGES ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN THE SAME FORM ON THE INTERNET. §2.a also provides some background info and guidance.

We can also discuss further questions form the Frankforts and Eliade readings. Guidance and study questions are provided in §1.

For Tuesday, please read (1) the handouts by Mircea Eliade and Henri and H.A. Frankfort and (2) the introductory materials on the Eliade and Frankfort material located on the link entitled "Readings for Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2016)," located directly below the link for the assignment page that you are now reading. Once you click on the "Readings for Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2016)" link, click on the "Cosmology-Ontology Readings" link on that page.

We will also review the section on the philosophical traditions in the "Introduction" that you read for last Friday. You will note that the Eliade and Frankfort materials do not fit in any of the traditions for the simple reason that they describe ancient thinking before philosophy developed.

There are study questions for the Eliade and Frankfort readings on the "Cosmology-Ontology Readings" link that we will use for class discussion and maybe for a quiz. Again, click on "Readings for Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2016)" directly below the link you are now reading from, then click on "Cosmology-Ontology Readings." These links will be the main source of readings and study questions for the remainder of the course.

Rules for One-Page Papers

The question to be addressed in the paper is "How does the Epicurean cosmology (or ontology) differ significantly from Classical cosmology (or ontology)?"

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials—written or oral, internet, paper, or personal—may be used or consulted. This is essentially a closed-book exam.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like the one I show you in class. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Friday, September 16th. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class.
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) the grade on this first paper/writing sample is based upon (a) following the directions, (b) making a good faith effort, and (c) reflecting the readings in your argument; (2) the grade on the second paper will count the writing & content equally so a paper with lousy writng but good content (or vice-versa) will pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on the third paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content.

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. For this paper there are four possible sources for you to cite: (1) The passages from Lucretius's poem are to be cited by book number (Roman numeral) and line numbers (Arabic numerals) as illustrated in the sample paper I handed out. You should know this by now. (2) Passages from Eliade and the Frankforts are cited by page number. (3) Passages from Aristotle, Cicero, Epictetus, or Marcus Aurelius are to book and part/chapter/section number. Book numbers in Roman numerals; chapter numbers in Arabic numerals in both these cases, just like in the linked text.

Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE. Here are sample footnotes for the Frankforts, Eliade, Lucretius, Cicero, and Epictetus:

1Henri and H.A. Frankfort, "Myth and Reality," in Before Philosophy, 18.

2Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane, 8.

3Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, I.350.

4Cicero, On the Nature of the Gods, VII.6.

5Ibid. (A reference to the exact same source—author, title, the location in the text—in the very next footnote. "Ibid." refers back to the source in the previous footnote.)

6Lucretius, III.135. (A subsequent reference to a source cited before, but not immediately before. You cannot use "Ibid.," so you abbreviate the previously cited sources so that the reader recognizes what you are referring to.)

7Epictetus, Discourses, V.13. (new source)

For Friday, Septmber 2, please read the handout that I gave you entitled "An Introduction to Political Theory and Political Philosophy." We will go over this material in class and also some information for the first paper.

The material below is from past semesters of POL 210 and 211.

Nature Don't Exist!

For the Final:

The course materials for the semester break down into three units:

  1. the intial study of the liberal/Epicurean social contract theories of Locke and Hobbes, with references to Rousseau, Aristotle, and Aquinas
  2. the study of political ideologies—approaches and examples
  3. the study Walter Lippmann's Public Philosophy, with references to Ortega, Bernays, and Lasch

There may be references on this essay exam to any or all of the authors and writings that we studied this semester, but the final will focus primarily on the most recent, third part of the course—Lippmann and the argument that he spells out in The Public Philosophy. In fact, each of the questions may be rooted in Lippmann's two-part argument because he discusses at some length the philosophy of John Locke (the father of liberal democracy) and political ideologies (the counter-revolutionaries, the adversaries of liberal democracy, and the confusion of the two realms). Thus, Lippmann's argument rests on your understanding of the first two parts of the course: Locke and liberalism, and political ideologies.

Recall that Lippmann's book-length argument is presented in two parts: part ("Book") one sets out the problem that Lippmann says is facing the Western world; part ("Book") two is Lippmann's proposed solution. You should understand how the two parts of the argument fit together. What is the root cause of the great problem? What role do ideologies play in the problem? What can be done to solve the problem? What obstacles stand in the way of the solution? (You must be familiar with the last two chapters of the book to know this.) And, of course, what exactly is "the public philosophy" that Lippmann defends?

The exam will be a two-hour essay exam with three or four questions. As I indicated in class, one question will focus on whether Christopher Lasch's argument in the last handout (The Revolt of the Elites) disagrees with the Lippmann's (and Ortega's and Bernays's) account of the problem facing liberal democracies. At least one question will tie Lippmann's analysis of political ideologies to the material on ideologies that we studied. At least one question will tie Lippmann to the social contract theorists. Lippmann's argument makes everything that we studied this semester relevant to his analysis. If you have read all of the assigned material, it should not be too difficult.

Check your emails Friday morning for confirmation of the location of the exam. As always, bring blue or black ink pens and your ID#. No phones. No bathroom breaks. No papers besides the bluebooks and the exam questions that I hand out.

For the Week of April 25th:

For Tuesday, please read the following parts of chapters 9 and 10 (IX and X): Chapter 9, parts 1, 3-6; Chapter 10, parts 1 & 2. The assignment for Friday, which should also be reflected in your final paper, is Chapter 10, parts 4-6, and all of Chapter 11. (You should also read the handout from Christopher Lasch's Revolt of the Elites for Friday—it is the basis for a final exam question—but you should not use it in the paper. Don't read it until you finish your paper.

For the one-page paper due Friday, discuss the following question: "In Lippmann's opinion, is it possible to develop a working doctrine of the good society under modern conditions?" If your (Lippmann's) answer is yes, explain how he argues that this can be done. If your (Lippmann's) answer is no, explain his reasons for saying it cannot be done. Writing this paper should be good preparation for the final exam, too.

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers. You must follow directions if you wish to get a passing grade on the paper.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed (see below) will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials—written or oral, internet, paper, or personal—may be used or consulted. This is essentially a closed-book exam.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one-page paper, attach a title page like this one. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements. This paper should be divided into at least two paragraphs.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Friday, April 29th. This means you must come to class and stay for the whole class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class. If you cannot make it to class, you must email a copy of the paper to me by 2:00am Friday and get me a hard copy by Tuesday the 9th at the latest. I will not read the emailed copy, but will check it against the hard copy after I correct the hard copy. The absence will be excused or unexcused, as appropriate under the rules of the syllabus.
  8. I ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) a good-faith, on-time submission that shows effort will receive the full five points for the first paper, (2) 50-50 writing-content on the second ten-point paper so a paper with lousy writing but good content (or vice-versa) will pass, and (3)the writing and content counted together on the final ten-point paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content.

At least five references/footnotes from different pages of the Lippmann text are required and at least four of them must come from pages in the second half of the book, where Lippmann discusses the question you are asked to answer in the paper. Your footnotes will demonstrate to me how much of the text you have read and used. You must use "Ibid." properly in the your notes.

For this paper all or most of your citations will be to the Lippmann text. If you wish to cite other materials that we have read in the course, cite them in the manner explained in the directions I provided for previous papers. The Lippmann text is also a good model for footnote use generally. Lippmann's text cites and uses footnotes in exactly the way that I want you to cite them. Imitate him!

Examples:

1Walter Lippmann, The Public Philosophy, 184.

2Ibid., 25. [This is a reference to Lippmann's book, but to a different page from the last citation. Do not give all of the information you did in the first citation to Lippmann. Use Ibid. for that.]

Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE. Each footnote itself is punctuated with a final period. Use Ibid. as appropriate. Refer back to the Lippmann essay. The method of notation in that essay is very similar to the Chicago Style method that I am asking you to use. It isn't difficult.

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. Titles of works are italicized; titles of articles, essays, and chapters are placed in quotes.

The other punctuation to be mastered is the introduction of quotes. If you introduce them using the word "that" (what Turabian calls run-in quotes), then you do not put any punctuation before or after the word "that." Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. Go, my dear students, and write likewise!

One further note: do not use the noun "human" as a synonym for "man" unless you are specifically distinguishing between a human trait (note the adjective here) and a divine or animal trait. The noun "human" implies this distinction. In this discipline, the noun "man" is the standard reference in works of political theory and philosophy.

Trump and the Elites. Compare to Lasch's argument.

Trump and Crowds

For the Week of April 18th:

For Friday, let's forget the sleepy Tuesday afternoon class and discuss chapter eight of The Public Philosophy, "The Eclipse of the Public Philosophy." This in particular is a carry-over from Lippmann's comments in chapter five, section 4, where he says that "the other development which has acted to enfeeble the executive power is the growing incapacity of the large majority of the democratic peoples to believe in intangible realities," and in chapter six, section two "A Prognosis." Some study questions for chapter eight:
  1. What does Lippmann mean by "the public philosophy"? What is a public philosophy?
  2. What created the "great vacuum" that Lippmann discusses in the section two?
  3. Is Lippmann opposed to the right of individuals to have their own private opinions?
  4. What are the "traditions of civility" to which Lippmann repeatedly refers? (Pay close attention to the excerpt from Ernest Barker's book on pages 97-98.)
  5. Why does Lippmann call the privatization of beliefs a "subtle transformation" of the original status of the public philosophy?
  6. What are the "first and last things" that are part of the public philosophy?
  7. What is the radical change in the conception of freedom brought about by the privatization of belief?
  8. Does Lippmann believe that citizens should be indoctrinated with the public philosophy and punished for failures to conform to it?
  9. What is the relation of natural law to the public philosophy? to the traditions of civility?
  10. Why is it no longer the dominant way of viewing political and public behavior, according to Lippmann?
  11. Why is it important to liberal democracies?
  12. What is the origin of the notion of "universal laws of rational order"?
  13. Why are such laws useful for large states with diverse populations? Are they essential, or just useful, according to Lippmann?
  14. Why is such an order of law or norms "natural"? What does the term "natural" convey here?
  15. Why do modern men have the impulse to "escape from freedom"? Why is freedom intolerable to many? How does freedom in the modern world contribute to public disorder, according to Lippmann?
  16. What does the "lonely crowd," the lonely and anxious men of today need and long for, according to Lippmann?

Final paper is due next Friday (April 29th). I will discuss the topic in class.

For Tuesday, please read chapter 7, thus completing Book One of The Public Philosophy. Why do you think the first seven chapters are designated "Book One," while the remainder of the book is "Book Two"? What is Lippmann's main point in the first seven chapters? What is his thesis? What is "the obscure revolution"? the democratic "malady"? the "derangement of powers"? the "totalitarian counterrevolution"? Who are the "adversaries" of liberal democracy" What is the mood of the book so far? How do Ortega and Bernays tie in here?

For the Week of April 11th:

Please read chapters 4, 5, and 6 of Lippmann's text for Friday (chapters 4 and 6 are very short, and chapter 5 describes in more detail the powers that Lippmann says were deranged in the twentieth century.) We will also complete the discussions of Ortega and Bernays.

For Tuesday, please read the excerpts by Ortega y Gasset and Edward Bernays in the handout. Extra copies are in the rack on my office door. Try to relate the new material with Lippmann's argument in the first three chapters.

I will hand the exams back on Friday.

In Jose Ortega y Gasset's classic 1932 work, The Revolt of the Masses, the first couple of chapters set the stage for his argument. What are Ortega's main points? Why are the masses, as Ortega describes them, a problem for liberal democracy? Are they a problem for monarchy? Are Ortega's views consistent with Lippmann's?

    Here are a few study questions to help you through the Ortega reading:
  1. (Chapter One) What, according to Ortega, is the most important fact for the public life of Europe in 1930?
  2. What is Ortega's concept of "agglomeration" or "plenitude"?
  3. What are the two necessary components of society?
  4. What is the "conversion of quantity into quality"?
  5. Who is the "mass man"?
  6. Who is the "select man"? (Which one are you?)
  7. What is the relation of Ortega's essential social divisions to social classes?
  8. What is Ortega's "old democracy" as contrasted to "hyperdemocracy"?
  9. What is "the evil" of hyperdemocracy?
  10. (Chapter Two) What precedent does Ortega point to for the present crisis?
  11. What is Ortega's "radically aristocratic interpretation of history"? (Remember Hume? Mill?)
  12. What is the difference between Ortega's "aristocracy" and "Society" or "High Society" or the "titled aristocracy"?
  13. What two aspects of Ortega's "fact of our times" does he begin to examine?
  14. What does he mean by the "rise of the level of history"?
  15. Did Europe become "americanized"?

Ortega's argument is a powerful one, one not often heard today. But Ortega may not be correct. The world Ortega describes may no longer exist. Do you think it does? Can you see points of agreement and disagreement in Ortega's argument with Lippmann's? Does it bear a resemblance to Jefferson's "natural aristocracy"? There is a lot to chew on here.

How does Bernays's discussion in the first chapter compare to Lippmann's argument in chapters one-to-three?

For the Week of April 4th:

Please read chapters 2 and 3 for Friday. Each chapter of the book has subtitles, and a good way to study the material is to ask yourself what each chapter title and subtitle means as you work your way through the chapters. For example, what is the "obscure revolution" that Lippmann discusses in chapter one? Why did Lippmann write the book? What happened in 1917 that makes it so significant in Lippmann's view? And so on. These make good quiz questions, too.

Tests will be returned next week. They are in a queue behind two other exams that I must grade.

We begin the last third of the semester with a perennial favorite of students in this course: Walter Lippmann's The Public Philosophy, the Transaction Books (Transaction Publishers) edition. Please read Paul Roazen's "Introduction" and Chapter One, "The Obscure Revolution," for Tuesday.

Handwriting notes versus typing notes on laptop

Writing Skills

For the Week of March 28th:

For the Mid-term Exam on Friday:

First, we will again be in the Library Instruction Room. Those who wish to type the exam may do so; those who wish to use a bluebook may do so. I do not consider writing errors—spelling, punctuation, grammar—when I grade exams. If you can type well and your hand-writing is hard to read, I suggest typing, but it is your choice. Bring your ID # (and a couple of pens if you plan to use a bluebook).

Second, the exam will be an essay exam, as usual.

Third, the exam will cover all of the material that we have read since the last exam AND will ask you to apply one of the approaches that we studied to either John Locke's or Thomas Hobbes's writings, which we studied during the first month of class:

There. You now have a good idea of the three questions that will be on the exam and what to study to prepare for the exam.

For Tuesday, please read the handout on "The Ideology of Fascism" by A. James Gregor. We will review a couple of the other videos from last time. You should use the Gregor analysis of Fascism to interpret the material assigned last time on Italian Fascism and the speeches by Mussolini and Hitler. ("The Ideology of Fascism" originally appeared in the collection The Transformation of a Continent (Minneapolis: Burgess Pub., 1975), edited by Gerhard Weinberg .)

Please be clear on how the material in these last two classes differs from the earlier material on ideologies. The material that was earlier assigned from Marx's Manifesto and Hitler's Mein Kampf, and the material about feminism, environmentalism, and ISIS described in the articles by Jaggar, Ellis, and Wood all gave us summaries of the theories—messages, myths, ideologies; call them what you will—that different ideological movements offered. The approaches that we studied by Frederick Watkins, Norman Cohn, and Eric Voegelin highlighted certain characteristics of those theories, which we have called "ideologies." In other words, we had been trying to evaluate the truth of the ideologies or theories of various nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century movements.

Gregor is looking not only at the theories, which he calls the myths, of some real political mass movements, but at their overall motivations and methods of acquiring followers. He calls this comprehensive information the "ideology" of the movement. This use of the term is different from the use that we have been making of it thus far.

We should also note here that not all political mass movements are "fascist," as Gregor uses that term, even though they may use some of the same techniques for acquiring and maintaining political power. For example, the Bolshevik movement of Lenin in Russia was not a "fascist" movement. You should come away from the Gregor article with a brief, one-sentence definition of "fascism," as Gregor conceives of it.

I will return the papers on Tuesday. The mid-term on ideology will be on Friday, April 1st.

For the Class of March 22d:

We are going to shift gears a bit for this Tuesday and next Tuesday and focus specifically on Fascism as it existed in Italy and, perhaps, Germany in the 20th century. I'd like you to read a bit about the history of the movement and what Mussolini said about the movement. Then let's watch videos!

Please do the following for Tuesday:

  1. Check out Wikipedia or another relatively reliable site (or even a book with paper pages!) to get an idea of how the movement behaved in Italy from 1919 until the end of WW2
  2. Use one of these timelines as an outline of the history of the movement:
  3. Read Benito Mussolini's "Doctrine of Fascism" article in the Italian Encyclopedia, 1932) What does this tell you about Fascism? What information can you take away from this article, the only one Mussolini ever wrote to explain his idea of Fascism?
  4. Check out a couple of these videos of Hitler and Mussolini speeches (I suggest at least the first three or four):
We will continue with the study of ideologies and discuss the assigned reading by Graeme Wood, "What ISIS Really Wants" as well as finishing the discussion of Richard Ellis's "Apocalypse and Authoritarianism in the Radical Environmental Movement." Be sure to read the other material in the Ellis handout as well. Compare the apocalyptic screenplays of both movements, ISIS and the radical environmentalists: how are they similar? how are they distinctly different? Apply the salvational characteristics adduced by Norman Cohn to both ideologies. Extra copies of each are in the rack on my office door. The school is open this week, and I will have office hours on Friday morning.

For the Week of February 29th:

For Friday, please read the handout on environmentalism by Richard Ellis. Extra copies are in the rack on my office door.

The handout includes the author's introduction, the first few paragraphs of chapter 8, all of chapter 9, and the references (footnotes) for chapter 9. The author's remarks exemplify what I have referred to as "intellectual honesty"—a lesson in scholarship for us all, especially in this season of political elections. The paragraphs from chapter 8 serve as a general introduction to the subject of environmentalism in America. Chapter 9 provides the main material for the class discussion.

We will begin the class discussion, however, with an analysis of Jaggar's "radical feminism" by applying the approaches of Watkins and Cohn to the outline of radical feminism that Jaggar presents.

For Tuesday, please read the handout on feminism by Alison Jaggar entitled "Political Philosophies of Women's Liberation." (The cover page has the title Society and the Individual.) We will begin class applying the criteria of Norman Cohn to the Marx and Hitler myths.

As you read the Jaggar essay, note the scope from non-ideological varieties of feminism to ideological varieties.

For the seven of you who need to schedule an appointment with me to review your papers, there is a sign-up sheet on my office door, Ireton G107. Pick a time and bring your paper with you.

Grading

For the Week of February 22d:

For Friday, please read (1) the Hitler Mein Kampf handout (extra copies in the rack on my office door) and (2) the conception of millenarian salvation of Norman Cohn, listed on the "approaches to political ideologies" link below the Watkins concept of ideologies.

Tests are looking pretty good.

We move on to the study of political ideologies and the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Two assignments for Tuesday: (1) Please read the Preface and the first two sections of the Manifesto. Then (2) on the "Approaches to Political Ideologies" link, either here on on the main page, read the opening paragraphs and the excerpts from Richard Watkins and Eric Voegelin (the first two approaches on the page).

As you read the Manifesto try to answer the first nine of the following questions:

  1. In the first section of the Manifesto, "Bourgeois and Proletarians," what theory of history does Marx present?
  2. Who or what are the bourgeoisie?
  3. Who or what are the proletarians or the proletariat?
  4. What is the foundation of all history, politics, and civilization?
  5. What do Marx and Engels expect to happen soon?
  6. In the second section, "Proletarians and Communists," who are the communists and what is their relation to the proletarians?
  7. What is the problem with "property"? all property?
  8. What is the foundation of human culture?
  9. What is the proletarian programme (to borrow the Brit spelling)?
  10. In the third section of the Manifesto, "Socialist and Communit Literature," what is Marx's main criticism of all other socialist or communist theories?
  11. A "manifesto" is a statement in support of a call to action: what is the call to action in Marx's manifesto? (Section four of the Manifesto).

How do Watkins's criteria fit the argument in the Manifesto?

For the Week of February 15th:

For the Mid-Term:

First, the mid-term will be given in the Reinsch Library Instructional Room (in the basement/bottom floor of the library) at 2:00pm. The computer lab rooms in Rowley were all booked for Friday afternoon. Since this is the first time I am trying this, we will need to work out some details--printing your essays and so on--so allow yourself a little extra time. Get there a couple of minutes early if you can. I will send out a group email informing everyone in the class about the location of the exam.

Second, the exam will consist of three or four essay questions about the assigned readings. One of the questions may be preceded with passages to identify by author and title of the work they appeared in. On this exam, the identifications are worth a maximum of two points added or two points subtracted from your essay scores—do not spend too much time on them; they are not worth nearly as much as your essay answers.

The bluebook answers should be written in ink, blue or black, not pencil. Bring your student ID number with you; do not write your name on the bluebook. No cells, no bathroom breaks.

The central focus of the questions will always be on John Locke's Second Treatise, of course, but you should also be very familiar with the David Hume essays and the excerpts from Hobbes's Leviathan that were assigned. You should be familiar with material from Aristotle, Aquinas, and Rousseau, too, but since we did not spend nearly as much time on these sources, they will not be the central focus of any of the questions. A question might call for a comparison-contrast covering these sources, particularly Aristotle, whose Classical tradition views provide a counterweight to the others. In describing what Locke's views are on a particular subject, it is a good idea to compare and contrast them to the views of others to demonstrate what Locke's views are not.

As you study for the exam, consider the following questions:

These are some of the basic issues found in the assigned readings. We have discussed these questions more than once in class. Locke, in particular, repeatedly addresses several of these issue in the assigned readings (he is very repetitive).

If you did not receive your paper when I handed them out in class, they are in the rack on my office door.

Please read Hume's "Of the Origin of Government" and the second paragraph of Chapter One of John Stuart Mill's essay On Liberty (you may read more if you wish).

I will post some study questions for the exam over the next few days.

For the Week of February 8th:

Some more Locke for Friday: paragraphs 132-34, 136-42, 159-60, 202-204, 211, 223-25. Take a look at the surrounding paragraphs, too. This material is at the core of American explanations of what powers the government has or ought to have, what forms of civil disobedience are permissible, what justified the American Revolution. It is very familiar material in the rhetoric of American politics.

The assignment for Tuesday, February 16th, will be Hume's "Of the Origin of Government" and the second paragraph of Chapter One of John Stuart Mill's essay On Liberty. The exam will ask you detailed questions about these readings, so read and re-read them now while you have time.

For Tuesday, we will discuss in more detail the differences between Hobbes's, Locke's, and Rousseau's social contracts. It will be Question and Answer format, so come prepared to answer the following questions:

The material already assigned from Hobbes, Rousseau, and Locke contains most of this information, so you must review it. The only new reading assignment is these paragraphs from Leviathan, chapter 20, and these paragraphs from Locke's Second Treatise: 57-58, 135, 149, 186 (compare ¶186 to Hobbes's views in Leviathan, chapter 20).

You might want ot look at paragraphs that address some of the questions we discussed in class:

The mid-term will be given on Friday, February 19th. It will focus exclusively on the assigned readings from Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Hume. This is a limited amount of material. The questions will ask for details from the readings, not just the general themes that we discuss in class. So do yourself a favor: read and reread the assigned material. You have a couple of weeks here to get into Locke's ideas and understandings. Try to process and understand what he and the other writers are arguing. Do not simply try to memorize a few things the night before the test.

For the Week of February 1st:

If you have some writing questions, I'll be in my office from 3:00 to 4:00 Wednesday afternoon. I'm thinking quotes and footnotes and punctuation and that kind of stuff. Come on in and ask about it.

The assignment for Friday is the one-page paper, Locke §§ 100-106, and the handout of David Hume's essay "Of the Original Contract". (His essay "Of the Origin of Government" is also relevant, but I am not formally assigning it.) The paragraphs from Locke set up the problem of the lack of historical examples of people actually making social contracts, which is the problem that Hume focuses on in both of his essays. These readings fit together pretty well. Extra copies of the Hume essay are in the rack on my office door. You need that hard copy becuase it has the page numbers that you must cite in your paper; the online version above does not.

The paper asks you to address this question: How do Locke and Hume disagree on the historical—the real—existence of social contracts (or the synonym "social compacts") as the foundations of real societies?

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed (see below) will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials—written or oral, internet, paper, or personal—may be used or consulted. This is essentially a closed-book exam.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like this one. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements. The paper should be divided into at least two paragraphs.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Friday, February 5th. This means you must come to class and stay for the whole class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class. If you cannot make it to class, you must email a copy of the paper to me by 2:00am Friday and get me a hard copy by Tuesday the 9th at the latest. I will not read the emailed copy, but will check it against the hard copy after I correct the hard copy. The absence will be excused or unexcused, as appropriate under the rules of the syllabus.
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) a good-faith, on-time submission that shows effort will receive the full five points, (2) 50-50 writing-content on the second ten-point paper so a paper with lousy writng but good content (or vice-versa) will pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on the third ten-point paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content.

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. Titles of works are italicized; titles of articles, essays, and chapters are placed in quotes. For this paper there are several possible sources that you may cite:

  1. Passages from Hume's "Of the Original Contract" are cited by the page numbers of the handout version that I give you.
  2. Passages from Locke's Second Treatise of Government are cited by either section ("§")or paragraph ("¶") number. Both symbols are available on Microsoft Word.
  3. Passages from Hobbes's Leviathan are cited by chapter number. You might want to use a reference to Hobbes in your paper, but you do not have to do so.

A few examples:

1John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, §102.

2Hume, "Of the Original Contract," 5.

3Ibid., 3. [Do not give all of the information you did in the first citation to Hume. Use Ibid. for that.]

4Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 16.

5Ibid. [This is a reference to exactly the same work and exactly the same chapter cited in the immediately preceding footnote. Do not give all of the information you did in the first citation to Hobbes. Use Ibid. for that.]

6Ibid., ch. 13. [This is a reference to the last cited work, but a different chapter. Do not give all of the information you did in the first citation to Hobbes. Use Ibid. for that.]

7Locke, §95. [This is a subsequent reference to a source cited earlier, but not in the immediately preceding footnote. Do not give all of the information you did in the first citation to Locke. Use an abbreviated reference to either the author or the title for that. You can't use Ibid. here because you are not referring to the source in the immediately preceding note, which is Hobbes.]

At least five references/footnotes are required. Use that excerpt from Gregor's book on Fascism as a model to see how footnotes should look. It is the last sheet of the handout on Hume that I gave you.

Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE. Each footnote itself is punctuated with a final period. Use Ibid. as appropriate. Refer back to the Lippmann essay. The method of notation in that essay is very similar to the Chicago Style method that I am asking you to use. It isn't difficult.

The other punctuation to be mastered is the introduction of quotes. If you introduce them using the word "that" (what Turabian calls run-in quotes), then you do not put any punctuation before or after the word "that." Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. Go, my dear students, and write likewise!

One further note: do not use the noun "human" as a synonym for "man" unless you are specifically distinguishing between a human trait (note the adjective here) and a divine or animal trait. The noun "human" implies this distinction. In this discipline, the noun "man" is the standard reference in works of political theory and philosophy.

The readings for Tuesday will be from Locke and Hobbes; the reading for Friday will be primarily from David Hume. The first paper is due Friday.

For Tuesday, please read the (1) the first two paragraphs and the last three paragraphs of Hobbes's Leviathan, chapter 17, and (2) the following sections ("§")/parts/paragraphs ("¶") from Locke's Second Treatise: §§ 9-15, 87-89, 95-99, 123-131, 134. These passages describe Locke's theory of the motiviation to establish a political or civil society, the proper method of forming that society, and the purpose and proper authority possessed by political or civil societies. ("Political" and "civil" are here synonymous; a political or civil society is a group of people organized and governed to act as a unit.) You should also take a look at §§78, 84, 85, 86. They describe the kinds of non-political societies or associations or partnerships that Locke distinguishes from the political, ala Aristotle in the Politics.

For the Week of January 25th:

If we meet Tuesday, we will discuss the three readings assigned last time. All the readings are available by links below, so I am expecting all of you, including those of you who already took POL 210, to have read them. We will discuss the "Introduction to Political Theory" more than I originally planned. You should know the four traditions and the five fundamental conceptions that are discussed in the essay.

If you still do not have a copy of Locke's Second Treatise, email me and I will order cheap, used copies from Amazon. You will pay me what the copies cost. With Amazon Prime, I'll have them for you by Friday (weather permitting).

For the Week of January 18th:

For Friday (the last class day before the Big Blizzard), please read (1) the handout with excerpts from Bacon, Descartes, and Hobbes on the rejection of the classical tradition, (2) these excerpts from the modern philosophers Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, and Thomas Hobbes, and (3) the essay "Introduction to Political Theory," linked here and on the main webpage below this assignment page link. Those of you who took POL 210 may find it useful to review the essay. Those of you who did not take POL 210 must read it.

As you read the excerpts from Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau, ask each of them what the ultimate basis of moral-legal-political authority is. How does each differ from, or not differ from, Aristotle, St. Thomas, and the ancients on this question of ultimate authority.

By the way, as indicated on the syllabus, you will need HARD COPIES, that is PAPER BOOKS of the Lippmann and the Locke texts. I think some of you were saying Kindle versions of one or both books were available. I am not aware of a Kindle hard copy version, but there may be one. If there is not, then you must get a HARD COPY of Locke's Second Treatise and Walter Lippmann's Public Philosophy for class. Check the syllabus.

For Tuesday, please read the materials in the handout from Aristotle (Politics, Book One, chapters 1 & 2) and St. Thomas Aquinas ("Treatise on Law," Questions 91 (partial) and 95 (partial)). Extra copies are available in the rack on my office door.

For those of you who were not in POL 210 last semester, please read the "Introduction to Political Theory," available onthe link directly below this assignment page link. You should understand (1) the four traditions into which we divide political philosophy and (2) the five fundamental conceptions that make up a comprehensive political philosophy. We will review this material on Friday.

I will hold another writing workshop on Wednesday afternoon. I will post the time here when I get final determination on the faculty meetings that I must attend.

Welcome to the course! This semester we will be focusing on three different topics: (1) the development of political liberalism, with particular emphasis on John Locke's Second Treatise of Government; (2) the nature of political ideology; and (3) Walter Lippmann's critique of the health of Western liberal democracies.

The assignment for Friday, January 15, is the excerpts on ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian societies that I handed out in class. Extra copies are available in the rack on my office door. What was the source of the government authority in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia? What was fundamentally different about those two ancient civilizations? Why was the form of government in ancient Egypt different from the form of government in ancient Mesopotamia? Come to class prepared to answer these questions and to engage in a class discussion.

I will hold the first brief (one hour) workshop on basic writing skills on Wednesday, January 13, at 2:30. Meet at my office—G107 Ireton. I will leave a note on my door regarding the location of the workshop. Don't be afraid to come a little late.

The material below is from past semesters. Review it if you wish.

For the Final:

The final will begin at 2:00pm on Friday. The two of you (Nate and Marilyn) who need to take the make-up exam for the first mid-term may take it earlier at 12:00 noon or 12:15 or 12:30. Come to my office.

For the final, bring your take-home essay to our regular classroom and put it in the box at 2:00pm. The in-class exam is a one-hour exam and will end at 3:00pm. If you are late to the exam, it will lessen the time you have to write your bluebook essay.

The final exam will consists of two parts. The first part of the final is the take-home question: "Explain how the Classical conception of politics rests on, and is derived from, Classical ontology, epistemology, anthropology, and ethics." In other words, exactly the same question that was the third paper topic on the Epicurean tradition. The second part of the final is a bluebook question that will constitute the in-class portion of the final exam next Friday. This question will be a slightly different question about the Classical-Christian and Gnostic conceptions of politics since politics and earthly government play a different role in those two traditions.

The take-home essay should be typed, double-spaced, normal margins, and ID number only—no names. Type your I.D. number at the top of the page. No title page and no footnotes! The essay should be no more than one-and-a-half pages long.

I need not tell you—but I will—that your take-home essay must be entirely your own work. No collaboration of any kind between and among students or between and among you and anyone else is permitted. It is open-book, you may take as long as you wish to write it, but you may not discuss it with anyone else!

As I indicated in class, try to work out in your own minds how the various aspects or conceptions of the each of these traditions fit together; don't just collect quotes about the five conceptions and paste them together. Explain how the traditions' understanding of reality conditions the traditions' understanding of what we can know and how we know it? How does it determine even what "knowledge" in each tradition is? Tie this to philosophical anthropology, and so on until you get to the traditions' conceptions of politics.

For the Last Week of Class:

The reading assignment for Friday is Aristotle on politics and Augustine on politics.

The paper is due on Friday. The assignment is to explain how the Epicurean conception of politics rests on, and is derived from, Epicurean ontology, epistemology, anthropology, and ethics. Please do your very best writing: writing errors can wreck the paper.

The readings this week will cover the Epicurean, Classical, and Classical-Christian views of the basis of political authority and the proper functions of government. The last paper, due on Friday, asks you to tie together the five fundamental conceptions of the Epicurean tradition to show you how the modern-Epicurean understanding of politics and government is based on Epicurean ontology, epistemology, and so on. Part of the final exam will ask you to do the same for the Classical or the Classical-Christian tradition. This is what the whole course has been aiming at ("All actions aim at some good.").

To allow you to get a start on your final paper, the assignment for Tuesday will be readings from the Epicurean tradition. To keep the assignment of manageable length, read the following: (1) Lucretius, Book V, lines 1011-1028, 1105-1160 (less than two pages); (2) chapters 16 and 17 of Hobbes's Leviathan; and (3) and paragraphs 32, 33, 34 of Rousseau's Discourse and chapters 1, 4, and 6 of Book One of Rousseau's Social Contract. The Hobbes and Rousseau readings are linked on the "Politics Readings" page. In these readings, and the readings for Friday from the Classical and Classical-Christian traditions, focus on what these authors describe as (1) the ultimate source of political-legal authority and (2) the fundamental purpose or function of the state.

Rules for One-Page Papers

POL 210 Final Paper: The topic for the final one-page paper is an explanation of how the Epicurean conception of politics is based upon, and how it is logically consistent with, the Epicurean conceptions of ontology, epistemology, anthropology (both philosophical and empirical), and ethics. If different Epicurean wirters differ significantly in their understandings of any of these concepts, note it in the paper.

You must have at least five footnotes to the texts that you use. The whole purpose of a footnote reference is to permit and require the writer to identify the precise passages in the original material that the writer is relying on for his assertions and interpretations.

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials—written or oral, internet, paper, or personal—may be used or consulted. This is essentially a closed-book exam.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one-page paper, attach a title page like the one I show you in class, and staple the pages together. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Friday, December 11th. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class. If you come to class and then leave early, you are officially absent.
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) the grade on first paper/writing sample was based upon (a) following the directions, (b) making a good faith effort, and (c) reflecting the readings in your argument; (2) the grade on the second paper will count the writing & content equally so a paper with lousy writing but good content (or vice-versa) will pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on this third paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content.

By this time, you should have mastered the punctuation of quotations and the Chicago style of footnotes, including the use of "Ibid." Mistakes in these areas will be considered as major errors. They should not be considered major errors, but since I have emphasized these formalities since the beginning of the semester, there is simply no excuse for screwing them up on this, your third paper.

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. For this paper there are four possible sources for you to cite: (1) The passages from Lucretius's poem are to be cited by book number (Roman numeral) and line numbers (Arabic numerals). You should know this by now. (2) Passages from Hobbes's Leviathan are cited by chapter number. (3) Passages from Rousseau's Discourse on the Origin of Inequality are to Part and to paragraph number. (4) Passages from Rousseau's Social Contract; are to Book I (Roman numeral) and chapter numbers in Arabic numerals. Remember, titles of Books and Lucretius's poem are in italics; titles of chapters, if you use such titles, are in quotes.

One thing you must get correct this time is the use of footnotes. Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: Rousseau said, "It is in fact easy to see that many of the differences which distinguish men are merely the effect of habit and the different methods of life men adopt in society."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE. Here are some sample footnotes:

1Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality,, I.48.

2Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 13.

3Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, II.350.

4Ibid. (A reference to the exact same source—author, title, and the location in the text as the source in the previous footnote.)

5Hobbes, ch. 17. (subsequent reference to earlier cited source, but not a source cited in the immediately preceding footnote; here it is to a different chapter in that earlier source. You cannot use "Ibid." becaue you are not referring to the immediately preceding source, so you abbreviate the earlier cited source so that the reader recognizes the source you are referring to.)

6Lucretius, III.135. (A subsequent reference to a source cited before, but not immediately before.)

7Ibid., V.1003. (Same source as previous footnote, but at a different place in the source.)

All footnotes end in a period. "Ibid" is itself an abbreviation, so it is always followed by a period—Ibid. It is not italicized. If it indicates a different location in the immediately preceding source, it is followed by a comma; thus, 7Ibid., V.1028.

The other punctuation that I will focus on in this second paper is the introduction of quotes. If you introduce them using the word "that" (what Turabian calls run-in quotes), then you do not put any punctuation immediately before or after the word "that" in the sentence. Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note the underlined sequence: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote ( a "set off quote") this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. Go, my dear students, and write likewise!

One further note: do not use the noun "human" as a synonym for "man" unless you are specifically distinguishing between a human trait (note the adjective here) and a divine or animal trait. The noun "human" implies this distinction. In this discipline, the noun "man" is the standard reference.

For the Week of November 30th:

For Friday, please read (1) the excerpt from St. Augustine's On the Free Choice of the Will (trans. Pontiflex) and (2) the articles on human law and divine law in Question 91 of St. Thomas's Summa Theologica, both linked on the "Ethics Readings" page.

For Tuesday, please read the handout with excerpts from Plato and Aristotle relating to ethics. Extra copies are in the rack on my office door.

Outline of Exam answers.

For the Class of November 24th:

Please read the handout of excerpts about Gnostic ethics by Jonas, Cohn, Knox, and Mahe. See the Ethics reading page for a couple of study questions. Extra copies are in the rack on my office door.

That was a good discussion on Friday; there were a lot of good questions about Locke, who seems to contradict himself on the subject of ethics in his two main works, and Rousseau, whose ideas never seem entirely straightforward. If you are interested in this at all, do yourself a favor and take a few minutes compare Locke's definitions of some key ethical terms in Book II, chapter 20, of his Essay Concerning Human Understanding to Hobbes's definitions in chapter six of Leviathan. And you may want to read the following paragraphs from Rousseau's Discourse on the Origin of Inequality: Preface, ¶5 & 10; Introduction, ¶¶5-6; Part One, ¶¶1-2, 16. You may find the answers to some of your good questions in these paragraphs.

For the Week of November 16th:

I'll keep it short for Friday: please read the excerpts from Locke and Hobbes on the "Ethics Readings" page. Are Locke's views on ethics in his two works consistent with each other? What do all of Hobbes's natural laws reduce to?

I hope the exam was not too traumatic for you. There are a few good football games this weekend that you should be able to enjoy.

We now begin the part of the course where we draw together all that we have studied thus far and tie it directly to the more familiar issues of ethics and politics. As a result, the assignments will include a lot of reviews of material that we have already read, as well as new material. We will begin again with the Epicureans. Referring to the "Ethics Readings" link on the "Readings for Western Political Concepts I" page, just below the link for this page, please (1) read Epicurus's Principal Doctrines, (2) review Lucretius's poem, Book V.925-1028, (3) review the last couple of paragraphs of chapter thirteen of Hobbes's Leviathan and his short comments (one paragraph) on "good" and "evil" in chapter six, and finally (4) read the paragraphs from Rousseau's Discourse that are linked on the page.

There are study questions on the "Ethics Readings" page to help you through the readings. Do you find any common themes or similar ideas in the four Epicurean writers? This will be the topic of Tuesday's class discussion.

I will begin the class by handing back the papers and discussing them briefly. As always, please feel free to come in and discuss your paper with me.

For the Week of November 9th:

Mid-term on Friday.

The reading assignment for Tuesday is the two excerpts that I handed out in class: (1) chapters of St. Augustine's City of God and (2) the Gnostic Hymn of the Pearl, also known as In Quest of the Priceless Pearl. Both are also linked on the "Anthropology Readings" page. Use the commentary on the "Anthropology Readings" page both as study questions for the readings and as preparation for the mid-term.

The mid-term will focus on all of the material on epistemology and anthropology that you have studied since the first mid-term, but yuu should also be considering how this material relates to the material on ontology. The test will consist of four essay questions; each essay should be about two pages long. The questions will basically be comparison-contrast questions. (Never begin an essay with "The views of so-and-so and so-and-so are similar in some repects but different in other respects." This goes without saying.) I suggest that you fill out a grid, like the one I provided in the "Introduction to Political Theory" essay at the beginning of the course, with the unique ideas of each tradition regarding epistemology and anthropology (and ontology). If you did that to prepare for the first exam on cosmology and ontology, then simply add to that earlier grid. I will discuss the exam in class on Tuesday.

For the Week of November 2d:

The assignment for Friday is the set of excerpts from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Book One, that I handed out in class. In the excerpts, Aristotle discusses the nature of "happiness," the highest human goal or end. Happiness is also called "felicity" in other writers that we are reading this semester. Try to identify the particular sentence or passage in which Aristotle presents his definition or understanding of what true happiness is. Compare Aristotle's definition with Hobbes's definition of felicity in chapter six of Leviathan. Check 2.b. of the "Anthropology Readings" page for some key study questions on the Aristotle excerpts.

The one-age paper is due on Tuesday at the beginning of class. The topic for the paper and the rules for the paper are set forth below. The Classical tradition assignment that you must use to compare Classical to Epicurean anthropology is the excerpts from book Two and Six of Plato's Republic, linked on the Anthropology Readings page under Classical anthropology (2.a.).

Try to improve your writing, especially your proper notation of footnotes and your proper punctuation of quotes, as explained in red below. I will compare your papers to your first paper; if I see no improvement in the writing, your grade will be adversely affected. Try to write better each paper.

Rules for One-Page Papers

POL 210 Second Paper: The topic for the second one-page paper is a comparison-contrast of the Classical anthropology assigned for Tuesday, November 3, with the Epicurean views of Lucretius, Hobbes, and Rousseau that we are reading this week. You must have at least five footnotes to the texts that you use. The whole purpose of a footnote reference is to permit and require the writer to identify the precise passages in the original material that the writer is relying on for his assertions and interpretations. The short length of the paper suggests that you structure your comparison into two substantive paragraphs—one on the classical tradition and one on the Epicurean—and either a short introductory statement of the precise point you wish to make (your thesis) or a short conclusion summarizing the point that you just made. Make sure that the two views that you compare both address the same, subject that you are comparing. In this paper, that means focusing either on the differences in philosophical andthropology or differences in empirical anthropology.

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials—written or oral, internet, paper, or personal—may be used or consulted. This is essentially a closed-book exam.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one-page paper, attach a title page like the one I show you in class, and staple the pages together. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Tuesday, November 3d. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class.
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) the grade on first paper/writing sample was based upon (a) following the directions, (b) making a good faith effort, and (c) reflecting the readings in your argument; (2) the grade on this second paper will count the writing & content equally so a paper with lousy writing but good content (or vice-versa) will pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on the third paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content.

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. For this paper there are four possible sources for you to cite: (1) The passages from Lucretius's poem are to be cited by book number (Roman numeral) and line numbers (Arabic numerals). You should know this by now. (2) Passages from Hobbes's Leviathan are cited by chapter number. (3) Passages from Rousseau's Discourse on the Origin of Inequality are to Part and to paragraph number. (4) Passages from Plato's Republic are to the Stephanus numbers—those are the bold numbers in parentheses throughout the text. Passages from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics are to Book and chapter number. Book numbers in Roman numerals; chapter numbers in Arabic numerals in both these cases, just like in the linked text.

One thing you must get correct this time is the use of footnotes. Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: Rousseau said, "It is in fact easy to see that many of the differences which distinguish men are merely the effect of habit and the different methods of life men adopt in society."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE. Here are some sample footnotes:

1Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality,, I.48.

2Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 13.

3Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, II.350.

4Plato, Republic, 491a.

5Ibid. (A reference to the exact same source—author, title, the location in the text—in the very next footnote. "Ibid." refers back to the source in the previous footnote.)

6Lucretius, III.135. (A subsequent reference to a source cited before, but not immediately before. You cannot use "Ibid.," so you abbreviate the previously cited sources so that the reader recognizes what you are referring to.)

7Ibid., V.1003. (Same source as previous footnote, but at a different place in the source.)

The handouts from Hans Jonas this semester are good models for footnote usage. Make your footnotes look like Jonas's footnotes.

The other punctuation that I will focus on in this second paper is the introduction of quotes. If you introduce them using the word "that" (what Turabian calls run-in quotes), then you do not put any punctuation immediately before or after the word "that" in the sentence. Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note the underlined sequence: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote ( a "set off quote") this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. Go, my dear students, and write likewise!

One further note: do not use the noun "human" as a synonym for "man" unless you are specifically distinguishing between a human trait (note the adjective here) and a divine or animal trait. The noun "human" implies this distinction. In this discipline, the noun "man" is the standard reference.

For the Week of October 26th:

A short reading assignment for Friday: (1) please read chapter 13 of Hobbes's Leviathan, one of the most famous writings in Western Civilization; (2) review chapter 6 of Leviathan, which was assigned earlier this month as part of the epistemology reading; and (3) read the dozen or so paragraphs from Rousseau's Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, linked on the Anthropology Readings page.Compare what Rousseau says about early human behavior to what Lucretius and Hobbes say. We will begin class by looking at the last few pages of the Lucretius reading assigned for Tuesday. Then we will discuss the papers, due Tuesday.

This week we begin the discussion of anthropology. We break this down into two categories: philosophical anthropology and empirical anthropology. Review the material on these anthropological studies in the "Introduction to Political Theory" essay that we read the first week of the course and the material in the introductory paragraph on the "Anthropology Readings" webpage.

This first week we spend on Epicurean anthropology. Go to the Antropology Readings page, and read the passages from Lucretius that are set out in "1. Epicurean anthropology." We will do the Hobbes and Rousseau readings listed there on Friday.

For the Week of October 19th:

For Friday, please read the handouts of (1) excerpts from St. Augustine's writings and (2) the discussion of gnosis by Hans Jonas. The Augustine readings can also be found linked on the "Epistemology Readings" page. I will try to post some study questions on that page for the readings. This will complete our readings on epistemology. Next week we will study anthropology, and a one-page paper will be due on Friday, October 30th.

In my haste to hand out the exams, discuss Plato, and then discuss the exams on Friday, I forgot to hand out the excerpts from Aristotle. Please read Aristotle's discussion of the intellectual virtues, Nicomachean Ethics, Book VI, chapters 2 to 7, a link for which is on the "Epistemology Readings" page, drectly under the link to Plato's Divided Line excerpt that you read for Friday. There is a link to study questions, also. Extra hard copies are in the rack on my office door; I will hand out hard copies on Tuesday to use in class.

On Tuesday, before getting to Aristotle, I have a few more general remarks on the exam and on Plato's Divided Line/Allegory of the Cave.

For the Class of Friday, October 16th:

Great discussion of Hobbes on Friday! His ideas always seem to provoke a lot of interest. They are very straightforward and present a radical, logical account of epistemology (though, perhaps, untrue), as do the similar ideas in Lucretius's poem. Use them as a standard to check the other epistemologies against.

Please read Plato's account of the divided line and the allegory of the cave. Go to the "Epistemology Readings" page for links to the text and study questions to use.

The next paper will probably be due October 30th. I want to have the opportunity to go over your first paper with each of you. The appointment times for those meetings extends through October 23d. The next paper would be due, then, a week later.

I will also hand back the exams. The grading scales and model answers for the exam are here.

For the Week of October 5th:

For Friday, please go the "Epistemology Readings" page (same place you got the Lucretius assignment for Tuesday) and read chapters 1 to 6 (in "The First Part: Of Man") of Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan. Use the study questions to help you get through the readings.

Be sure to sign up soon for an appointment to go over your papers. There are a few slots for Wednesday afternoon, October 7th. Use 'em.

We are on to epistemology, and we will begin again with Lucretius and his poem. Go to "Readings for Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2015)," then click on "Epistemology Readings," and read the introductory paragraph, read the material on the ancients at #1, and read the material from Lucretius at #2a. This directs you to the book, of course, just like we did it before. How is his epistemology—his theory of knowledge—tied to his ontology, which we just studied?

We will begin the class by going over the papers.

For the Strange Week of September 28th:

Tuesday, of course, is the shooter drill. Let's take this seriously.

Friday is the mid-term. Let's take this seriously, too. You have an excellent chance here to catch up on all of the readings assigned thus far in the semester. Here are some basics:

  1. There will be three or four essay questions, each asking for an answer of about two-to-three bluebook pages. The material that we have been studying will be sliced into narrow, focused questions on ontology/cosmology, mostly comparing and contrasting the different writers on issues that they have commonly addressed (relation of the divine to the universe, and so on).
  2. From the "Introduction to Political Theory" essay, you should have a clear idea of what the philosophical traditions are that we will be studying throughout the semester. We began the semester with two excerpts (the Frankforts' and Eliade's accounts) about the ancient, pre-philosophic understanding of the world, and the first mid-term will include them, but the ancients do not constitute one of the four traditions that are identified in the "Introduction to Political Theory" essay.
  3. From the "Introduction to Political Theory" essay, you should have a pretty good idea of the five fundamental philosophical conceptions that we will be studying. You should have a very good understanding of the conception of ontology/cosmology that we have been studying for the past three weeks.
  4. You should be able to identify (and spell correctly) the authors and titles of the works that have been assigned. The exam will include identification questions that are worth a few bonus points—not as much as the essays, but worth enough to give you reason to learn the authors and titles of the works.

For the Week of September 21st:

Last two classes before the mid-term. For Tuesday, please read The Apocryphon of John, that was handed out in class. Extra copies are in the rack on my office door. The "Cosmology-Ontology Readings" page has a number of general questions about this reading, but no extensive list of study questions. We are concerned about the same things we have been looking at over the past few weeks: the origin of the universe, the existence of a natural order, the kind of natural order that exists, the order of being (God, man, animals, plants), the relation of God to the world, the nature of God (the gods), and so on. All of this is embedded here into a sci-fi story that "John" received in a vision. Try to make sense of it. Don't rely upon me to explain it.

I will hand back your papers by Friday.

For Friday, I will hand out an excerpt on the relationship between Gnostic cosmology and Classical cosmology by one of the foremost students of Gnosticism, Hans Jonas.

Next Tuesday (September 29th) is the active shooter drill; next Friday (October 2d) is the mid-term.

For the Week of September 14th:

As explained in class, the first one-page paper is due on Tuesday. The rules for it are below in red. The reading assignment for Tuesday is the handout including excerpts from Aristotle (the four causes from the Physics), Cicero (excerpts from De re publica and On the Nature of the Gods, Epictetus (excerpts from his Discourses, and Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (excerpts from his Meditations). Extra copies are available in the rack on my office door. Study questions are available on the Cosmology-Ontology Readings" pages, just like there were for the Frankforts-Eliade excerpts and the Lucretius excerpts. The handout material itself is also available on the "Cosmology-Ontology Readings" page via the link entitled "Classical and Stoic ontology and cosmology." (Note: You need not read the final excerpts in the handout from Aristotle on God the Prime Mover from the Metaphysics: we will discuss this excerpt briefly in class, but it is quite difficult to fathom.)

Your one-page paper must reflect your reading of these excerpts from Aristotle, Cicero, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. Four or five footnotes on these sources alone are advisable. Demonstrate clearly to me that you have read them—not just the first page or two. I look for evidence that you have read the assignments through to the end.

One other note: in the paper do not quote or cite in any way my essay "Introduction to Political Theory," which was the first class assignment two weeks ago. You may—and should—use any material in the essay that helps you understand the readings, but do not quote or paraphrase it in this paper. You may treat the essay's material as commonly understood, public information that needs no citation or reference.

Friday's assignment will be excerpts from St. Augustine and St. Thomas.

Rules for One-Page Papers

POL 210 First Paper: The topic for the first one-page paper is a comparison-contrast of the Classical cosmology or ontology assigned for Tuesday with either the Epicurean view of Lucretius or the ancient view described by Eliade and the Frankforts. You must have at least four footnotes to the texts that you use. The whole purpose of a footnote reference is to permit and require the writer to identify the precise passages in the original material that the writer is relying on for his assertions and interpretations. The short length of the paper suggests that you structure your comparison into two substantive paragraphs—one on the classical tradition and one on either the Epicurean or the ancient—and either a short introductory statement of the precise point you wish to make (your thesis) or a short conclusion summarizing the point that you just made. If you wish, you may focus the topic a bit by comparing the views on, say, the relation of God (the gods, the divine) to nature, or on the relation of man to nature, or on the relation of God (the gods, the divine) to man. Make sure that the two views that you compare both address the subject that you are comparing.

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials—written or oral, internet, paper, or personal—may be used or consulted. This is essentially a closed-book exam.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like the one I show you in class. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Tuesday, September 15th. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class.
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) the grade on this first paper/writing sample is based upon (a) following the directions, (b) making a good faith effort, and (c) reflecting the readings in your argument; (2) the grade on the second paper will count the writing & content equally so a paper with lousy writng but good content (or vice-versa) will pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on the third paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content.

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. For this paper there are four possible sources for you to cite: (1) The passages from Lucretius's poem are to be cited by book number (Roman numeral) and line numbers (Arabic numerals) as illustrated in the sample paper I handed out. You should know this by now. (2) Passages from Eliade and the Frankforts are cited by page number. (3) Passages from Aristotle, Cicero, Epictetus, or Marcus Aurelius are to book and part/chapter/section number. Book numbers in Roman numerals; chapter numbers in Arabic numerals in both these cases, just like in the linked text.

Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE. Here are sample footnotes for the Frankforts, Eliade, Lucretius, Cicero, and Epictetus:

1Henri and H.A. Frankfort, "Myth and Reality," in Before Philosophy, 18.

2Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane, 8.

3Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, I.350.

4Cicero, On the Nature of the Gods, VII.6.

5Ibid. (A reference to the exact same source—author, title, the location in the text—in the very next footnote. "Ibid." refers back to the source in the previous footnote.)

6Lucretius, III.135. (A subsequent reference to a source cited before, but not immediately before. You cannot use "Ibid.," so you abbreviate the previously cited sources so that the reader recognizes what you are referring to.)

7Epictetus, Discourses, V.13. (new source)

For the Week of September 7th:

For Friday, please read the sections of Lucretius's On the Nature of the Universe that are listed on the "Cosmology-Ontology Readings" page. Use the study questions linked there to help you work through the material. I think you will find what Lucretius said 2000 years ago very interesting.

We will begin Friday's class with a recap of the readings on ancient man that we discussed on Tuesday. I will also outline the directions for the one-page paper, due on Tuesday.

For Tuesday, please read the handout containing excerpts from the Frankforts and Mircea Eliade. Extra copies are in the rack on my office door, but I will remove them before class on Tuesday.

To get the study questions, click on the link entitled "Readings for Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2015)," which is directly below this assignment link on my main webpage. Once you are on the "Readings for Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2015)" page, click on "Cosmology-Ontology Readings," read the short introductory paragraph, and then go to "1. The pre-philosophic mythopoeic understanding of the cosmos." You will find a link to "Study questions" in the first paragraph. (Read the rest of the material on the pre-philosophical mythopoeic understanding, too.) This Cosmology-Ontology Readings page should be your guide for the rest of the readings leading up to the first exam.

I will also forward to all of you an email I received yesterday describing the preparations for the active shooter drill, which will take place on our floor of Rowley on September 29. That date is earlier than I expected, and I may move the exam from Friday the 2d to Tuesday the 6th. I would love to complain about the disruption, but I guess sometimes preparation for survival takes precedence over scholarly discussion.

Welcome to the course! This is a course that studies some of the basic concepts of Western political thinkers from Plato through Hobbes. The purpose is to help you understand the fundamental questions that our greatest political theorists and philosophers address in their writings and to indicate how several great traditions of philosophy answer those questions.

The assignment for Friday's class is the essay entitled "Introduction to Political Theory" that was handed out in class. Extra copies of the handout, as well as extra copies of the syllabus, are available in the rack on my office door: Ireton G107. You should come to class with an idea of the five fundamental conceptions of political philosophy and the four philosophical traditions that we will be studying. I will be asking you a lot of questions.

The assignment for Tuesday, September 8th, will be a handout containing excerpts from Henri and H.A. Frankfort and Mircea Eliade, and the assignment for Friday the 11th will be readings from Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, so there's no need for any electronic devices in class for the next couple of weeks.

The material below is from past semesters. You may safely disregard it.

Nature or Nurture?

A Leadership Gene?

For the Final:

The final exam will consist of three essay questions.

Thus, the exam will be heavy on the material that we have read over the past four weeks and light on the material from the rest of the semester.

On the application of the approaches to political ideologies to assigned readings, please study the approaches of FREDERICK WATKINS and KENNETH MINOGUE. I will ask you to apply ONE of these two to a couple of the alleged ideologies that we have read. I will seleect the approach—Watkins's or Minogue's—that you are to use, so you had better bone up on both of them. I will give you a bit of choice on the ideologies to which you shall apply them. You should be familiar with the basics of all of the readings (except Crichton) that we have studied: The Communist Manifesto," "Mein Kampf," the various feminist ideologies described by Jaggar, the various environmentalist ideologies described by Ellis, and Fascism/fascism described by Gregor. But not Crichton; you may now forget about Professor Hoffman and the PLM for the rest of your lives.

Regarding Lippmann and ideologies, he discusses them quite a bit at the end of the first part of the book. What did he say about Marxism? about Nazism? What do you think he would say about radical feminism or radical environmentalism? But I doubt that Lippmann's arguments would proved too popular or persuasive with Nazis, Marxists, feminists, or EarthFirst!ers. What not? Why is Lippmann's argument not acceptable to followers of political ideologies?

Regarding the first readings of the course, from the ancient or cosmological societies described by Jacobsen and Wilson through Machiavelli to the social contract theorists, Hume, and Burke, we said that they were largely concerned with the basis and extent of political authority. Radical ideologies attack the roots of political authority in existing societies, particularly societies based on early modern and liberal ideas (I use "early modern" to include Hobbes and Rousseau in the mix; they are essentially no liberal in the Lockean tradition but have the social contract incommon with him). Radical ideologies, however, also have certainl fundamental ideas in common with some of the authors just named. Some writers have argued that modern ideologies have reintroduced the idea of "cosmological" societies, which are similar in some fundamental principles to the ancient Eguptian and Mesopotamian states. Some of you in class said that the PLM regime reminded you of Machiavelli or Hobbes. Machiavelli's Prince was said to be a favorite reading of Nazis, Communists, and Fascists. I wonder why?

I want you to ponder these things on the final.

A few comments on the recent one-page papers:

Because the first exam question is intended to be a similar exercise to the paper that you just handed in, I wanted to comment on those papers (I corrected them over the weekend: they will be available for you after you take the final) to give you a few tips on writing the exam question.

First,, be sure to apply the criteria or characteristics or components of the approach to the myth or movement that you are analyzing in a methodical, systematic way. Using the Cohn approach as an example, and applying it to the myth in the Communist Manifesto, you would begin by asking whether the Manifesto offers a promise of salvation that is collective. First: does the Manifesto offer a vision of "salvation" or not? If not, Cohn is not relevant at all. If so, you would then discuss in a paragraph or so the relevant passages in the Manifesto that bear on collectivity and make a determination that collectivity is or is not a characteristic of Marxian salvation. BE TRUE TO THE FACTS! Then, you would proceed to Cohn's second characteristic, terrestriality—will the promised salvation take place during our lives on earth as opposed to in heaven after death. Again, discuss the relevant passages of the Manifesto and make a determination. Then consider Cohn's third characteristic, will salvation be imminent—soon and sudden? Be reasonable: "soon" is not necessarily "today," but within our lifetime. A radical transformation of all social reality within a lifetime is, I assure you, "soon"! Then to the totality of the transformation: does Marx promise a total or radical transformation or simply reforms that will make the world incrementally better? Then, the characteristic of miraculousness. Christian salvation is a supernatural miracle ("miracles" are all supernatural!). Clearly, Marx's atheistic program does not acknowledge supernatural causes, so this one would not apply. If three or four of the characteristics apply, can you conclude that Cohn's concept fits the Manifesto's vision? You make the call. The point is to make a point-by-point, characteristic-by-characteristic application of the approach to the subject matter. Very, very few of you did this and this was the main consideration of my grading. It was/is a simple exercise.

Second, when you make the application, DO NOT FORCE THE CHARACTERISTICS ONTO THE FACTS OR THE MATERIAL THAT YOU ARE ANALYZING! Every single paper concluded that the PLM regime was ideological, regardless of the approach that was chosen. That was a questionable conclusion. At least some of you could have/should have reasonably concluded that the PLM regime was, on balance, not ideological. (Where was the "myth"? Is the U.S. really a totalitarian state? Really?) Be open to the facts of the case. Make reasonable, common-sense determinations of whether each particular characteristic does in fact fit the subject matter and how well the characteristic fits. They do not all have to fit perfectly. As I indicated above, you, as political analyst, must make the call, but make it a reasonable one. Use your own good judgment.

Finally, many of you had a lot of trouble separating Professor Hoffman's account of the PLM regime from the PLM regime itself. You applied the characteristics of the approach you were using to Hoffman's own analytical conclusions—his theory—rather than simply to what he was describing about the PLM regime. By logical extension, this practice would make "analysis" impossible: every neutral or scholarly analyst of a political regime would be an "ideologue," or creator of ideology. (This is a thoroughly Marxist argument!) Gregor's theory would be ideological because he divided the Italian world into a Manichaean dualism of "us" and "them," good guys and bad guys. A critic of the Nazi regime would be an ideologue because his criticism of the regime could be understood to be a "call to action" to rebel against the Nazi regime! No clear distinction between subject matter and critical or analytical approach could be maintained. Hoffman's theory, like Gregor's theory, Watkins's theory, Cohn's theory, and so on, is not ideological: these are analytical approaches that seek to apply a set of criteria to a subject matter and draw conclusions. Don't get the two modes of thought confused.

The exam question should be a simpler exercise that the one assigned for the paper; I want you to methodically and reasonably apply either Watkins's or Minogue's—you must be prepared for both!—to one of the myths that we have studied: communist, nazi, feminist, or environmentalist. Methodical and reasonable application.

For the Week of April 27th:

Because of some questions from the class, I have tried to further clarify the rule on footnotes in red below. It is really, really, really easy! The usual scholarly rule is that you must cite any information that is not generally known: I am disregarding that general rule in this exercise, and I want you to disregard it, too. See below.

For Friday: the final paper:

Read the excerpt from Michael Crichton's State of Fear and apply point-by-point one of the four—or five, if you decide to use Gregor—approaches to ideology that we have discussed: Watkins's, Cohn's, O'Sullivan's, or Minogue's (or Gregor's, if you think you can boil down his concept of ideology into a few basic components).

Late in his novel, Crichton introduces a totally fictional character named Professor Norman Hoffman, who explains to the novel's protagonist, Peter Evans, his theory of the fundamental political condition of America (and the Western European liberal democracies). Hoffman calls this condition the State of Fear, and he attributes it to a complex of politicians, lawyers, and media journalists that he calls the "PLM." Imagine yourself as Peter Evans, confronted with this crazy old professor's (in my profession, we all end up that way eventually) wild theory.

What would you make of it? How would you evaluate it? How would you think it through?

Would you believe Hoffman's theory? Most of it? Part of it? Or would you just smile, ignore it, get back to your smart phone as soon as you can, and leave its analysis and evaluation to the politcal analyists? BUT WAIT!! You are a politics major, a budding political analyst! It's your job to do the analyzing and evaluating! If you don't do it, the drooling masses on their cell phones sure aren't going to do it for you! (Sorry about all of the exclamation points. It's a sign of bad writing, but sometimes I just get carried away. Sorry.)

Does the theory remind you of anything that we have read in the course? Perhaps the PLM could be likened to a radical political party or group of political elites. Perhaps the State of Fear is a totalitarian state or condition that the PLM is promoting. But if so, then according to most understandings of totalitarianism, the elites would establish the totalitarian condition by using a political ideology, or what we have been calling a myth, or a cosmic screenplay, or a cosmic scenario, or perhaps a "worldview." (See the link entitled "Friedrich and Brzezinski's 'Totalitarian Syndrome,'" on the same line as the link to the "Approaches to Political Ideologies," which you will be using for this paper.)

If you think the best way of approaching this problem is an analysis of the political behavior of the PLM, like Gregor does with the Fascists and, to a lesser extent, like Ellis does with the radical environmentalists, apply the characteristics of the activist/fascist style of politics suggested by Noel O'Sullivan to what Professor Hoffman tells us and determine whether Hoffman is describing a fascist movement. (Don't let Hoffman's own use of the word "fascist" fool you.) (Use O'Sullivan's characteristics of the "limited" style of politics only to help you personally understand what O'Sullivan says is the non-ideological alternative to the activist style.) You may also try to apply Gregor's conception of the fascist ideology to the PLM regime, but you will have to identify the components of his approach and apply each component methodically. I suggest that you look at pages 259-262 of his essay for those components.

Or, if you think the best way of approaching the problem is to analyze the PLM worldview (myth) itself, decide whether the approach of Watkins or Cohn or Minogue is the best to shed some light on the issue and methodically apply each of the characteristics they adduce to the worldview that Hoffman describes. Remember, Watkins expressly offers a complex concept of "ideology." Cohn offers an analysis of millenarian salvation: according to Professor Hoffman, does the PLM offer a vision of salvation? If not, don't apply Cohn's approach. Does PLM offer a theory of world-wide "oppression" or intentional evil? If not, then Minogue's approach is probably not the most relevant. Whichever approach you choose, make sure you have a good idea of what it means before applying it. Know what you are doing, what you are looking for. Perhaps only some of the components/symptoms,characteristics apply; then you must decide on balance whether you can conclude that enough of the components apply to be analytically useful. (If none of the components of a particular apply, DO NOT USE THAT APPROACH!. And never cram or bend the facts to fit a pre-conceived theory or approach.)

Whichever approach you select, offer a short rationale in your introduction for your choice of that approach.

My main goal in this assignment is to get you to methodically and systematically analyse a problem using a given theory or analytical approach. My secondary goal is to see if you can think the problem through and apply an approach that fits the problem well. The Crichton excerpt should be fun to read—not at all hard to understand. The analysis should be methodical.

For this paper, most of the usual rules apply:

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—Michael Crichton's book, the material on my website regarding ideological approaches, and, if you use Gregor, Gregor's "The Ideology of Fascism."
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like the one I showed you in class, or print your paper on the opposite side of the title page. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive no credit.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements. The paper should be divided into at least two paragraphs.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Friday, May 1st. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class. If you cannot make it to class for a documented reason (medical, legal, employer document in hand), you may email a copy of the paper to me by 11:00am Friday to meet the 11:00am deadline, BUT since this is the last day of class and since I must correct three classes worth of papers over the weekend, I must have the hard copy before I leave campus Friday afternoon. You must get me the hard copy on Friday before I leave campus (3:00pm).
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) no grade on this first paper/writing sample if it is a good faith effort, (2) 50-50 writing-content on the second paper so a paper with lousy writng but good content (or vice-versa) will pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on this third paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content. For this last paper, mistakes in footnote form (ibid., citing titles properly, period at the end of each note) and in punctuating quotes will count as errors. We have been over this many times.

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage in the Crichton excerpt that you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to.

For this paper the only sources that you must cite in footnotes are the pages you use in Michael Crichton's State of Fear and maybe in A. James Gregor's article "The Ideology of Fascism" (if you use Gregor's approach). (Remember: book titles must be italics; chapter titles in quotes.) Simply identify the approach that you use in the text of your paper, not in the footnotes. Do not cite the books in which the approaches of Watkins, Cohn, O'Sullivan, or Minogue are found! Do not cite my website! Simply use the material on the website without citing it! Thus, in your paper you might say, "According to Frederick Watkins, ideologies typically have utopian goals," or "Norman Cohn says that millenarian salvation was collective, not individual." That's all you need to say. You should not cite Watkins, or Watkins and his book, or my website in a footnote. You should not cite Cohn, or Cohn and his book, or my website in a foornote. Just mentioning which approach you are using is sufficient.

Here are the examples to follow for the various sources:

1Michael Crichton, State of Fear, 569.

2Ibid., 570.

3A. James Gregor, "The Ideology of Fascism," 264. (Cite Gregor only if you quote him or use his article as your approach to the Crichton material.)

That's all you have to cite! Do not cite my webpage! Do not cite Watkins's book, Cohn's book, Minogue's book, or O'Sullivan's book—in fact, DO NOT CITE WATKINS, COHN, MINOGUE, OR O'SULLIVAN AT ALL! SIMPLY IDENTIFY THEM BY NAME (NOT BOOK) IN YOUR PAPER AND USE THEM. I am deliberately trying to make this as simple as possible for this particular paper.

At least four or five references to the Crichton text will be required, because you will refer to specific passages from the Crichton book when you apply the different criteria.

Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE. Each footnote itself is punctuated with a final period. Use Ibid. as appropriate. Refer back to the Lippmann essay. The method of notation in that essay is very similar to the Chicago Style method that I am asking you to use. It isn't difficult.

The other punctuation to be mastered at this time is the introduction of quotes. If you introduce them using the word "that" (what Turabian calls run-in quotes), then you do not put any punctuation before or after the word "that." Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. Go, my dear students, and write likewise!

For Tuesday, no new reading assignment except the Norman Cohn synopsis on the "Approaches to Political Ideologies" link. We will finish up the discussion of Gregor's article.

Now is your chance to catch up on the readings before finals week!!

On the "Approaches to Political Ideologies" link, there are four approaches with which you should be familiar by Tuesday: Frederick Watkins's approach, Kenneth Minogue's approach (both of which we have discussed in class; you should try to tie it to the Gregor article.), Noel O'Sullivan's approach (which I briefly mentioned in class on Friday), and Norman Cohn's approach. You will have to be familiar with at least two of them for the final, so look these four over closely and carefully. There are significant differences among them. Some are useful in analyzing ideologies or ideological myths, like those of Mark, Hitler, and the radical feminists; some are useful in analyzing ideological movements, like the Fascist movement. Not all claim to be concepts of ideology. Look at these four carefully; study them. I will ask you to apply one of them to the Michael Crichton reading for your final paper, due Friday.

The reading assignment for the last paper and for next Friday's class—an excerpt from Michael Crichton's novel State of Fear—is in the rack on my office door.

Interesting NY Times story on science and public policy.

For the Week of April 20th:

For Friday, A. James Gregor, "The Ideology of Fascism," in Transformation of a Continent. Extra copies are in the rack on my office door. (Those quizzes are working, aren't they?) Compare Gregor's analysis of fascism to Watkins's and Minogue's approaches to political ideologies: how are they different? Are they focusing on the same aspects of political ideologies? What has "sociology" to do with Italian Fascism? What is Gregor's definition of "fascism" (if he offers one at all)?

Incidentally, Gregor's essay appears in a book of essays edited by Gerhard Weinberg entitled Transformation of a Continent, copyright 1975. Note: Weinberg did not write Transformation of a Continent. Nobody wrote it. Weinberg edited a collection of essays and wrote an introduction. Some editor at Burgess Publishing, perhaps, decided to call the edited collection Transformation of a Continent. Gregor did not write Transformation of a Continent; Gregor wrote an essay entitled "The Ideology of Fascism," which appears in Transformation of a Continent. Note my use of italics and quotation marks. Cite Gregor accordingly. (The other essays in the collection are very good, too.)

Please read the introductory material and the chapter entitled "Earth First! and the Misanthropy of Radical Egalitarianism" in the handout of Ellis's Dark Side of the Left. ("Misanthropy" and "egalitarianism" mean what again?) Extra copies are in the rack on my office door. Another quiz seems like a good idea.

A couple of sites you may beinterested in:

For the Week of April 13th:

Copies of the reading for Friday are in the rack on my office door. The cover page has the title Society and the Individual, and the article is "Political Philosophies of Women's Liberation" by Alison Jaggar. To encourage you to acquire and read the article before class, there will be a short quiz at the beginning of class.

For Tuesday, please read this excerpt from Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf. (What does Kampf mean?) We will also complete the discussion of the Communist Manifesto. Friday is a handout on varieties of feminism by Alison Jaggar. Take a look at a couple more concepts of ideology on the Approaches to Political Ideologies link. We will be using them in the last paper.

For the Week of April 6th:

I hope the test was not too bad. We begin our focus on political ideologies on Friday with Marx and Engels's Communist Manifesto—the whole thing!

As you read the Manifesto try to answer the following questions:

  1. In the first section of the Manifesto, "Bourgeois and Proletarians," what theory of history does Marx present?
  2. Who or what are the bourgeoisie?
  3. Who or what are the proletarians or the proletariat?
  4. What is the foundation of all history, politics, and civilization?
  5. What do Marx and Engels expect to happen soon?
  6. In the second section, "Proletarians and Communists," who are the communists and what is their relation to the proletarians?
  7. What is the problem with "property"? all property?
  8. What is the foundation of human culture?
  9. What is the proletarian programme (to borrow the Brit spelling)?
  10. In the third section of the Manifesto, "Socialist and Communit Literature," what is Marx's main criticism of all other socialist or communist theories?
  11. A "manifesto" is a statement in support of a call to action: what is the call to action in Marx's manifesto? (Section four of the Manifesto).

Also, take a look at a couple of the concepts of "ideology" on the site entitled "Approaches to Political Ideologies," on the main webpage immediately under the Bernard Crick quote, "Boredom with established truths is a great enemy of free men." Try to determine if Frederick Watkins's concept fits Marx's communism.

Mid-term on Tuesday! Only two essay questions. The test will cover the assigned readings by Lippmann, Hume, and Burke. No identifications. Plenty of time to read or reread the material before the exam.

You should be thoroughly familiar with the theme or argument of the book by this time. We have been studying it for more than a month, and it is only 180 pages long. In one question I will choose a specific issue that Lippmann discusses at some length in the book and ask you to explain Lippmann's argument or point. I will not choose something obscure or something he only briefly mentions. If you read the book carefully, you will have no trouble recognizing the issue. The second question will be a more general one that addresses one of the main themes or theses of the book. Your essay will require you to support your answer with your own choice of details from the book, In other words, in one question, I will ask you a detailed question and you must show me your familiarity with Lippmann's discussion of that issue; in the other question, I will ask you a general question, and you must support your more general essay response with appropriate details of your choosing from the book and, perhaps, from Hume and Burke. In either case, you will be screwed if you have not read the book carefully. The exam is designed to prove that.

Because you have already written a paper that focuses on chapters 8 and 9, neither of the questions will repeat or focus on the paper topic, but chapters 8 and 9 are important in the overall development of Lippmann's argument and should not be ignored.

Lord Moulton's speech on Law and Manners, noted in Lippmann, 168n7.

For the Class of March 31st:

We will finish up Lippmann (chapters 10 and 11) and decide on a date for the mid-term. If we decide to have the exam on Tuesday, April 7th, the exam will consist of two essay questions about Lippmann. If we decide to have the exam on Friday, April 10th, the exam will include Marx's Communist Manifesto and perhaps consist of three essay questions. I have no preference one way or the other. Think about it and we will decide on Tuesday.

For the Week of March 23d:

The reading assignments for the week are Lippmann, chapters 8 (already assigned) and 9. If you have not read chapters 7 and 8 closely, please do so now. We will discuss chapter 9 on Friday.

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like the one I show you in class, or print your paper on the opposite side of the title page. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive no credit.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements. The paper should be divided into at least two paragraphs.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Friday, March 27th. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class. If you cannot make it to class, you must email a copy of the paper to me by 11:00am Friday and get me a hard copy by Tuesday the 31st at the latest. I will not read the emailed copy, but will check it against the hard copy after I correct the hard copy. The absence will be excused or unexcused, as appropriate.
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) no grade on this first paper/writing sample if it is a good faith effort, (2) 50-50 writing-content on this second paper so a paper with lousy writng but good content (or vice-versa) will pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on the third paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content.

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. Titles of works are italicized; titles of articles, essays, and chapters are placed in "quotes." For this paper your main and perhaps only source to cite is Lippmann's Public Philosophy, but conceivably you may want to cite Burke or Hume or one of the authors we studied during the first third of the course. Here are your instructions for citing works:

  1. Passages from Lippmann's Public Philosophy are cited by page number.
  2. Passages from Hume's "Of the Origin of Government" are simply attributed to the essay; no page number or other notation is necessary.
  3. Passages from Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France are cited by page number (the number in the brackets preceding the quoted passage)
  4. Passages from Aristotle's two works are cited by title of the work (in italics), book number (in Roman numerals), and chapter number (in Arabic numerals).
  5. Passages from St. Thomas's (or "Aquinas's," but never "St.Aquinas's") Summa are cited to Question 91 and article number (1 to 6) only.
  6. Passages from Hobbes's Leviathan are cited by chapter number.
  7. Passages from Locke's Second Treatise of Government are cited by either section or paragraph number.
  8. Passages from Rousseau's Discourse on the Origin of Inequality are cited by part number (Roman numerals) and paragraph number (Arabic numerals); passages from his Social Contract are cited by book number (in Roman numerals) and chapter number (in Arabic numerals).
  9. Passages from Machiavelli's Prince, chapter 15, 17, and 25, are cited to, well, Machiavelli, The Prince, ch. 15 (or ch. 17, or ch. 25.

1Walter Lippmann, The Public Philosophy, 107.

2Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, 64.

3Aristotle, Politics, I.1.

4Aquinas, Question 91, Article 3.

5David Hume, "Of the Origin of Government."

6Ibid. [This is a reference to exactly the same work cited in the immediately preceding footnote.]

7Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, II.23.

8Ibid., II.33. [This is a reference to a previously cited work, but a different paragraph.]

9Politics, I.1. [This is a reference to a previously cited work by Aristotle, but since two different works by Aristotle have been cited supra, you must indicate which of the two works you are referring to.]

10John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, par. 13.

At least five references are required.

Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE. Each footnote itself is punctuated with a final period. Use Ibid. as appropriate. Refer back to the Lippmann essay. The method of notation in that essay is very similar to the Chicago Style method that I am asking you to use. It isn't difficult.

The other punctuation to be mastered at this time is the introduction of quotes. If you introduce them using the word "that" (what Turabian calls run-in quotes), then you do not put any punctuation before or after the word "that." Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. Go, my dear students, and write likewise!

Assignments for the Week of March 16th:

Don't forget to sign up to meet with me about your papers. Bring your paper with you. I will post a sign-up sheet for the week of March 16th. The next paper will be due next week, and if you do not meet with me by the end of this week, you will lose 2 points from your final semester grade. This is for new students only.

For Friday, please read Lippmann, chapter 8. We will go over chapters 7 and 8 with questions on each subsection of the chapters. You must be prepared to answer.

For Tuesday, we'll pick up where we left off: review chapters 6 and 7 of Lippmann, which were assigned last time. The new reading for Tuesday is these excerpts from Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. Class discussion will focus on Lippmann chapter 7 and the Burke reading. Note Lippmann on "Jacobinism" (what is it?), "Leninism" (what is it?), and particularly Jacobin education. Does it sound familiar? Note what Burke says about natural rights and about the social contract. He takes these common, accepted political terms of the eighteenth century and pours new meaning into them: new wine into old wineskins. His conceptions of natural rights and the social contract are significantly different from Locke's and the other social contract theorists. How?

We will have to make adjustments to the schedule of readings and the schedule of papers and exams because of the earlier weather-related problems. I anticipate a class or two fewer on Lippmann and on the ideologies readings.

For Friday, please read chapter 8 of Lippmann.

Assignments for the Week of March 2d:

We'll keep it light for Friday, if we meet at all: please read chapters 6 and 7 of The Public Philosophy.

Don't forget to sign up to discuss your paper; there's a sign-up sheet on my door for this Friday.

For those of you who are Korea-bound, have a good, safe trip!

The reading assignment for Tuesday is (1) the two chapters from Bernays's Propaganda (extra copies are in the rack on my office door) and (2) the essay by David Hume "Of the Origin of Government" (not the excerpt from "Of the Original Contract"). Read both of these in light of the first five chapters of Lippmann, which shall be the primary basis of class discussion: I will continue to ask questions based on the subtitles, and I will call on people by name, so be ready.

I have a sign-up sheet on my door for appointments to discuss the papers I just returned to you. If you have not met with me last semester to discuss your first paper, you must do so this semester. Pick a time this week or when we return from Break. Bring your paper with you.

Assignments for the Week of February 23d:

For Friday, read chapters 3, 4, and 5 of The Public Philosophy. I will ask questions based on the subtitles of the chapters. Since we did not cover chapter 2 in class, we will begin there. For example, "What does Lippmann say is significant about public opinion in time of war?" "What does he mean by "the compulsion to make mistakes?" What mistakes?" "What pattern of mistakes does Lippmann discern?" And so on. David Hume's essays for next Tuesday.

We now turn to Walter Lippmann's Public Philosophy, a favorite of students over the past twenty years. It will be our main text, but we will supplement it with other readings. For Tuesday, please read chapters 1 & 2 of the Public Philosophy. Note when he wrote the book and the historical circumstances in which he lived. Is his perspective American or European? Paul Roazen's "Introduction" is very good. Read it now or later this week. You might also check out Lippmann's bio on the Web. We're going to have to get to know this guy.

Assignments for the Week of February 16th:

Mid-Term Friday. Bring your student ID number; do not put your name on the bluebook. (I will supply the bluebooks.) Bring blue or black pens: no pencils. I will not attempt to read bluebook essays that are written in pencil—you will fail the test.

The exam will consist of three or four essay questions covering all of the material assigned thus far. Each question will focus on some of the assigned readings. There will definitely be a question on Rousseau's Discourse, a question comparing the three social contract formulas that we have been discussing, and a question or two on the issue of authority: the philosophers' answers to the question "Who gives you—who gives the government—the right to tell me what to do?" You should be aware of the basic distinction between coercion and authority that we repeated often in class. As always, your answers should reflect familiarity with and details from the readings rather than from the class discussions. Do not use examples from the class lectures: use examples and details from the readings.

One or two of the questions will also have an identification component that you will complete right on the test sheet. I will give you quotes from the assigned readings that are characteristic of the thought of Aristotle, Aquinas, and so on (no identifications from the ancients described by Jacobsen and Wilson) and you must identify the author of the quote, the title of the work in which it appeared, and perhaps some other aspect of the quote. These identifications are only worth a couple of bonus or penalty points, so don't get too excited about them, but the bonus or penalty points can affect your grade a little, so don't ignore them.

The exam will or may cover all of the assigned readings thus far in the course.

Assignments for the Class of February 13th:

As I indicated in the email that I sent to all of you on Monday, we will simply move the assignment and the exam back one class. The assignment for Friday is listed below; the mid-term will be held on Tuesday. Please come to class tomorrow prepared to discuss Locke, or I will only discuss the exam and cancel the rest of the class as I did with Rousseau. This course is a discussion of the assigned readings, not a series of lectures explaining to you what you should have just read.

Please read sections or paragraphs (§§ or ¶¶) 1-14, 87-89, 95-99, 123-131 of John Locke's Second Treatise of Government, available by link on my main webpage. Pay close attention to his formulation of the social contract and compare and contrast it to the formulas of Hobbes and Rousseau. (Locke's own historical myth can be found in §§ 25-51, his chapter "On Property" of the Second Treatise, if you are interested. It's another variant of the primitive communism myth. Marx like it.)

Assignments for the Week of February 3d:

The general schedule for the next three classes is as follows: Tuesday, Rousseau; Friday, Hobbes (Leviathan, chapters 14, 16, & 17) and the first paper; Tuesday, Locke (Second Treatise, sections or paragraphs (§§ or ¶¶) 1-14, 87-89, 95-99, 123-131. Friday the 13th (Whoa! bet you didn't see that one coming) is the exam. The focus of the next three class is the three versions of the social contract by Rousseau, Hobbes, and Locke. The question to keep your eye on is the question of authority: "What gives you the right to tell me what to do?"

The paper and the Hobbes assignment (chapters 14, 16, 17 of Leviathan) are due on Friday. (We will also finish Rousseau's theory on Friday.) Based on the limited progress that we made in class on Rousseau, I strongly recommend that you focus on Hobbes and one of the authors that we already completed: Aristotle, St. Thomas, Jacobsen or Wilson (or both Jacobsen and Wilson). Rousseau's theory of authority is found in The Social Contract, not the Discourse; thus, we have not yet studied Rousseau's answer to the question of the basis of governmental authority or "Who gives you the right to tell me what to do." It is much trickier than Hobbes's answer, which you will find in chapters 14, 16, and 17.

For Tuesday, please read Part II of Rousseau's Discourse on the Origin of Inequality and the sections of The Social Contract linked here, and please review the first part of the Discourse that was assigned for Friday, January 30th. In Part II, pay particular attention to paragraphs (the paragraphs are numbered in brackets) 1 to 21, 24 to 27, 35 to 40, 50 to 52, and 60 to 63 (it's simpler just to read it straight through). Use the study questions on the Discourse linked on the main webpage immediately below the link to the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality under the Western Political Concepts I & II Readings. I plan to cover the Rousseau material on Tuesday using questions and answers (I question, you answer). If you all read the assignment and give me some help on Tuesday, we will get through this; if not, not.

POL 211 First Paper

Topic: Compare and contrast Hobbes's conception of political authority to the conception of one of the other authors or ancient civilizations that we have studied this semester.

Simply explain, in three or four sentences each, how (1) Hobbes and (2) the other author(s) of your choice derive political authority from God, nature (or the cosmos), or man. That's it. The assigned readings focused precisely on this subject. See the email I sent to each of you Thursday morning for a bit more clarification.

Assignments for the Week of January 27th:

An introduction to Jean-Jacques Rousseau (A.D. 1712-1778) and the first long reading assignment of the semester: his Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. The Discourse is divided into a number of sections: the Dedication or epistle dedicatory; the Preface (with fifteen numbered paragraphs); the Dissertation itself with seven numbered, introductory paragraphs; the First Part, with fifty-three numbered paragraphs and notes; the Second Part, with sixty-four numbered paragraphs and notes; and the Appendix. In addition, there are study questions on the Discourse linked on the main webpage immediately below the link to the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality under the Western Political Concepts I & II Readings. I want you to read the Preface, the introductory paragraphs of the Dissertation, and Part One of the Dissertation. Please use the study questins to help you follow Rousseau's argument.

If the Discourse were straight, discursive philosophical reasoning, this would be a very long assignment, but you will find that the Discourse is less a philosophical essay than it is a story of the history of mankind: a historical myth. It reads very quickly. Indeed, it reads so easily that the study questions will force you to focus on some important parts of the myth that might pass by unnoticed. And, don't forget to read MAchiavelli, Prince, chapter 25.

Two reading assignments for Tuesday: (1) please read the material by Hobbes, Bacon, and Descartes on "Modern Philosophers' Rejections of Classical Philosophy," available via a link on the main millerpolitics.com webpage under the green quote from Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park. (BTW, that sci-fi story by Isaac Asimov, The Feeling of Power, is worth your while.) (2) Please read these excerpts from Machiavelli and Hobbes. Again, look for evidence of the fundamental philosophical conceptions (ontology, epistemology, and so on) that are stated or impled in the readings as well as the implications of the readings for the question of authority: "Who gives you the right to tell me what to do?" Be sure to have a dictionary handy to look up any words that you may not recognize: this is absolutely essential if you are to beome an educated individual.

I will discuss the upcoming first one-page paper, as well. Don't forget the workshop on basic writing skills in Ireton on Wednesday afternoon at 4:15. No cost or obligation! Stop by if you feel the need. (Your grades on past written work may indicate whether you should feel the need.)

Assignments for the Week of January 20th:

Please read these excerpts from Aristotle and St. Thomas in order to get an idea of the Classical and Classical-Christian approach to political theory. As you read through the material, try to identify the passages and statements that reflect ontological, epistemological, anthropological, ethical, and political conceptions. If one views the universe or reality as having no overall purpose or design, one has an "acosmic" conception of cosmology and ontology. If one views the universe and reality as possessing an overall purpose, one has a "teleological" conception of cosmology and reality. Is Aristotle's view acosmic or teleological?

For Friday, please read the handout on ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian societies from the book Before Philosophy (the same book that the essay on "Myth and Reality" by Henri and H.A. Frankfort appeared in).

The excerpts from St. Thomas's Summa Theologica illustrate the scholastic method of philosophic exposition or demonstration.

The scholastic format of the Summa Theologica or Summary of Theology (or, from St. Thomas's view, "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Theology but Were Afraid to Ask") of St. Thomas takes some getting used to. The whole treatise is divided up into parts, which are further divided into sub-parts. Thus, the so-called "Treatise on Law" is found in the "First Part of the Second Part" (the Prima Secundae) of the Summa. Thomas then divides up the subjects into numbered Questions. Each numbered question is further divided up into Articles, which are divided into a series of Objections, which turn out to be criticisms of the point that Aquinas ultimately wishes to make, followed by a section headed "On the contrary," which marks the beginning of the argument for St. Thomas's position. Then follows the "I answer that" section, which is the key to St. Thomas's argument, and a series of replies to the initial objections. We focus here on the "I answer that" paragraphs.

According to Aquinas, what is the difference between natural law and divine law? What is the purpose of human law? (Since human law is man-made law or legislation, this question is another way of asking what the purpose of government is.) What is the standard by which human law should be evaluated? (This is another way of asking what the basis or source of political-legal authority is.)

For Friday, January 16, please read the article "Introduction to Political Theory," which is linked directly below on the main webpage.

Try to write definitions of the following terms: "ontology," "epistemology," "anthropology—empirical and philosophical," "ethics," "politics," "Classical tradition," "Classical-Christian tradition," "Epicurean tradition," and "esoteric tradition" based on the article. This will be the basis of our discussion on Friday.

Assignments for Western Political Concepts II, Spring Semester, 2015

Welcome to the course! This semester, we will begin with a survey of "modern" political theory as reflected in Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau and some non-modern political thought as well. We will then turn to an extended study of Walter Lippmann's book, The Public Philosophy (or, Essays in the Public Philosophy), a famous twentieth century work by one of the greatest twentienth century journalists. We finish the semester with a study of political ideology, a form of political thought that might be considered counterfeit political theory. Be sure to get the weekly and daily assignments here: I do not use Blackboard at all.

The material below is from previous semesters of POL 210 and 211. You may want to take a look before I delete some of it.

Two readings from St. Augustine and one from St. Thomas:

  1. City of God Book VII.32
  2. On the Free Choice of the Will, pp. 38-49 of the Pontifex translation
  3. St. Thomas Aquinas: Question 91, Part 4 on "divine law."
You should review City of God, Book XIX, chapters 12 & 13, which were assigned when we studied ontology, also. Compare Augustine's Book VII.32 of City of God to Aquinas, Question 91, Part 4. What is the common theme? Which law must we observe in order to achieve salvation? Also compare Augustine's discussion of natural and eternal law to Aquinas's in Question 91, Parts 1 & 2 (I mean, really, while you are reading Question 91, you might at least take a peek at parts 1 & 2).

I prepared a version of Aristotle's Book II of the Nicomachean Ethics, which we discussed on Tuesday, for you that has more explanatory notes.

I will also discuss the last one-page paper assignment on Friday.

For Tuesday, please read the remaining chapters of Book Two of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics that are indicated on the Ethics Readings assignment page. You will recall that the first three chapters of Book II were already assigned for Friday.

A Reminder: If you have room on your Spring schedule, please add HU 202 or POL 388 to prevent those courses from being prematurely cancelled because of low enrollments. The Administration wants all courses to enroll at least ten students. By adding either or both of those courses now, they will not be cancelled, and you can easily drop them from your schedule once the Spring semester begins. Thank you.

For the Week of November 10th:

On Friday, we will discuss the previously assigned excerpts from chapters 14 and 15 of Leviathan and two new readings: (1) chapter 20 (XX) of John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, and (2) Book II, chapters 1, 2, & 3 of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. Links to both are available on the Ethics Readings page.

I hope the exam was not too bad. I followed the guidelines below very closely in constructing the questions.

Let's put the exam behind us and look forward to the end—the goal or purpose—of the course: the theory of politics. To get there, we need to consider questions of authority and obligation; that is, we must consider ethics. We will find that the close relationship between ethical and political theory matches the close relationship between the three conceptions we already studied: ontology, epistemology, and anthropology.

For Tuesday, I'll let you take a breather: go to the link on Ethics Readings (below Anthropology Readings) and read (1) Epicurus's Principal Doctrines (or Principal Principles, P2, if you are into that) and (2) Hobbes's first two natural laws, which he explains in the opening paragraphs of chapter 14 of Leviathan. Short assignment.

For the Week of November 3d:

The mid-term will be in the same format as the first mid-term: three essay questions, one or two preceded by passages to identify. Only the material assigned since the first mid-term is covered on the exam, although your understanding of the five fundamental conceptions and the identification of the philoosphical tradition that were explained in the "Introduction to Political Theory" are assumed here and thoughout the course. You may, of course, make references to the earlier assignments to supplement your essays.

On the quotation identifications (which only amount to a few points per exam), you should know the author and title of the work in which they appear, the fundamental conception (epistemology or anthropology) that the quotes discuss, and the philosophical traditions they reflect. Some of St. Augustine's writings appeared in collections of excerpts from different works; you do not have to know the precise work—City of God, Confessions, and so on—in which the quote appears. Just follow the directions on the exam. Again, the identifications are worth only a few points, plus or minus, but they set the stage for the essay that follows, so you should particularly be able to recognize the conception and the tradition that the quotations reflect. The passages to be identified will clearly reflect characteristic ideas of their tradition; the will not be obscure.

For the essays, all will be based on comparison-contrast. You should be able to compare the epistemologies of the four traditions to one another. Epistemology explores what we can know and how we can know it. The key ideas here are "reason" and "faith" (or revelation). "Reason" does not mean the same thing for the various writers that we have studied. What conception of reason is characteristic of each tradition? Be able to contrast the different conceptions. According to each tradition, is all knowledge rational, that is, obtainable by reason? What is? What is not? If something is not knowable by reason, how else might it be known? You can see how epistemology is tied here to ontology—the study of what really exists—but this exam will not focus on ontology.

You will also be asked to compare and contrast the different anthropologies of the traditions that we study. You should have a clear idea of the distinction between empirical and philosophical anthropology; go back and review these concepts in the "Introduction to Political Theory" that was assigned the first week of the semester. You should be able to compare and contrast the empirical anthropologies, but especially the philosophical anthropologies of the four traditions. What is the essential difference between the views of the nature of man in the four traditions—the five traditions if we distinguish between the Gnostic and the Hermetic views that we discussed on Tuesday. Key ideas here are what each tradition understands to be "happiness" and what each tradition asserts is the highest human potential.

Finally, how is the epistemology of each tradition tied to that tradition's philosophical anthropology? Since philosophical anthropology is another term for the ontology of man, you see again how everything that we read this semester is tied closely together. How, for example, does the Epicurean epistemology determine the Epicurean conception of the fundamental nature of man? How do the epistemologies of the other traditions determine their conception of human nature?

As always, I am looking for evidence in your essays that you have read the assigned materials. That is more important than spitting back to me ideas and examples that were brought up in class to explain the readings. Focus on the readings. If you have not yet read an assignment or if you had particular trouble with the assignment the first time you read it, your study time is best spent going back over the readings. Studying with classmates is good—I recommend it!—but don't let it take away from your time with the readings.

Remember: blue or black pens; student ID numbers; all belongings at the side of the classroom.

The last of the readings on anthropology from the "Anthropology Readings" page are the two ancient documents: the Gnostic "In Quest of the Priceless Pearl," and the Hermetic or Hermetistic document Poemandres. Like the earlier Apocryphon of John, these are not essays or "discursive" writings, but rather are myths. Use the questions accompanying the writings to help you through them. Mid-term on Friday. You may want to read Jonas's "Abstract of the Main Gnostic Tenets," which is linked at the bottom of the Anthropology Readings page. Brings a lot together regarding the ancient Gnostic religion.

For the Week of October 20th:

Another good class discussion. I must make sure that we cover most of the assigned reading each class, however, so I may cut your questions short until the reading is discussed.

We will spend two classes on classical anthropology: one on Plato and one on Aristotle. For Friday, please read the excerpts from Plato's Republic listed on the Anthropology Readings page. I will assign the Aristotle readings for next Tuesday. The St. Augustine excerpts on anthropology for next Friday. Mid-term on November 7th.

We begin the study of political anthropology. Please read the passages from the Epicurean authors Lucretius and Hobbes on the Anthropology Readings page of the "Readings for Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2014)" link. We will also have some more time to finish Augustine's epistemology. Bring your questions: last class was great!

For the Class of October 17th:

The paper topic asks you to compare and contrast St. Augustine's epistemology with Classical epistemology. The reading assignment is the "set of excerpts from St. Augustine's Confessions, City of God, and his early dialogue On Free Choice of the Will," which as usual can be found on the Epistemology Readings page with all of the other assigned reading links.

POL 210 Second Paper: "What is different about St. Augustine's view of the highest knowledge and how people achieve it and the Classical understanding of the highest knowledge and how people achieve it?"

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials. (Keep it simple: use only what I specifically assigned.)
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around. (Except for the blue ink paper, you all did this very well.)
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like the one I show you in class. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero. (Again, you all passed with flying colors!)
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class. (Room for improvement here; use "Ibid." this time.)
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Friday, October 17th. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class. Emailed papers by 11:00am meet the deadline, but you then must give me a hard copy ASAP.
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) no grade on the first paper/writing sample, (2) 50-50 writing-content on this second paper so a paper with lousy writing but good content (or vice-versa) will pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on the third paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content.

Footnotes

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. For this paper there are five possible sources for you to cite: (1) The passages from St. Augustine's three works are to be cited by book number (Roman numeral), chapter number, and the paragraph number, if applicable, as illustrated in the excerpts that I prepared. (2) Passages from Aristotle are to book title Nicomachean Ethics, book number, and part/chapter/section number, depending on the edition of Aristotle that you use. Book numbers in Roman numerals; chapter numbers in Arabic numerals in both these cases, just like in the linked text. (3) Passages in Plato's Republic are to Stephanus Numbers, which have been integrated into the excerpt that we use in class. You must also use Ibid. (abbreviation of Latin term for "in the same place") to indicate that a footnote source is identical to the previous footnote source. See the examples below.

Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE. Each footnote itself is punctuated with a final period. Here are sample footnotes for St. Augustine, Aristotle, and Plato:

1Plato, Republic (Trans. Jowett), 507a. (Cite to the closest preceding Stephanus number in the Plato excerpts.)

2St. Augustine, On Free Choice of the Will (Trans. Benjamin and Hackstaff), I.2.11.

3Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (Trans. Ross), VI.3.

4Ibid. (A reference to the exact same source—author, title, the location in the text—in the very next footnote. "Ibid." refers back to the source in the previous footnote.)

5Ibid., VI.5. (A reference to the exact same source, Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, but to a different part of that source, VI.5 instead of the earlier VI.3.)

6Plato, 508a. (A subsequent reference to a source that you cited earlier. You should not repeat all of the information that was in your first citation. Since only one Plato source was cited, simply citing "Plato" or "Republic" will clearly indicate to the reader which earlier source you are referring to. You must include the section of the work.)

7St. Augustine, Confessions (Trans. Pilkington), V.5.8. (Citing a second source from St. Augustine, different from On Free Choice of the Will.)

8On Free Choice of the Will, I.6.42. (No need to indicate Augustine is the author here; you already cited the author and title in a previous footnote; here, all you need is a distinctive reference to indicate which previously cited book of Augustine you are referring to.)

9Ibid., II.2.17-19 (A reference to a different location within the immediately preceding cited source.)

Quotations

The other punctuation to be mastered at this time is the introduction of quotes. If you introduce them using the word "that" (what Turabian calls run-in quotes), then you do not put any punctuation before or after the word "that." Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. Go, my dear students, and write likewise!

For the Week of October 6th:

For Friday, please read the handout excerpt by Han Jonas on the Gnostic idea of "gnosis" and Book VI, chapter 2 of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, which is only a couple of paragraphs. A couple of extra copies of the Jonas article are in the rack on my office door. We will finish discussing Aristotle's intellectual virtues, as well. The paper, which is due Friday the 17th—NOT THIS FRIDAY—will ask you to compare Classical-Christian epistemology (the reading assignment for next Friday) with Classical epistemology, which we have been studying this week and last.

Last day to have an appointment to discuss your paper is Friday, October 10: don't lose the two points.

We will finish talking about Plato with a discussion of his Myth or Parable of the Cave and then discuss Aristotle's "intellectual virtues. For Tuesday, please go to the Epistemology Readings page and read Book VI, chapters 3 to 8, of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. Compare this to Plato's divided line and to Hobbes's epistemology. Hobbes also has a chapter in Leviathan on the intellectual virtues that you might want to take a look at.

The Outline of Mid-term Essays is available here.

Maureen Dour of CTL asked that I make this announcement to the class:

"A volunteer note-taker is needed for this class, to assist a classmate who has a disability. This is an easy job that only requires the note-taker to scan and upload their notes within 24 hours after class. Additionally, it is an opportunity to give back to others and it looks great on a resume. The note-taker and the requesting student can each decide whether or not they wish to be openly identified, as a personal choice.

Anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer note-taker should visit Maureen Dour in Rowley G105 or e-mail testing@marymount.edu. Lastly, as a “Thank You” for their awesome efforts, all note-takers will receive a $100 gift card from Student Access Services at the end of the semester!"

This is a really good thing to do. Please contact Maureen if you are interested.

For the Week of September 30th:

On Friday, we will (1) complete the discussion of Hobbes, particularly chapters four and five, and (2) study Plato's divided line example and the Myth of the Cave. The excerpt from Plato's Republic to read is linked on the Epistemology Readings page of the "Readings for Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2014)" link, directly below this link. We will use the "Study Questions" to work through the material.

On Tuesday, we will look at the epistemology of another Epicurean, the Seventeenth Century writer Thomas Hobbes. Please read Leviathan chapters 1 to 5 and the excerpts from chapter 46, which are available on the "Epistemology Readings" link that you used for the Lucretius assignment for the last class. We will use the Study Questions on Hobbes's Leviathan for the class discussion (and possibly a quiz). The study questions are also available on the main web page directly below the link for "Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan (ebooks@Adelaide)" in the Western Political Concepts I & II Readings section.

A signup sheet for this week is on my office door. Pick a time. Bring your paper with you. It is worth two points of your final grade just to come in a review your paper. Don't forget to sign up!

I should have your exams graded by Friday.

For the Week of September 23d:

On Friday we begin a study of epistemology. Go to the "Readings for Western Political Concepts I (Fall 2014)" link right below this link, click on Epistemology Readings, and (1) review the earlier "Myth and Reality" essay to answer the questions about the ancients, and (2) read the assigned passages from Lucretius.

Mid-Term on Tuesday. As explained in class, the mid-term will consist of three essay questions, one or two of which will begin with a series of quotations that you must identify and that will identify the sources to be used in writing that (or those) particular question. I will give you a sample identification question below (if I can figure out how to format it).

In preparing for the exam, you are responsible for all of the materials that have been assigned in the semester so far. All of the readings focused on cosmology or ontology (or both), so that is the only fundamental conception that you must worry about: nothing on epistemology, anthropology, and so on will be on the exam. Stay away from that stuff. The readings also reflected the ideas of the different philosophical or historical "traditions" upon which the course is based: the Epicurean, the Classical, the Classical-Christian, and the esoteric. The first readings by Eliade and the Frankforts also discussed the cosmology and ontology of "pre-philosophic" or "ancient" thought, which we will consider one of the traditions for the purpose of this exam. Best way to study for the exam is to re-read as much of the assigned material as you can, focusing on what you had trouble understanding the first time now that we have discussed the material in class.

The very first assignment, the essay "Introduction to Political Theory," will not be the subject of any of the exam questions and should not be discussed or quoted in any of your essays, but the essay does explain what cosmology and ontology are and what the various philosophic traditions include. Knowledge of this information from the "Introduction to Political Theory" is essential for every exam question in this course. Go back and review the discussion of cosmology and ontology and the descriptions of the philosophic traditions that are presented in the first part of the "Introduction to Political Theory."

Each essay will essentially be a comparison-contrast question focusing on two or three of the traditions. None of the questions asks you to discuss all five traditions and all the readings: each question is much narrower than that. Read each question closely and address it directly.

Bring a couple of blue or black pens—no pencil!—to the exam, along with your student ID number. I'll supply the test and the blue books.

A good essay answer does two things: (1) it directly addresses the question that is asked, and (2) it demonstrates the level of your understanding by providing accurate, precise, and specific/detailed information from the readings. Do not write in broad general statements. Use specific details from the readings and show me, if you are asked, that you understand what the fundamental conceptions and the historical traditions are.

Sample Identification Question:

1. "And I asked to know it, and he said to me, "The Monad is a monarchy with nothing above it. It is he who exists as God and Father of everything, the invisible One who is above everything, who exists as incorruption, which is in the pure light into which no eye can look."

__Place the author's name on this line.__ __Place the Title of the Work on this line__ ___Place the name of the tradition to which this work belongs on this line___

(As I said above, I am having trouble formatiing this in HTML for this webpage: each space will be clearly labeled on the exam.)

If the name of the author or the title is unknown to scholars, simply write "Unknown" on the line. If the quote is from one of the Stoic excerpts, write "Stoic" on both the author and title lines.

If this were on the exam, there would be three or four of this-type of quotation to be identified. There would then be an essay question that would compare and contrast some common idea of the three traditions identified in the quotation questions. Thus, if one of the quotes to be identified was Epicurean, one Gnostic, and one Christian, the essay question would ask you to compare some common subject of the Epicurean, Gnostic, and Christian traditions. You would not say anything in the essay about the Classical or ancient traditions. The essay will not ask you to simply go over the content of the quotations: the quotations only serve to identify the traditions and the subjects of the essays. The essays focus on the overall readings that were assigned, not just the quotes.

For the Week of September 16th:

Please read the handout of Hans Jonas excerpts for Friday (extra copies are in the rack on my office door until Friday morning). The handout serves as a helpful review of Gnostic and Classical cosmology. Also, bring along your other assigned readings: there were parts of Lucretius, St. Augustine, and even the Stoics that we did not cover thoroughly and that you may have questions about. I want to tie up loose ends before the mid-term on Tuesday the 23d.

Hans Jonas also provides some historical background to the Hellenistic or ecumenical period in which Gnosticism, Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Christianity attracted many followers in the ancient Roman world. Try to identify the argument that Jonas is making. What is the historical pattern of "position, revaluation, reaction" that Jonas describes?

I will also give you a brief quiz to prepare you for the identification-type questions on the exam. You should know the authors of each of the assigned readings, the titles of the works that we read, and the philosophic traditions that each author and reading belongs to. You do not have to identify the particular Stoic authors—Cicero, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius—and their works: simply identify them all as "Stoics" (although Cicero, perhaps, was not) and the works as "cosmology." I will brief you on the format for the mid-term and how to organize your studying.

We enter the wild world of Gnosticism with the Apocryphon of John. Typical of Gnostic texts, the Apocryphon presents itself as a lost gospel from the New Testament. It is not. It claims to have been written by the apostle John; it was not. The Apocryphon elaborates a full cosmogony-cosmology of the Valentinian type of Gnosticism. I think you will find it entertaining. Try to figure out the structure of the universe, according to the Gnostics. Did God make the world? Was the world good in God's eyes?

One major concern of the Valentinian Gnostics is the origin of evil. Clearly evil exists, but just as clearly God is good and could not possibly create something that was not good. So where does evil come from? The Apocryphon attempts to answer this question by explaining the origins of the world in which we live.

Remember, we are looking at documents that contain ontological and cosmological discussions: what is the ontology of the author of the Apocryphon? What is the fantastic cosmology? the cosmogony? And who is this "Barbelo" person, anyway? What does she have to do with the world? or with Sophia? or Yaltabaoth? or you, for that matter?

Ignoring the details for a moment, what is distinctively different about the Gnostic conception of the cosmos? How does it differ from the Christian conception as found in St. Augustine's writings? From Aristotle's or Cicero's classical conception in the Metaphysics and the De re publica? (bring those readings along and we will discuss them.) And from Lucretius's conception?

This assignment, along with the other assignments so far, is set out on the link immediately below this assignment page link entitled "Readings for Wetern political Concepts I (Fall 2014)" under "Cosmology-Ontology Readings." The future assignments for the course are listed, too, under the relevant headings. Take a look.

For the Week of September 9th:

Two assignments for Friday: (1) please read Aristotle's discussion of the "four causes," found in the Physics, Parts 3, 7, and 8 ONLY, and (2) the cosmology of Classical-Christianity found in these excerpts from St. Augustine and St. Thomas. Focus on the excerpts from St. Augustine; we will look at the excerpt from St. Thomas in class.

The four causes of Aristotle are usually referred to as the material cause, the formal cause, the efficient cause, and the final cause, in that order. As you read the material in the Physics, match up his discussions and definitions to these titles: what does he mean by the material cause? the formal cause? and so on. According to Aristotle, do these causes apply to natural as well as to man-made things ("artifacts")? Does every thing that exists have a purpose? Does nothing have a purpose? Do only artifacts have a purpose?

How does the understanding of the universe by St. Augustine and St. Thomas (and orthodox Jews and Muslims, as well) reflect the Classical understanding of the Stoics and Aristotle? Are they different in any way? How?

Two assignments for Tuesday: (1) please read the excerpts from Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus (not Aristotle) on Stoic (Classical) cosmology, and (2) hand in the one-page paper that I described in class. As I indicated in class, this first paper is more of a writing sample than a test of your understanding of cosmology. Make a good faith effort (proofread, of course), follow the rules, and you will receive full credit. If I do not think you gave the paper a good effort, you will not get credit. Please bring your Lucretius text to class with you.

You must compare the Stoic-Classical cosmology that you read for Tuesday with either the Epicurean cosmology that we discussed on Friday or the ancient, mytho-poeic cosmology that we discussed on Tuesday. To give your paper a sharper focus, you may want to look specifically at whether the cosmologies you select maintain that God/the gods created the world, whether there is a natural order or divine purpose to the world, whether there is a divine reality distinct from profane or natural or human reality in the world. If you can distinguish in your paper between the views on cosmology, the nature of the universe in which we live, and ontology, the nature of reality in general, that would be good, but it is not yet necessary. In grading the quizzes, I got the impression that many of you did not read (or read closely) the assigned material in BooK Two ("II") of Lucretius's poem. Much of Book I set up the premises upon which the important cosmological statements of Book II depend. Much of what Cicero and the Stoics say directly contrasts with the assigned material in Book II of Lucretius.

PLEASE read all of the instructions below. 90% of the problems with student papers are mistakes that violate the directions I set out below. Everything you need to know about quoting material and citing material is explained below. You should paraphrase more than you quote sources, but remember that you must cite a source (footnote) for something that you paraphrase from or attribute to one of your sources just the same as if you quoted the source. We'll work on it this semester. Now, please read the following:

POL 210 First Paper: The topic for the first one-page paper is a comparison-contrast of the Classical cosmology or ontology assigned for Tuesday with either the Epicurean view of Lucretius or the ancient view described by Eliade and the Frankforts. You must have at least four footnotes to the texts that you use. The whole purpose of a footnote reference is to permit and require the writer to identify the precise passages in the original material that the writer is relying on for his assertions and interpretations. The short length of the paper suggests that you structure your comparison into two substantive paragraphs—one on the classical tradition and one on either the Epicurean or the ancient—and either a short introductory statement of the precise point you wish to make (your thesis) or a short conclusion summarizing the point that you just made.

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like the one I show you in class. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Tuesday, September 9th. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class.
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) no grade on this first paper/writing sample, (2) 50-50 writing-content on the second paper so a paper with lousy writng but good content (or vice-versa) will pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on the third paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content.

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. For this paper there are four possible sources for you to cite: (1) The passages from Lucretius's poem are to be cited by book number (Roman numeral) and line numbers (Arabic numerals) as illustrated in the sample paper I handed out. You should know this by now. (2) Passages from Eliade and the Frankforts are cited by page number. (3) Passages from Cicero, Epictetus, or Marcus Aurelius are to book and part/chapter/section number. Book numbers in Roman numerals; chapter numbers in Arabic numerals in both these cases, just like in the linked text.

Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE. Here are sample footnotes for the Frankforts, Eliade, Lucretius, Cicero, and Epictetus:

1Henri and H.A. Frankfort, "Myth and Reality," in Before Philosophy, 18.

2Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane, 8.

3Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, I.350.

4Cicero, On the Nature of the Gods, VII.6.

5Ibid. (A reference to the exact same source—author, title, the location in the text—in the very next footnote. "Ibid." refers back to the source in the previous footnote.)

6Lucretius, III.135. (A subsequent reference to a source cited before, but not immediately before. You cannot use "Ibid.," so you abbreviate the previously cited sources so that the reader recognizes what you are referring to.)

7Epictetus, Discourses, V.13. (new source)

The other punctuation to be mastered at this time is the introduction of quotes. If you introduce them using the word "that" (what Turabian calls run-in quotes), then you do not put any punctuation before or after the word "that." Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. Go, my dear students, and write likewise!

For the Week of September 2d:

For Friday, please read Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe: Book One, lines 146 to 634, lines 921 to 1113, and Book Two, lines 62 to 477. The approximate line numbers are listed in the margins of the book. Remember,you must buy and use the Latham and Godwin prose translation and bring it with you to class. No book in class = unexcused absence. If you have been late in buying a copy of the Latham-Godwin translation, ask to borrow the book from a classmate so that you may make copies of the assigned pages.

As you read Lucretius, keep the five fundamental conceptions of philosophy in mind: what concept(s) is (are) being discussed in the text? (Review the essay on "Introduction to Political Theory" to get a firm idea of the five conceptions.) What is the substance of Lucretius's idea here? In other words, if Lucretius is discussing cosmology here, what is his concept or idea of the cosmos?

Also keep the Eliade and Frankforts excerpts in mind. What makes up the primitive understanding of reality, according to Eliade? according to the Frankforts? What are Eliade's basic ideas or concepts? How does Lucretius's understanding of the universe compare to and contrast with the understanding of primitive man, as according to Eliade?

1. The pre-philosophic mythopoeic understanding of the cosmos.

Please read the excerpts that I handed out from Before Philosophy (also titled The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man) by Henri Frankfort et al and from The Sacred and the Profane by Mircea Eliade.

The two describe the mythopoeic ("myth-making") intellect of ancient man. The two readings are compatible, but each of them focuses on a different aspect of ancient culture. Which one focuses primarily on cosmology and ontology? Which on epistemology? What reasons can you give for your answers? On what do the two articles agree? Do you find any fundamental, irreconcilable disagreements between the two articles? What is a hierophany? a theophany? an epiphany? Extra copies of the handouts will always be in the rack on my office door, though I will usually remove them the day of class. You can't read the assigned material in the five minutes before class.

Also keep the Eliade excerpt in mind. What makes up the primitive understanding of reality, according to Eliade? What are Eliade's basic ideas or concepts? How does Lucretius's understanding of the universe compare to and contrast with the understanding of primitive man, as according to Eliade?

The readings for the course are also listed in the website linked immediately below this assignment page on my main website.

Welcome to the Course!

The assignment for Friday, August 29th, is the essay, "Introduction to Political Theory," a link for which is here and also under the heading "Western Political Concepts I & II Readings" on the main web page (the first link under the green quote from Jurassic Park). Jot down basic definitions for the five (or six or seven) fundamental conceptions and the four (or five) philosophic traditions that are discussed. Be ready to talk about them in class. This sets the agenda for the whole semester.

Attendance and Make-up Exam Policies

Attendance: As the syllabus indicates and as I have explained in class, I am very liberal about excusing absences and lateness to class, but I do not accept every reason for missing class as the basis for an excused absence. I will excuse you if you are sick and have been to or are going to visit a doctor or nurse (a "health professional") for treatment. I will also excuse absences because you must keep an appointment or your employer requires you to be somewhere else or you must go home on family business. I may ask for written documentation of these reasons, but generally I do not ask.

I have received a number of emails and other messages in the past from students informing me that they will not be in class on a particular day for one reason or another. Merely informing me ahead of time does not mean I excuse the absence, though I appreciate your courtesy. I will not excuse your absence because you are simply not feeling well or because you choose to do something worthwhile other than come to class even if you inform me ahead of time. If you are coughing and sneezing and coming down with a cold or the flu, and you don't want to spread your virus to your classmates, staying home is probably the right thing to do, but it is not an excused absence. For that I need documentation. You all get three unexcused absences to use as you see fit, and it is your decision to use them to stay home when you don't feel well or want to attend some other event or need to prepare for another class instead of going to my class. Use them for good reasons: that's what they are for.

Make-up Exams: The same basic rules about excused absences apply to taking mid-terms (papers are always due on the due date--no exceptions). You may be excused from taking a mid-term if you are certifiably sick or your job prevents you from attending class or you have a serious family or personal emergency on the day of the test. If one of these applies and I am informed in a reasonable time before the exam, you may take the exam on the same day as the final exam. If none of these reasons apply, you may not take the exam at another time, and you will get a zero for the exam. My policy of giving makeup exams on the same day as the final, which is provided in the syllabus, does NOT mean that you may choose to take the mid-term exam on that day rather than on the regularly scheduled day: it is not an alternative test date. To be eligible for a makeup, you must qualify for an excused absence, and this you should do a reasonable time before the day of the mid-term, if that is at all possible. Remember also, if you are late for the exam because of events outside of your control, let me know immediately or as soon as possible and I will let you take the exam later that same day if possible.

Excessive excused absences may also be a problem, and we should discuss such situations well before the last month of the semester. If your job or an illness keeps you away from class for more than a third of the semester, it will definitely affect the class participation component of your grade and may be a good reason to drop the course and take it another time. All of us find ourselves in these situations from time to time and have to deal with them appropriately.

When in doubt about any of these policies, please come and talk to me: don't make me seek you out. You should also review the University's policies on absenteeism in the University Catalog.

The study of epistemology, the theory of knowledge—How do we know things? What kinds of things can we know? Do we know everything in the same way? Is there a difference between knowing what something is and knowing how to do something? Or between knowing what a physical object is and knowing what the answer to a math question is? What does "knowing" mean? Before you start reading, ask yourself these very questions. Ask yourself how each of the authors that we study answers these questions.

As you review the material on epistemology, keep in mind several of the key terms that any epistemological discussion includes: reason and rationality (not "rationalization"!), faith, revelation, opinion or belief, and knowledge. "Reason" does not mean the same thing for each of the writers that we have studied. Remember, also, that all of the traditions—indeed, any intelligent individual—recognizes that people (and animals) can figure a lot of things out without the help of religious faith or abstract philosophical principles. You should be able to explain the different conceptions of reason or rationality that reflect the different traditions. What is the role of revelation and the role of faith in the epistemologies of the different traditions, if revelation and faith have any role at all in each tradition. Finally, what can we "know" through faith, through revelation, and particularly through the use of reason, according to each of the different traditions?

Regarding anthropology, you should have a clear idea of the difference between empirical and philosophical anthrolopogy. Review the "Introduction to Political Theory" essay. Philosophical anthropology is basically the ontology of man, how man fits into the order of reality or the order of nature, depending on the kind of natural or cosmic order that each tradition avers. Several of the traditions maintain that the unique nature of man is tied to his ability to know certain things—that is, to epistemology—thus tying philosophical anthropology closely to epistemology. Know these connections.

Philosophical anthropology is really a study of the ontology of man: the true nature of man. To understand Epicurean or Classical or Gnostic philosophical anthropology, you must remember Epicurean or Classical or Gnostic ontology/cosmology. It all ties together.

You should see now how closely related epistemology is to anthropology and how closely both subjects are related to ontology. This coming month we will see the close connection between ethics and politics and these conceptions. All of the material in the course is cumulative.

We will begin the last month of classes looking at ethics and politics. The whole purpose of the course is to let you see how these more familiar aspects of politics and social behavior are logical results of the fundamental conceptions that we have already studied: ontology, epistemology, and anthropology. You might get the feeling that we are rushing to a conclusion of the course. That is in part because we have labored over ideas and theories that were probably unfamiliar to you or that seemed unrelated to politics. Now, as we look at the more familiar ideas of ethics or morals and politics, you will see that a lot of the ideas naturally fit into the philosophical frameworks of the traditions that we have been studying. Our study of epistemology and anthropology has already pointed the way to certain ethical conclusions, for example. This is a good time to ask yourself which tradition you fit into or which tradition seems most true to you. If you have already identified yourself strongly with one tradition or another, you might be surprised to find which theory of ethics or politics logically follows from the philosophic framework that seems most true to you. It can be the occasion for some radical changes in your thinking.

Iranian Gnostic Hymn of the Pearl. I also want you to review paragraphs 1-12, 18-21, and 33 from Pico della Mirandola's Oration on the Dignity of Man and chapter 6 of Hobbes's Leviathan, both of which were assigned earlier this semester. Pay particular attention to the last few paragraphs in chapter 6 where Hobbes discusses felicity (= happiness). The fact that the Pico della Mirandola and the Hobbes readings were earlier assigned as part of the study of epistemologies should indicate to you that all of the fundamental conceptions that we are studying—ontology, epistemology, anthropology, and so on—are inextricably related. To show those relationships—and, in particular, to show their relationships to the fundamental conception of politics—is what the course is all about.

St. Augustine is representative of the Classical Judeo-Christian-Muslim (Abrahamic) tradition. Augustine's epistemology must account for the knowledge of God (the Yahweh of the Scriptures) and His divine qualities. Is rational thought sufficient? Is faith necessary? Does faith replace reason? Is faith a source of knowledge or only of belief?

Exams

Bring a couple of blue or black pens—no pencil!—to the exam, along with your student ID number. I'll supply the test and the blue books.

A good essay answer does two things: (1) it directly addresses the question that is asked, and (2) it demonstrates the level of your understanding by providing accurate, precise, and specific/detailed information. Do not write in broad general statements. Use specific details from the readings and show me, if you are asked, that you understand what the fundamental conceptions and the four historical traditions are. If you need to review the fundamental conceptions and the traditions, re-read the essay on "Introduction to Political Theory" that began the semester.

First Mid-Term Exam Bring two blue or black ink pens and your student ID number.

The exam will consist of three or four relatively specific essay questions about the readings that we have studied thus far—all of the readings since the beginning of the semester. All of the readings (except the intro essay) focused on ontology and cosmology and the philosophical traditions we have studied—the classical (Aristotle), the epicurean (Lucretius), the gnostic (John and the material written by Hans Jonas), and the Classical-Christian (St. Augustine). Reread the intro essay so that you are know what ontology and cosmology are and what the four traditions are that we are studying. For this first exam, we will include the writings about ancient or primitive man as a fifth "tradition," insofar as it is a fifth distinct approach to cosmology and ontology.

At least two of the questions will begin with identifications of passages from the readings, so know the authors, titles, and what traditions the writings reflect or comment on. For example, Lucretius (be able to spell this stuff!) wrote On the Nature of the Universe, which reflected the epicurean tradition. Jonas wrote the Gnostic Religion, which commented on gnosticism. and so on.

The questions contain a lot of comparison and contrast between and among the different writers and traditions. Time management is always a challenge. You must write three or four essays in seventy-five minutes. Each essay should be about three blue book pages long—no longer.

Finally, because I believe that each of you should have exactly the same amount of material—oral and written—to prepare for each exam (if you were absent from a class, ask a classmate), I will not reply individually to any emailed or verbal questions prior to the exam. Don't ask. I won't tell. Read all of the materials carefully, using your class notes to help you interpret and understand, and you will do fine.

Past POL 210 Assignments

For the classical-Christian response to the millenarian tradition that we looked at on Tuesday, please read Book XXII, ch. 22, of Augustine's City of God and Question 95 of the so-called "Treatise on Law" by St. Thomas Aquinas. For the Epicurean, please read chapters 16 and 17 of Hobbes's Leviathan. Scholars have commented with some irony that Augustine, in his political views and views of human nature generally, is a Christian version of Hobbes. Do you see similarities in Augustine's and Hobbes's views of the purpose of government?

Epictetus Enchiridion, a short manual on practical ethics similar in form, though not necessarily in content, to the "Principal Doctrines" of Epicurus that we read last week.

Epicurus's Principal Doctrines. Try to identify the numbers that deal specifically with ethics, as I have just defined it. Then, review the last couple of paragraphs of Hobbes's Leviathan, chapter 13 and his comments on what is just by nature (without a common power). Finally, please read chapters 14 & 15 of Leviathan. The link is on the main web page. What are these "laws of nature" that Hobbes is discussing? Are they ethical rules?

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book I Parts 4, 5, 7, 9, and St. Augustine, City of God, Book XIV.1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 28. Anthropology. Try to distinguish between the empirical and the philosophical anthropology in these pages.

St. Augustine's City of God: Book VII.29-32; VIII.1-5; XIX.12-13. Epistemology.

Excerpts from Cicero, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius that exemplify Stoic cosmology. The Stoics, along with Plato and Aristotle, are representatives of the classical tradition, one of the four broad traditions that we are following this semester (the others being the Epicurean, the classical-Christian, and the Gnostic traditions).

Please read chapter 13, Paragraphs 1-4 of chapter 14, chapter 16, and chapter 17 of Hobbes's Leviathan, and section/paragraph 4-21, 95-99 (found in chapters 2, 3, and 8) of John Locke's Second Treatise of Government. Compare their views concerning (1) the natural condition of man (the "state of nature"), (2) what freedom is, (3) what equality is, and (4) how people should behave in the absence of government. Keep in mind the question of authority: Who gives you the right to tell me what to do? If we ask this question of government, what is Hobbes's answer? What is Locke's? Who has the right to tell us what to do, according to each philosopher?

Chapters/Sections 1 & 2 of Book VII of Aristotle's Politics (Jowett translation) (an alternative and better translation by H. Rackham is available here via the Tufts University Perseus website.) and chapters 15, 17, and 25 of Machiavelli's Prince. The Rackham translation is not divided by sections but by the Bekker or Berlin numbers: read numbers 1323a14, 1323b, 1324a, 1324b, and 1325a. Use the blue arrows in the upper left-hand corner of the text to move forward or back. These five pages of the Rackham translation are the equivalent of chapter 1 & 2 of the Jowett translation.

Past POL 210 assignments

Cosmology and Ontology

Please read Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, Book One, lines 146-634, 921-1113, and Book Two, lines 62-477. The poem is divided into several numbered books, and you will find the line numbers of each line of the poem in the margins of the page in the Latham and Godwin Penguin edition that is in the bookstore. It is the (1) book number and (2) the approximate line numbers of the poem that you cite in your references. For the Frankforts' essay, you will cite the page numbers.

Please read these excerpts from Cicero, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius that exemplify Stoic cosmology. The Stoics, along with Plato and Aristotle, are representatives of the classical tradition, one of the four broad traditions that we are following this semester (the others being the Epicurean, the classical-Christian, and the Gnostic traditions).

Please read Aristotle's account of the four causes in Book Two of the Physics, Parts 3, 7, & 8. This is an example of ontology in the classical tradition.

Please read the following from St. Augustine's City of God: Book VII.29-32; VIII.1-5; XIX.12-13. This comes to a little less than 15 pages. You may use either the online version, linked on my main webpage (you will find the link in the "Western Political Concepts I & II Readings" section, directly below the "Course Syllabi" section), or the new Penguin Bettenson translation available in the bookstore, which is cheap and good. What is Augustine's view of the cosmos?

We enter the wild world of Gnosticism with the Apocryphon of John. Now remember, we are looking at documents that contain ontological and cosmological discussions: what is the ontology of the author of the Apocryphon? What is the fantastic cosmology? and cosmogony? And who is this "Barbelo" person, anyway? What does she have to do with the world? or with Sophia? or Yaltabaoth? or you, for that matter?

Ignoring the details for a moment, what is distinctively different about the Gnostic conception of the cosmos? How does it differ from the Christian conception as found in St. Augustine's writings? From Aristotle's or Cicero's classical conception in the Metaphysics and the De re publica? (bring those readings along and we will discuss them.) And from Lucretius's conception?

Please read the essay on the classical Greek conception of cosmos by Hans Jonas. Jonas is a student and critic of Gnosticism. According to him, what are the key differences between the classical Greek understanding of the cosmos and the Gnostic understanding? What, according to Jonas, accounted for the development of the Gnostic conception in the ancient Hellenic world?

The article is both a good account of Gnostic cosmology (keep the Apocryphon of John in mind as you read it) and also the classical Greek. A good review for the exam. Compare what he says with what we read in Lucretius (a classical view?), Aristotle, and Augustine. How does the primitive view fit?

Psychiatry, Psychology, and Philosophy.

Seventeenth Century

Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding

Hobbes, Leviathan.

Leviathan, ch. 46 (excerpts)

Medieval

St. Thomas Aquinas, the so-called "Treatise on Law" in the Summa Theologica, Question 91, parts 2 (Whether there is a natural law?), 3 (Whether there is a human law?), and 4 (Whether there is a divine Law?), and Question 109, Article 2.

The excerpts from St. Thomas's Summa Theologica illustrate the scholastic method of philosophic exposition or demonstration.

The scholastic format of the Summa Theologica or Summary of Theology (or, from St. Thomas's view, "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Theology but were Afraid to Ask") of St. Thomas takes some getting used to. He divides the treatise up into numbered Questions. Each numbered question is then divided up into Articles. Each Article is divided into a series of Objections, which turn out to be criticisms of the point that Aquinas ultimately wishes to make, followed by a section headed "On the contrary," which marks the beginning of the argument for St. Thomas's position. Then follows the "I answer that" section, which is the key to St. Thomas's argument, and a series of replies to the initial objections. Focus on the "I answer that" paragraphs and then look at the Objections and their Replies.

According to Aquinas, what is the difference between natural law and divine law? What is the purpose of human law? (Since human law is man-made law or legislation, this question is another way of asking what the purpose of government is.) What is the standard by which human law should be evaluated? (This is another way of asking what the basis or source of political-legal authority is.)

Marsilius of Padua, Defensor Pacis (selections).

John of Salisbury, Policraticus, Book Four (selections)..

Excerpts from Medieval Muslim Philosophers: Alfarabi, Avicenna, Averroes.

Ancient

Asclepius (Hermetic, Nag Hammadi Library)

Poemandres (Hermetic, Corpus Hermeticum)

Discourse on the Ogdoad and Ennead (Hermetic, Nag Hammadi Library)

Stoicism on the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Stoicism on the Ecole Initiative

Epictetus, Enchiridion

Epicureanism on the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

St. Augustine, City of God, Book XIV.

Rosen on St. Anselm's ontological argument.

Christian Classics World Wide Study Bible

The Apocryphon of John

Gnosis Archive

The Hymn of the Pearl

Hans Jonas excerpt on anthropology.

Handout on Gnostic ethics with excerpts from Jonas, Knox, Cohn, and Mahé. The excerpt from Mahé provides a good comparison of Gnostic and Hermetic "gnosis." As you read the excerpts from Jonas, Knox, and Cohn, look for the common point that they make about gnostic "antinomianism." ("Antinomian" comes from the prefix "anti," meaning "against," and "nomian" , from nomos, the Greek word for "law" or convention, custom, tradition.) What particular phrase does each author coin to label the extreme position of gnostic antinomianism? How does Mahé's account of the pursuit of gnosis contrast to the account of Jonas et al? Is it also antinomian? Compare it to the Classical conception of philosophy.

Click on this radio spot, compliments of Alumna Maria Madden, for an interesting story on Lucretius.

Stoic cosmology: Cicero, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius.

Please read the following sections of Epictetus's Enchiridion, or "Manual" or "Handbook:" §§1-14, 21-22, 26, 29-31, 33, 41, and 48. This amounts to about three-to-four pages of reading in total. Enchiridions were codes of personal conduct in the ancient world. Epictetus was a famous Stoic sage. Since the Stoics largely followed classical philosophy, this is an example of classical ethics.

Stephanus Numbers (Plato)

Bekker Numbers (Aristotle) Wikipedia

Plato, Republic, philosopher king Book V, 471c to 480a

Plato's Republic, Books II and VI, on human nature

Plato's Republic, Book VI, 506b to 518d, on the divided line and the Parable of the Cave.

Ethics in Plato's Republic, Book II, 367a to 369b, and Book IV, 427c-d to 445b.

Plato, Gorgias (Adelaide)

Aristotle's account of the causes of coming-to-be and passing-away in Book Two of On Generation and Corruption (Parts 8, 9, & 10) MIT

Metaphysics, Book XII, 1071b (Perseus)

Aristotle's account of the Prime Mover in Book Twelve of the Metaphysics (Parts 6, 7, 8, & 9) MIT

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (Ross trans.)

Book Two, chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 8 of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.

Book Ten, chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9 of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. These chapters provide a Classical critique of hedonism, an integration of Aristotle's moral and intellectual virtues, and the connection between Classical ethics and politics.

Aristotle's account of the four causes in Book Two of the Physics, (Parts 3, 7, & 8) MIT

Aristotle, Politics, Book VII, parts 1, 2, & 3.

Aristotle, Politics, Book III, parts 4, 6, 7, 8; Book IV, part 1; Book V, part 1.

Politics, Book One

POL 211 Material

You may be interested in this famous essay, "The Talented Tenth", by the black American scholar, author, and civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois. He later refered to this as the "aristocracy of talent," in his autobiography Dusk of Dawn, saying that "the power of this aristocracy of talent was to lie in its knowledge and character, not in its wealth.”

John Stuart Mill's On Liberty.

Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America : volume one, chapter fifteen, "Unlimited Power of the Majority in The United States, and its Consequences," and volume two, chapter two, "Of the Principal Source of Belief Among Democratic Nations." The version of the book that I have linked here does not provide chapter numbers in the table of contents, just the titles, so use these chapter titles to find the readings in the table of contents. I suggest that you read the second, shorter chapter first. This book, first published in 1835, is one of the great classics of American history and political theory. We will follow this on Friday with chapter one of John Stuart Mill's even more famous book, On Liberty (or its original title Essays on Liberty), that was directly influenced by de Tocqueville's arguments.

  1. Please read these excerpts from David Hume's essays.
  2. Please look at the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, the American Bill of Rights, and the French "Declaration of the Rights of Man." The first three can be found on this Yale Avalon Project website; the last can be found here. See the questions below.
  3. Please review the five fundamental conceptions and the four philosophic traditions in the "Introduction to Political Theory" article assigned the first day of class.

As you read the Hume essays, what two possible foundations of political authority does Hume discuss in "On the Original Contract"? What problem does he have with the idea of a social contract? Do you agree?

What is the essential function of government, according to Hume in "On the Origin of Government"? What two principles are forever in tension with one another in government? Which, if either, should be dominant, according to Hume?

As you review the four different bills of rights, which of the four appears to be more a political theory than a list of specific rights and liberties? Which appear(s) to be most tied to specific historical situations—that is, which guarantee(s) the most detailed, non-theoretical liberties? Does the American Bill of Rights seem more like the English bills or the French Declaration? Why? What seems to be the philosophic or theoretical basis for each of the bills of rights?

Finally, what are the fundamental conceptions that are addressed by political philosophy? What are the four basic traditions that we examine in the course?

We begin this week with some of the critics of the social contract theory of authority. The social contract theorists were part of the "modern" era of philosophy but their differences were significant and prevent them from all being considered theorists of "liberalism." Hobbes's and Rousseau's justification of an unlimited sovereign power is not consistent with the liberal notion of (1) limited government authority and (2) the maximum scope of individual responsibility and freedom that is consistent with an ordered society.

We also cannot lump all of the critics of the social contract theorists into one: Hume and Burke were both British Whigs, champions of Parliamentary authority as opposed to monarchical authority. Niemeyer, an American conservative, also favored limited government and individual freedom. The focus of the criticism of the social contract theorists was on the latter's theory of political authority, not on whether the monarch or the parliament should be "sovereign."

We will begin this section with two essays by the British philosopher David Hume, a contemporary of Rousseau and, along with Hobbes one fo the founders of what is often called empirical or analytic philosophy. Please read Hume's "Of the Origin of Government" and "Of the Original Contract."

On Tuesday, the last class before the mid-term, we will discuss Hobbes's, Locke's, and Rousseau's understanding of government and its functions. We have focused thus far on the three men's ideas of authority and the sources of legal-political authority and the related concepts of freedom, equality, the state of nature, and the form of the social contract. If you review what we have read thus far, you will find very little reference by the writers to government itself and the form—democracy, oligarchy, monarchy—that government should take.

Therefore, on the subject of the forms and specific functions of government, please read the first half of chapter 19 of Hobbes's Leviathan, sections (§§) 123-135, 149, 203-204, & 211 of Locke's Second Treatise, and Book III, chapter one of Rousseau's Social Contract (which was already assigned).

For each of the theorists, ask again what the social contract created—did it create society, government, or both? Ask how government is properly determined if not by the social contract. Ask what the theorist understands the proper functions of government to be. It is this kind of comparison and contrast of the basic ideas like government, freedom, the state of nature, and so on, that will be on the mid-term (and final) exams.

Rousseau's Social Contract, Book One, chapter 7; Book Two, chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 7; Book Three, chapters 1, 10, 11; and Book Four, chapter 2. According to Rousseau, what is the General Will? Is it the same as the will of all? of a majority? of at least some part of the sovereign people? Try to figure out from these excerpts how the people, acting as Sovereign, are supposed to be able to discern the General Will. What are the necessary conditions, according to Rousseau, for the people to make laws reflecting their General Will? Rousseau discusses several such qualifications in the assigned reading. Try to find four or five such necessary conditions.

PAST SEMESTERS

The following is bits and pieces from past semesters. I may need the stuff again, so I do not erase it, but do not assume that the assignments for the course will be exactly the same as in the past. I am constantly tinkering with the readings.

POL 211 ASSIGNMENTS

Second Semester Essential Readings:

  1. Walter Lippmann, "The Eclipse of the Public Philosophy," from Essays in the Public Philosophy.
  2. Modern Philosophers' Rejections of Classical Philosophy
  3. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, chapters 13, 14, 16, 17, 21, 46.
  4. John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, §§ or ¶¶1-14, 87-89, 95-99, 123-131.
  5. John Locke, Essay on Human Understanding: Book II, ch. 1, ¶¶1-8, and ch. 20.
  6. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Preface, not the epistle dedicatory or dedication, the introductory paragraphs, and Parts One and Two.
  7. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Social Contract, Book I (all); Book II, ch. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8; Book III, ch. 1, 10-14; Book IV., ch. 1, 2, 8.
  8. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto.

For the exam: The main question or issue that is common to all of the modern political theories that we have read over the past few weeks is the question of authority: "What gives you the right to tell me what to do?" The question can be made less personal, of course, and be expressed as "what is the basis of political or legal or, perhaps, moral authority?" or rather "What should be the basis of political or legal or social authority?" Mill's essay On Liberty directly addresses this question, but Rousseau, Locke, Hobbes, and Hume give it no less attention in the readings that were assigned for class. Following Rousseau and most other philosophers, we have in class distinguished authority, the capacity to create duty or obligation, from coercion or force, the capacity to create obedience but not duty. If you have a good idea of how the above-named writers answered the question of authority in the assigned readings, you will be in good shape for the exam. Focus, of course, on Mill and Rousseau and to a slightly lesser extent, on Hume's two essays (after Tuesday's class, be assured that Hume will be on the exam and that Locke, Hobbes, and Comte will be, too!).

In particular, consider the following questions:

  1. What is the significance of social contracts in general, and of the specific forms of the contracts that we have studied, for the question of authority?
  2. For those theorists who reject social contract theory, why do they reject it and what do they put in its place?
  3. The ideas of liberty and equality also play a huge role in modern political theory. How do Mill, Rousseau, and Hume describe liberty and equality?
  4. If "liberalism" generally stands for the maximum amount of individual liberty possible in a functioning society, are Mill, Rousseau, and Hume (and Hobbes and Locke and Comte, for that matter) liberals? Why?
  5. The Declaration of Independence proclaims that "all men are created equal." Do Mill, Rousseau, and Hume agree?
  6. What is the anthropology—both empirical and philosophical—of Mill, Rousseau, and Hume, as presented in the assigned readings?
  7. The idea of universal human progress played a role in some of the theories but not in others; what role did it play in Mill's, Rousseau's, Hume's—and Hobbes's and Locke's—political theories?

The assigned readings did not cover all of the philosophical conceptions that comprehensive philosophies address. Certainly, Mill and Hume did address all of the conceptions in the whole body of their writings, but we did not read the whole body. Therefore, I will not directly ask about the cosmological or epistemological aspects of any of the theories we have studied nor about the philosophic traditions into which these writers fit. All the above-named writers fit generally into the Epicurean tradition, but Mill and Locke, for examples, also depart from Epicurean ideas in some significant respects. Familiarity with the Epicurean tradition will give you a framework that can be useful for understanding how the different parts of the assigned readings fit together—or how they reflect significant departures from the Epicurean tradition—but studying the traditions and all five of the philosophical conceptions is not necessary for this exam. Focus on the study questions listed above.

Assignments of Western Political Concepts II, Spring Semester, 2014

  1. John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism (all of it).
  2. J.S. Mill, On Liberty (chapters 1, 3, and 4).
  3. J.S. Mill, excerpts from Considerations on Representative Government.
  4. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (all of it).
  5. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract (excerpts)
  6. excerpts from Hobbes, Leviathan
  7. excerpts from Locke, Second Treatise of Government and Essay on Human Understanding
  8. excerpts from Aristotle
  9. excerpts from Auguste Comte's Course of Positive Philosophy.
  10. David Hume, the essays "Original Contract" (excerpt) and "On the Origin of Government."

This weather really has me scrambling. Let's make the paper on Mill due next Tuesday (not Friday). To ease you back into the discussion, please read the material from chapter one (only chapter one) in these excerpts from Mill's Considerations on Representative Government. I am assuming that we meet on Tuesday; this gives you an assignment in any case. Ask yourself, "According to Mill, what are the standards by which government or forms of government are properly judged?" "Is representative government always the best government?" "If representative government is the best, why is it the best?"

A bit of Locke's Second Treatise for Friday. His book is divided into chapters, which are then further divided into sections (§s) or paragraphs (¶s). These are the paragraphs that I want you to read: ¶¶1-14, 95-97, 123-127. Compare Locke's views in these paragraphs to Hobbes's.

Readings on ideologies:

  1. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto
  2. Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Book One, Chapter 11, "Nation and Race."
  3. Excerpts from Hitler Speeches

  4. A. James Gregor, "The Ideology of Fascism" (excerpt).
  5. Alison Jaggar, "Political Philosophies of Women's Liberation"
  6. Richard Ellis, The Dark Side of the Left, chapter 8 (excerpt) and 9 (complete).

Gregor's essay appears in a book of essays edited by Gerhard Weinberg entitled Transformation of a Continent, copyright 1975. Note: Weinberg did not write Transformation of a Continent. Nobody wrote it. Weinberg edited a collection of essays, and wrote an introduction. Some editor at Burgess Publishing, perhaps, decided to call the edited collection Transformation of a Continent. Gregor did not write Transformation of a Continent; Gregor wrote an essay entitled "The Ideology of Fascism," which appears in Transformation of a Continent. Note my use of italics and quotation marks. Cite Gregor accordingly. (The other essays in the collection are very good.)

A couple of sites you may beinterested in:

  1. The Voluntary Human Extenction Movement: May we live long and die out!
  2. Dr. Londa Schiebinger, "Creating Sustainable Science," in The Gender and Science Reader, particularly pages 669-470. Feminist math and physics.
  3. Dr. Barbara Whitten, "(Baby) Steps Toward Feminist Physics". You guessed it.
  4. A blog on Feminist Physics: It's all in the Epistemology.
  5. Lawyers at Work. Just imagine: this might be you one day!

Please read the following excerpts from Locke's Essay on Human Understanding: Book II, ch. 1, ¶¶1-8, and ch. 20. How do the ideas expressed by Locke in these passages square with the ideas about natural law in his Second Treatise? Are they mutually consistent? If all our thoughts based on sensory impressions, how do we discover the law of nature? Lippmann has Hobbes and Locke in mind when he discusses the "Rupture in Modern Times," §5 of "The Eclipse."

Assignments of Western Political Concepts II, Spring Semester, 2013

Readings for the Course (Focus on Mass Society)

  1. Introduction to Political Theory
  2. Lippmann, The Public Philosophy, ch. 8. See also Robert Kaplan's article, "The Plantagenet Effect."

Readings on Liberalism and the Question of Authority

  1. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Question 91
  2. "Modern Philosophers' Rejection of Classical Philosophy"
  3. Machiavelli, The Prince, ch. 15
  4. Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 13.
  5. Locke, Second Treatise of Government, sections 1-8, 11-13, 95-95, 135.
  6. Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 16, 17.
  7. Hume, "On the Original Contract," "On the Origin of Government"
  8. British, American, French bills of rights

Readings on Mass Society

  1. de Tocqueville, Democracy on America, Vol. 1, Introduction, ch. 15; Vol II, ch. 2.
  2. Mill, On Liberty, ch. 1.
  3. Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses, ch. 1, 2, 6 & 7.
  4. Walter Lippmann, The Public Philosophy, chs. 1 & 3.
  5. Edward Bernays, Propaganda.
  6. B.F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity, ch. 1, 2, 3.
  7. A. James Gregor, "The Ideology of Fascism," in Weinberg, Transformation of a Continent.
  8. C.S. Lewis, Abolition of Man.
    A few study questions to get you through de Tocqueville:
  1. In chapter 15, "Unlimited Power of the Majority in the United States, and Its Consequences," how does de Tocqueville define "democratic government"?
  2. Where, according to de Tocqueville, does ultimate authority rest in the United States?
  3. According to de Tocqueville, upon what does this power rest?
  4. In the second section of chapter 15, what are some of the natural defects of democracy?
  5. In the third section, what is or should be the standard by which the will of the majority in any democratic nation is judged?
  6. What is the problem with the supreme social power or authority in America, according to de Tocqueville? What is his suggested solution?
  7. In the next section (§) what distinction does de Tocqueville draw between arbitrary power and tyrannical power?
  8. In the next section, "Power Exercised by the Majority in America upon Opinions," probably the most important section of the chapter, what has been the principal consequence of democracy on the thinking of Americans, according to de Tocqueville?
  9. What ironic consequence has the freedom of expression (e.g., First Amendment) in America had on American public opinion?
  10. In the next section, what distinction does de Tocqueville draw between a degraded people and a miserable people?
  11. According to de Tocqueville in the last section of chapter 15, what is usually the cause of anarchy?
  12. In chapter 2 of volume 2, what is "dogmatic belief," according to de Tocqueville?
  13. Is dogmatic belief a good thing or a bad thing? Why?
  14. What is the consequence of intellectual authority during an "age of equality," according to de Tocqueville?
  15. What are two of the consequences of the principle of equality, according to de Tocqueville?

If you are interested, you might also want to take a look at the Author's Introduction to Democracy in America and compare de Tocqueville's brief political history to Mill's in chapter one of On Liberty.

Jose Ortega y Gasset's classic 1932 work, The Revolt of the Masses. The first couple of chapters set the stage for his argument. Compare them to the comments of de Tocqueville and Mill. The later chapters describe Ortega's understanding of the problem they pose. Compare these chapters closely with Lippmann's article, as well as with de Tocqueville's and Mill's. What are Ortega's main points? Why are the masses, as Ortega describes them, a problem for liberal democracy? Are they a problem for monarchy? Are Ortega's views consistent with Lippmann's?

    Here are a few study questions to help you through the Ortega reading:
  1. (Chapter One) What, according to Ortega, is the most important fact for the public life of Europe in 1930?
  2. What is Ortega's concept of "agglomeration" or "plenitude"?
  3. What are the two necessary components of society?
  4. What is the "conversion of quantity into quality"?
  5. Who is the "mass man"?
  6. Who is the "select man"? (Which one are you?)
  7. What is the relation of Ortega's essential social divisions to social classes?
  8. What is Ortega's "old democracy" as contrasted to "hyperdemocracy"?
  9. What is "the evil" of hyperdemocracy?
  10. (Chapter Two) What precedent does Ortega point to for the present crisis?
  11. What is Ortega's "radically aristocratic interpretation of history"? (Remember Hume? Mill?)
  12. What is the difference between Ortega's "aristocracy" and "Society" or "High Society" or the "titled aristocracy"?
  13. What two aspects of Ortega's "fact of our times" does he begin to examine?
  14. What does he mean by the "rise of the level of history"?
  15. Did Europe become "americanized"?
  16. (Chapter Six) What is the origin of modern mass man? (Keep in mind that de Tocqueville wrote in the 1830s and Mill in the 1850s.)
  17. At the end of the Nineteenth Century, how did mass man view life?
  18. According to Ortega, what three principles generated the new world of mass man? Can you boil the three down to two? (How does Lippmann fit in here?)
  19. What was the essential difference between the men produced by the Nineteenth Century and all previous generations of men?
  20. Why does Ortega liken modern mass man to a spoiled child?
  21. What is Ortega's central thesis here? (Does Lippmann's argument come to mind again?)
  22. (Chapter Seven) How does the world of the early Twentieth Century appear to mass man? (Does it still appear that way?)
  23. What is mass man's response to that world?
  24. How does mass man's response contrast to the select man's, or the noble's, or the aristocrat's response? Are these latter three the same?
  25. How does Ortega characterize the noble or aristocratic life?
  26. What is Ortega's "corollary" thesis?
  27. Remember Rousseau's definition of authority: the ability to create obligation or duty. What implications for political and moral authority does Ortega's understanding of mass society, society directed by mass-man?

Ortega's argument is a powerful one, one not often heard today. But Ortega may not be correct. The world Ortega describes may no longer exist. Do you think it does? Can you see points of agreement and disagreement in Ortega's argument with Mill's, de Tocqueville's, or Lippmann's? Does it bear a resemblance to Jefferson's "natural aristocracy"? There is a lot to chew on here.

Readings on Ideology

  1. Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto. Trotsky's Introduction.
  2. Mussolini, "The Doctrine of Fascism."
  3. Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1, ch. 11, "Race and People."
  4. Norman Cohn, Pursuit of the Millennium, chapter 1, "The Tradition of Apocalyptic Prophecy."
  5. Alison Jaggar, “Political Philosophies of Women’s Liberation.”
  6. Ellis, Dark Side of the Left, “Apocalypse and Authoritarianism in the Radical Environmental Movement.”
  7. Scott Lowe, "The Taiping Revolution and Mao's Great Leap Forward," in Catherine Wessinger, Millennialism, Persecution, and Violence: Historical Cases
  8. David Rapoport, "Fear and Trembling: Terrorism in Three Religious Traditions."
  9. Auguste Comte, First Lecture on Positivism.

We will complete the Lippmann article and make appropriate references to the following excerpts—please read them for Tuesday:

  1. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Question 91, articles (or "points of inquiry") 1-4 (on eternal, natural, human, and Divine law).
  2. "Modern Philosophers' Rejection of Classical Philosophy"
  3. Machiavelli, The Prince, ch. 15
  4. Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 13.
  5. Locke, Second Treatise of Government, sections (not chapters!) 1-8 (each section is about one paragraph long). You can find sections 1-3 (which make up all of chapter 1) here, and sections 4-8, which make up part of chapter 2, here. .

Excerpts from Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. Niemeyer, Hume, and Burke must all be understood as critics of some of the fundamental ideas of the modern philosophers Hobbes, Locke, and Burke. Niemeyer, Hume, and especially Burke are generally classified as "conservatives" in American political terms, but all three were also committed "liberal democrats," as Lippmann used that term in the opening essay on the eclipse of the public philosophy.

One question you might ask to tie Rousseau and the modern theorists to Niemeyer and the conservatives is "which existing governments on earth today are 'legitimate'"? That is, which existing governments, if any, act with authority: the ability to obligate their citizens or subjects with binding laws? The different answers to this question given by the different writers, or sets of writers, providing a telling contrast in their theories.

Please read Rousseau's Social Contract, Book Two, chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7; Book Three, chapters 1, 10, 11; and Book Four, chapters 1, 2, 3. Try to figure out from these excerpts how the people, acting as Sovereign, are supposed to be able to discern the General Will. What are the necessary conditions, according to Rousseau, for the people to make laws reflecting their General Will? Rousseau discusses several such qualifications in the assigned reading. Compare this to Locke's qualifications for a legitimate vote by the memebers of a civil society.

Please read Locke's views regarding happiness, morality and law in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Book II, ch. XXI, section 43 ("Happiness"), and Book II, ch. XXVIII, sections 4-13. Compare Hobbes on "felicity," chapter 6, last two paragraphs of Leviathan. Compare Locke's arguments with Hobbes's, and also Locke's with Locke, as set forth in the Second Treatise.

Please read the following: Machiavelli, Prince, ch. 15, 25; Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 13, 17, 21; "Modern Philosophers' Rejections of Classical Philosophy." There are links for each of these readings on the main web page--one for Machiavelli's Prince, one for Hobbes's Leviathan, and one for the "Modern Philosophers' Rejections"--under the heading of "Western Political Concepts I & II Readings." Look for them.

Please read Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, I.1-2; Politics, I.1-2; St. Augustine, John of Salisbury, and St. Thomas on Political Authority. For Friday, we will read Machiavelli's Prince, chapters 15 & 25; Hobbes's Leviathan, chapters 13, 17, 21; and the excerpts entitled "Modern Philosophers' Rejections of Classical Philosophy" (I fixed the link!). Links to these readings are on the main webpage under "Western Political Concepts I & II Readings."

The issue of interest running throughout all of these readings and also the readings for the next few weeks is the issue of authority: what is the source or foundation of political, legal, ethical authority—that is, the ability to create duty or obligation. Coercion and force alone can create obedience, but not duty; authority alone creates duty. See Rousseau, Social Contract, Book One, Chapter 3, for example. The question that takes us through the political writings of the modern era is "What right do you have to tell me what to do?" or some variant of this question. As you read the materials, ask how the author answers this question. Robert Paul Wolff, In Defense of Anarchism, also bears on this question.

Rules for One-Page Papers

POL 210 First Paper: The topic for the first one-page paper is a comparison-contrast of the Classical cosmology or ontology assigned for Tuesday with either the Epicurean view of Lucretius or the ancient view described by Eliade and the Frankforts. You must have at least four footnotes to the texts that you use. The whole purpose of a footnote reference is to permit and require the writer to identify the precise passages in the original material that the writer is relying on for his assertions and interpretations. The short length of the paper suggests that you structure your comparison into two substantive paragraphs—one on the classical tradition and one on either the Epicurean or the ancient—and either a short introductory statement of the precise point you wish to make (your thesis) or a short conclusion summarizing the point that you just made.

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like the one I show you in class. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Tuesday, September 9th. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class.
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) no grade on this first paper/writing sample, (2) 50-50 writing-content on the second paper so a paper with lousy writng but good content (or vice-versa) will pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on the third paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content.

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. For this paper there are four possible sources for you to cite: (1) The passages from Lucretius's poem are to be cited by book number (Roman numeral) and line numbers (Arabic numerals) as illustrated in the sample paper I handed out. You should know this by now. (2) Passages from Eliade and the Frankforts are cited by page number. (3) Passages from Cicero, Epictetus, or Marcus Aurelius are to book and part/chapter/section number. Book numbers in Roman numerals; chapter numbers in Arabic numerals in both these cases, just like in the linked text.

Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE. Here are sample footnotes for the Frankforts, Eliade, Lucretius, Cicero, and Epictetus:

1Henri and H.A. Frankfort, "Myth and Reality," in Before Philosophy, 18.

2Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane, 8.

3Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, I.350.

4Cicero, On the Nature of the Gods, VII.6.

5Ibid. (A reference to the exact same source—author, title, the location in the text—in the very next footnote. "Ibid." refers back to the source in the previous footnote.)

6Lucretius, III.135. (A subsequent reference to a source cited before, but not immediately before. You cannot use "Ibid.," so you abbreviate the previously cited sources so that the reader recognizes what you are referring to.)

7Epictetus, Discourses, V.13. (new source)

The other punctuation to be mastered at this time is the introduction of quotes. If you introduce them using the word "that" (what Turabian calls run-in quotes), then you do not put any punctuation before or after the word "that." Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. Go, my dear students, and write likewise!

The final assignment is the handout by Mahe, Jonas, Knox, and Cohn (extra copies are in the rack on my office door) and Aquinas, "Treatise on Law," Question 91, Article 3 (on human law) and Question 95, Articles 1 & 2, available on the Politics Readings page.

Please read the assignments for Lucretius and Hobbes listed on the Politics Readings page. Use these, and any of the previously assigned readings from Lucretius, Hobbes, and Epicurus, in writing your final one-page paper on the question: "How does Epicurean political theory fit Epicurean ontology, epistemology, anthropology, and ethics?" Tying together these five conceptions is the whole purpose of the course. You will be asked to do the same for other traditions on the final exam. I suggest that you begin with Epicurean political theory (read the very first paragraph on political theory at the top of the Politics Readings page, and address the questions in a couple of sentences), and then show how the Epicurean answers necessarly follow from Epicurean ethics, then Epicurean anthropology, epistemology, and ontology. Or you can start from the ontology and work forwards towaed the Epicurean conception of politics. Your second mid-term exam should help you discuss the relation between Epicurean epistemology and anthropology.

POL 210 Final One-Page Paper.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like the one I showed you in class. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic above. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Tuesday, December 2d. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class.
  8. I will count the writing and content together on the this paper so if it has more than three errors (marked by little circles in the right-hand margin), it will fail regardless of content, so write carefully and proofread!

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. For this paper there are only two sources for you to cite. The passages from Lucretius's poem are to be cited by book number (Roman numeral) and line numbers (Arabic numerals) as illustrated in the sample paper I handed out. References to Hobbes's Leviathan are to chapter, as you have done in previous papers. References to statements from Epicurus's Principal Doctrines are to the numbered sections. Be careful. I expect you to be able to do footnotes, including ibid.s, competently by this time and will count mistakes as part of the overall limit of three. Here are sample footnotes for Hobbes, Lucretius, and Epicurus:

1Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 17.

2Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, IV.350.

3Epicurus, Principal Doctrines, 31.

4Ibid. (A reference to the exact same source—author, title, the location in the text—in the very next footnote. "Ibid." refers back to the source—title and section—in the previous footnote.)

5Lucretius, II.135. (A subsequent reference to a source cited before, but not immediately before. You cannot use "Ibid.," because this is not the same source cited in the immediately preceding footnote, so you abbreviate the earlier cited source so that the reader recognizes what you are referring to.)

6Ibid., V. 464. ("Ibid." indicates that you are referring to the same source—Lucretius's On the Nature of the Universe—that you referred to in the previous note, but this time to a different part of that source.)

Remember: the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark—if there are quotation marks in your sentence—goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT=the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE.

In introducing quotes: if you introduce them using the word "that," then you do not put any punctuation before or after the word "that." Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. Go, my dear students, and write likewise!

Some suggestions: As you read the material and write the paper, consider the following questions:

  1. What is the basis of political and legal authority, according to Hobbes?
  2. What is the function of the state or of government, according to Hobbes and the other Epicureans?
  3. How is the function of the state related to empirical anthropology?
  4. What is the relation of political and legal authority to ethical or moral principle, according to the Epicureans?
  5. How is all authority, political-legal and ethical, related to the essential nature of man, according to the Epicureans?
  6. How does Epicurean epistemology explain the Epicureans' conception of philosophical anthropology? (How do we know the nature of man?)
  7. How is Epicurean epistemology and philosophical anthropology related to Epicurean ontology, the nature of reality?

One further note: do not use the noun "human" as a synonym for "man" unless you are specifically distinguishing between a human trait (note the adjective here) and a divine or animal trait. The noun "human" implies this distinction. In this discipline, the noun "man" is the standard reference.

POL 210 Second Paper: "What is different about the Epicurean conception of 'reason' (see Hobbes) and the Classical conception of 'reason' (see Aristotle in particular)."

You can compare the two epistemologies by comparing and contrasting Hobbes's conception of "prudence" (practical wisdom) in the Leviathan with Aristotle's conception of "prudence" in the Nicomachean Ethics. How do their two different ideas of prudence reflect the epicurean and the classical approaches to knowledge and ontology? Or you can compare Hobbes's conception of "reasoning" with Aristotle's conception of "art" (in the Nicomachean Ethics. Is Hobbes's idea of reasoning similar to Aristotle's idea of practicing an art or craft? Remember, the classical focus should be on Aristotle's intellectual virtues—the assignment for Friday the 11th—rather than on Plato's divided line or Aristotle's four causes. Use Plato to show his similarities with Aristotle. If you compare Hobbes's conception of "reason" Aristotle's concept of "intuitive reason," you may use Plato's concept of "reason" (at 511a of the Republic) to demonstrate its agreement with Aristotle's conception.

Do not make this more difficult than it is. Think about how you yourself learn things. Think about how you learned as a child; about how you learn math; how you learn history; how you learn how to make things; how you learn what new things are or who new people are. Try to tie these familiar experiences to what Hobbes and Aristotle (and Lucretius and Plato) are talking about. Make sure you understand what you write: write only what you are able to understand at this point. You will understand more as time goes on.

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like the one I show you in class. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Friday, October 11th. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class.
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) no grade on the first paper/writing sample, (2) 50-50 writing-content on the second paper so a paper with lousy writng but good content (or vice-versa) will pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on the third paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content.

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. For this paper there are four possible sources for you to cite: (1) The passages from Lucretius's poem are to be cited by book number (Roman numeral) and line numbers (Arabic numerals) as illustrated in the sample paper I handed out. You should know this by now. (2) Passages from Hobbes's Leviathan are cited by chapter number. (3) Passages from Aristotle are to book title (Physics or Nicomachean Ethics) and Bekker Numbers or to book title, book number, and part/chapter/section number, depending on the edition of Aristotle that you use. Book numbers in Roman numerals; chapter numbers in Arabic numerals in both these cases, just like in the linked text. (4) Passages in Plato's Republic are to Stephanus Numbers, which have been integrated into the excerpt that we use in class.

Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE. Each footnote itself is punctuated with a final period. Here are sample footnotes for Hobbes, Lucretius, Aristotle, and Plato:

1Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 7.

2Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, IV.350.

3Aristotle, Physics, II.3. (or, using Bekker numbers, 3Aristotle, Physics, 194b23-25.)

4Ibid. (A reference to the exact same source—author, title, the location in the text—in the very next footnote. "Ibid." refers back to the source in the previous footnote.)

5Lucretius, II.135. (A subsequent reference to a source cited before, but not immediately before. You cannot use "Ibid.," so you abbreviate the previously cited sources so that the reader recognizes what you are referring to.)

6Plato, Republic, 508a. (Cite to the closest preceding Stephanus number in the Plato excerpts.)

7Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, VI.5 (or 7Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1140b5.) (Citing a second source from Aristotle, different from the Physics.)

8Physics, II.8. (No need to indicate Aristotle is the author here; you already cited the author and title in a previous footnote; here, all you need is a distinctive reference to indicate which previously cited book of Aristotle you are referring to.)

9Ibid., II.4. (A reference to a different location within the immediately preceding cited source.)

The other punctuation to be mastered at this time is the introduction of quotes. If you introduce them using the word "that" (what Turabian calls run-in quotes), then you do not put any punctuation before or after the word "that." Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. Go, my dear students, and write likewise!

POL 210 Final One-Page Paper.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like the one I showed you in class. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic above. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Tuesday, November 22nd. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class.
  8. I will count the writing and content together on the this paper so if it has more than three errors (marked by little circles in the right-hand margin), it will fail regardless of content.

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. For this paper there are only two sources for you to cite. The passages from Lucretius's poem are to be cited by book number (Roman numeral) and line numbers (Arabic numerals) as illustrated in the sample paper I handed out. References to St. Augustine's City of God and Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics are to book and chapter and references to Hobbes's Leviathan are to chapter, as you have done in previous papers. References to statements from Epicurus's Principal Doctrines and Epictetus's Enchiridion are to the numbered sections. References to the material in the handout on Gnostic ethical theory must cite the particular author (Jonas, Cohn, or Knox), work, and page number to which you refer. Be careful. I expect you to be able to do footnotes competently by this time and will count mistakes as part of the overall limit of three.

Also, remember: the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark—if there are quotation marks in your sentence—goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT=the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE.

The other punctuation to be mastered at this time (after all, all of you are at least nineteen years old, and some older than that!) is the introduction of quotes. If you introduce them using the word "that," then you do not put any punctuation before or after the word "that." Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. Go, my dear students, and write likewise!

POL 211 First Paper

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like the one I show you in class. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements. The paper should be divided into at least two paragraphs.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Tuesday, February 4th. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class. If you cannot make it to class, you must email a copy of the paper to me by 11:00am Tuesday and get me a hard copy by Wednesday ot Friday at the latest. I will not read the emailed copy, but will check it against the hard copy after I correct the hard copy. The absence will be excused or unexcused, as appropriate.
  8. I will ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) no grade on this first paper/writing sample, (2) 50-50 writing-content on the second paper so a paper with lousy writng but good content (or vice-versa) will pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on the third paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content.

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. Titles of works are italicized; titles of articles, essays, and chapters are placed in quotes. For this paper there are several possible sources that you may cite:

  1. Passages from Lippmann's essay are cited by page number.
  2. Passages from Aristotle's two works are cited by title of the work (in italics), book number (in Roman numerals), and chapter number (in Arabic numerals).
  3. Passages from St. Thomas's (or "Aquinas's," but never "St.Aquinas's") Summa are cited to Question 91 and article number (1 to 6) only.
  4. Passages from Hobbes's Leviathan are cited by chapter number.
  5. Passages from Locke's two works are cited by either section or paragraph number (Locke's Second Treatise of Government) or book and chapter number (Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding.
  6. Passages from Machiavelli's Prince, chapter 15, are cited to, well, Machiavelli, The Prince, ch. 15.

1Walter Lippmann, "The Eclipse of the Public Philosophy," 107.

2Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, I.2.

3Aristotle, Politics, I.1.

4Aquinas, Question 91, Article 3.

5Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 13.

6Ibid. [This is a reference to exactly the same work and exactly the same chapter cited in the immediately preceding footnote.]

7Ibid., ch. 17. [This is a reference to the last cited work, but a different chapter.]

8Lippmann, 110. [This is a reference to a previously cited work. Since only one work by Lippmann was cited above (or supra), a simple reference to Lippmann is all that is necessary.]

9Politics, I.1. [This is a reference to a previously cited work by Aristotle, but since two different works by Aristotle have been cited supra, you must indicate which of the two works you are referring to.]

10John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, par. 13.

At least five references are required.

Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE. Each footnote itself is punctuated with a final period. Use Ibid. as appropriate. Refer back to the Lippmann essay. The method of notation in that essay is very similar to the Chicago Style method that I am asking you to use. It isn't difficult.

The other punctuation to be mastered at this time is the introduction of quotes. If you introduce them using the word "that" (what Turabian calls run-in quotes), then you do not put any punctuation before or after the word "that." Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. Go, my dear students, and write likewise!

POL 211 Second Paper Topic: "How does Locke's social contract, described in sections (§§) 95-97 of his Second Treatise, OR how does Hobbes's social contract, described in chapters 16 and 17 of Leviathan, provide a basis for a "liberal democracy"? Or explain how Locke's or Hobbes's social contract does not provide a basis for a liberal democracy. Use only the assigned readings—this is not a research paper.

For example, you may want to explain how the rationale for Locke's social contract is consistent with Lippmann's understanding of the foundation (the public philosophy) of liberal democracy. Or, you may want to explain how Hobbes's social contract formula is not consistent with Lippmann's conception of liberal democracy. (Or how Locke's formula is not consistent or how Hobbes's formula is consistent— whatever seems true to you.) You should focus on only one of the two writers—Locke or Hobbes—though it may be a good idea to refer to the other author in order to clarify your ideas.

You only have about 250 words to write. You cannot do everything in such a small assignment, so do not try to do too much. If you think you have a pretty good handle on the subject matter so far, write a short, persuasive argument that precisely responds to the question. If you are having trouble understanding what is going on so far, keep it simple. Try to show some understanding of what Lippmann means by "liberal democracy" and some understanding of Locke's or Hobbes's (not both) idea of the basis of political authority. I am more interested in seeing how well you can write and argue than in how deeply you understand the content of the readings. Therefore, read the rules for the papers as carefully or even more carefully than you read Locke and Hobbes. All of you should have completed EN 102 before entering this course—it is a university pre-requisite—so the rules for these papers should not be totally unfamiliar to you.

Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT=the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE.

Here are sample footnotes for Lippmann, Hobbes, and Locke. Note: for this paper, do not include information about publisher, city of publication, or date that you accessed material on the Internet. For footnote placement, simply imitate the way the Lippmann text cites footnotes; it uses a basic Chicago style.

1John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, sec. 8. (Cite this work by the section/paragraph number, not chapter number.)

2Walter Lippmann, "The Eclipse of the Public Philosophy," in Essays in the Public Philosophy, 93. (Cite Lippmann by page number of the essay.)

3Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ch. 13. (Cite Hobbes's book by chapter.)

4Ibid. (A reference to the same source in the very next footnote. "Ibid." refers back to the source in the previous footnote.)

5Lippmann, 99. (A subsequent reference to a source cited before, but not immediately before. You cannot use "Ibid.," so you abbreviate the previously cited sources so that the reader recognizes what you are referring to.)

6Ibid., 100 (Same work as immediately previous source, but different page number.)

The other punctuation to be mastered by this time is the introduction of quotes. Mistakes will be counted among the three permissible mistakes. If you introduce quotes using the word "that," then you do not put any punctuation before or after the word "that." Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. Go, my dear students, and write likewise!

POL 211 Third Paper

Rules/Guidelines for One-Page Papers.

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like this one. (You may be more imaginative in selecting a title:)) Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below. Use Ibid. as appropriate—you have had two previous opportunities to learn the use of the convention.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You only have about 250 words to address the topic—not enough for wasted words—so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Tuesday, April 30th. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class.
  8. I ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) no grade on the first paper/writing sample, (2) 50-50 writing-content on the second paper, and (3) counting the writing and content together on this third paper, so a paper with more than three errors (little circles in the right-hand margin) will fail regardless of content.

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. For this paper there are several possible sources for you to cite. Use the examples below and the ones on the sample paper I handed out as models.

FOOTNOTES (INCLUDING IBID.s). Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT=the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE.

Sample footnotes. Note: for this paper, do not include information about publisher, city of publication, or date that you accessed material on the Internet. All are cited by page number in the hard copy edition: you must have and use the hard copy page numbers! A period follows every footnote! For footnote placement, simply imitate the way the Lippmann text cites footnotes; it uses a basic Chicago style.

1Alison Jaggar, "Political Philosophies of Women's Liberation," in Society and the Individual, 140.

2Richard Ellis, "Apocalypse and Authoritarianism in the Radical Environmental Movement," in The Dark Side of the Left, 193.

3Scott Lowe, "The Taiping Revolution and Mao's Great Leap Forward," in Millennialism, Persecution, and Violence: Historical Cases, 13.

4Ibid. (A reference to the identical page and source in the very next footnote. "Ibid." refers back to the identical source in the previous footnote.)

5Ellis, 99. (A subsequent reference to a source cited before, but not immediately before. You cannot use "Ibid.," so you abbreviate the previously cited sources so that the reader recognizes what you are referring to.)

6Ibid., 100. (Same work as immediately previous source, but different page number.)

7David Rapoport, "Fear and Trembling: Terrorism in Three Religious Traditions," in American Political Science Review, 627.

TITLES. Remember, titles of books are always italicized and titles of chapters in books and titles of articles are always in quotation marks. Always!

QUOTATIONS. The other punctuation to be mastered by this time is the introduction of quotes. Mistakes will be counted among the three permissible mistakes. If you introduce quotes using the word "that," then you do not put any punctuation before or after the word "that." Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. Go, my dear students, and write likewise!

Rules/Guidelines for POL 211 Third One-Page Paper. (April 2014)

  1. The paper must, of course, be typed and submitted as a hard copy. Nothing handwritten or emailed will be accepted.
  2. The only sources to be used are the assigned readings—no other primary or secondary materials.
  3. The absolute limit is one page. I will not read anything that is not on that one page. Use a twelve point font, preferably Times New Roman, Univers, Garamond, or CG Times, black ink, double-spaced, and the default page margins: typically one inch all around.
  4. A title page is required. To the one page paper, attach a title page like the one I show you in class. Use only your Marymount Student I.D. number—NOT YOUR NAME. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THE TITLE PAGE OR ANYPLACE ELSE ON THE PAPER. I WANT COMPLETE ANONYMITY. If you violate this anonymity rule, I will not accept the paper and you will receive a zero.
  5. Use the footnote format that I explain below and in class.
  6. Do not begin the paper with a restatement of the topic. You do not have enough space for wasted words, so get right into a thesis statement and your supporting statements. The paper should be divided into at least two paragraphs.
  7. The deadline is the beginning of class on Friday, May 2d. This means you must come to class: do not put it in the rack on my office door. Do not try to give it to me after class. If you cannot make it to class, you must email a copy of the paper to me by 11:00am Tuesday and get me a hard copy by Tuesday (the day of the final) at the latest. I will not read the emailed copy, but will check it against the hard copy after I correct the hard copy. The absence will be excused or unexcused, as appropriate.
  8. I ratchet up the grading of the papers: (1) no grade on the first paper/writing sample, (2) 50-50 writing-content on the second paper so a paper with poor writng but good content (or vice-versa) will still pass, and (3) the writing and content counted together on this third paper so a paper with more than three errors will fail regardless of content.

You need at least four or five references or footnotes to either Mill or Rousseau in a paper like this. But remember: for Watkins, or Cohn, or Minogue—whichever author's approach that you choose—you should not put a reference in a footnote. You may quote or paraphrase the wording of their approaches on the webpage as you would any other source and attribute it to Richard Watkins, or Norman Cohn, or Kenneth Minogue, but do not cite his book, or me, or my webpage in a footnote. Just assume that what is on the webpage is in fact what Watkins or Cohn or Minogue said.

Study the information on quotations and on footnotes in red below. This is your third (fourth, actually) paper. Mistakes on quotes and footnotes will count. Don't make the same mistakes. Remember Albert Einstein's definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This is also an excellent definition of stupidity—making the same mistakes over and over again and expecting a higher grade. Don't be stupid! Review your earlier papers. (Studies have shown that most students do not do this. Prove the studies wrong!)

The purpose of the references is to enable me to find the exact passage you are quoting or paraphrasing or otherwise referring to. Titles of works are italicized; titles of articles, essays, and chapters are placed in quotes. For this paper there are just a few possible sources that you may cite:

  1. Passages from Mill's three assigned essays are cited by chapter number.
  2. Passages from Rousseau's two assigned works should be cited as follows: references to his Discourse on the Origin of Inequality should be cited by (1) the part of the Discourse to which you refer—the first part (I.) or the second part (II.)—and (2) the paragraph number of the reference. Thus a reference to something in paragraph 41 of the first part of the Discourse would be cited as 1Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, I.41. And so on. References to the Social Contract are to book number (Roman numeral) and chapter number (Arabic numeral): 2Social Contract, II.3.
  3. Subsequent references to earlier cited sources should be cited using appropriate references, such as Ibid. and the like, as I explained earlier this semester. See Turabian's Manual for Writers.
  4. No source should be cited for the elements of Watkins's, Cohn's, or Minogue's concepts. My gift to you.

Remember the footnote is placed AFTER the last mark of punctuation in the sentence, and the second quotation mark goes AFTER the final period of the sentence. For example: The Frankforts said, "Symbols are treated the same way."1 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET THIS SEQUENCE CORRECT: the FINAL MARK OF PUNCTUATION, then the END QUOTATION MARK, and then the FOOTNOTE NUMBER. Each footnote itself is punctuated with a final period. Use Ibid. as appropriate. Refer back to the Lippmann essay for examples, or get and use one of the editions of Kate Turabian's Manual for Writers—cheap on abebooks.com. The method of notation in the Lippmann essay is very similar to the Chicago Style method that I am asking you to use. It isn't difficult.

The other punctuation to be mastered at this time is the introduction of quotes. If you introduce them using the word "that" (what Turabian calls run-in quotes), then you do not put any punctuation before or after the word "that." Thus, you might write the following: Marx said that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." Note: no comma after "that" and the word "the" in the quote is not capitalized because it is in the middle of a larger sentence. On the other hand, you may introduce the quote this way: Marx said, "The history of all hitherto existing society is a history of class struggles." Here, a comma follows the verb "said," and the first word of the sentence is capitalized. Go, my dear students, and write likewise!

Miscellaneous Readings

The Lippmann essay, "The Eclipse of the Public Philosophy," from his Essays in the Public Philosophy.

If you are having trouble following Lippmann's argument in the essay, here are some more specific study questions to help you through the essay (they proceed in order through the essay):

  1. How does Lippmann go about proving that ideas are "efficacious"?
  2. According to Lippmann, what is human "culture"?
  3. What is human character? Are character and culture related? How?
  4. Where does Lippmann come down on the question of nature versus nurture?
  5. What has the question of nature versus nurture got to do with education?
  6. How is education related to culture? to character?
  7. According to Lippmann, what is the central, critical condition of Western society at the time he wrote the essay (1954)?
  8. What does Lippmann mean by "the public philosophy"? What is a public philosophy?
  9. What created the "great vacuum" that Lippmann discusses in the section two?
  10. Is Lippmann opposed to the right of individuals to have their own private opinions?
  11. What are the "traditions of civility" to which Lippmann repeatedly refers? (Pay close attention to the excerpt from Ernest Barker's book on pages 97-98.)
  12. Why does Lippmann call the privatization of beliefs a "subtle transformation" of the original status of the public philosophy?
  13. What are the "first and last things" that are part of the public philosophy?
  14. What is the radical change in the conception of freedom brought about by the privatization of belief?
  15. Does Lippmann believe that citizens should be indoctrinated with the public philosophy and punished for failures to conform to it?
  16. What is the relation of natural law to the public philosophy? to the traditions of civility?
  17. Why is it no longer the dominant way of viewing political and public behavior, according to Lippmann?
  18. Why is it important to liberal democracies?
  19. What is the origin of the notion of "universal laws of rational order"?
  20. Why are such laws useful for large states with diverse populations? Are they essential, or just useful, according to Lippmann?
  21. Why is such an order of law or norms "natural"? What does the term "natural" convey here?
  22. Why do modern men have the impulse to "escape from freedom"? Why is freedom intolerable to many? How does freedom in the modern world contribute to public disorder, according to Lippmann?
  23. What does the "lonely crowd," the lonely and anxious men of today need and long for, according to Lippmann?

St. Thomas's Question 91 reflects the medieval conception of natural law and its relation to politics and society (in "human law") that Lippmann describes. Locke's Second Treatise and Hobbes's Leviathan reflect the new or modern conception of natural law described by Lippmann. Machiavelli, with one foot in the medieval world and one foot in the Modern, does not spell out a particular conception of natural law.

In the essay, I think that Lippmann's distinction between the older, medieval conception of natural law (or the traditions of civility, or Western culture) and the new or Modern conception does not make clear the very significant change in philosophical traditions that the distinction represents. In effect, European culture left the classical and classical-Christian traditions upon which it was firmly founded and moved in Modern times (and is still moving) toward an Epicurean foundation. The nature of this change is reflected in the three excerpts from Bacon, Hobbes, and Descartes in the "Modern Philosophers' Rejection of Classical Philosophy." This change had profound effects on people's understanding of the ultimate basis of ethical and political authority, one of the key concepts we will study this semester.

For those of you from the first semester, what tradition does Lippmann represent? Would it surprise you to know that for most of Lippmann's life, he was considered to be a man of the Left in politics?

There is an awful lot of good stuff in this short essay. It is worth a re-reading or two now and thoughout the semester. It provides a good introduction to much of the substance that we will be discussing this semester.

Ask yourself what he means by "the eclipse." How did the eclipse occur? What is "the public philosophy"? Or is it just "a public philosophy"? What is the "great vacuum"? What is "natural law"? What is the danger caused by the eclipse or the vacuum? Does Lippmann seem to be writing for an American audience or a European audience? The book from which this essay is taken is a great book for students to read and it is back in print. I highly recommend it to you.

Extra copies of the syllabus and all handouts are in the rack on the wall across from my office door, Rowley 62A.

Bernard Crick defines "politics" as the following:

the activity by which differing interests within a given unit of rule are conciliated by giving them a share in power in proportion to their importance to the welfare and society of the whole community.

In other words, Crick assumes that politics applies to societies made up of diverse interests or groups of people who resolve differences and decide on policies by discussion and orderly, participatory procedures. Emergencies, he says, warrant the assertion of absolute power and command, but emergencies are extraordinary situations. Politics applies in ordinary times. Keep this in mind as Crick defends "politics" from ideology, especially totalitarian ideology.

"What We're Fighting For"

"How We Can Co-Exist."

Some Views of Politics and Government.

Ideologies

Benito Mussolini's "Doctrine of Fascism"

Mussolini's "Doctrine of Fascism"

chapter 11 of Hitler's Mein Kampf.

The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels.

Chapter One of Auguste Comte's Course of Positive Philosophy (abridged). (HistoryGuide.Org).

Auguste Comte's Positive Philosophy

(There are actually three different sites with Chapter One of Comte's text on this web page: the link above, another link to a slightly abridged version toward the end of this very assignment page, and a third site linked in the list of Western Political Concepts readings on the main web page. Take your pick, but only read Chapter One.)

Further discussions of the fact-value dichotomy and the positivistic or scientistic social sciences can be found in a number of places:

  1. Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History, chapter 2
  2. Eric Voegelin, The New Science of Politics, "Introduction."
  3. Friedrich Hayek, The Counter-Revolution of Science
  4. Alasdair McIntyre, After Virtue
  5. Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Nineteenth Century

Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, "Herbert Spencer"

"The New Toryism" from Herbert Spencer's Man versus the State.

Joseph Mazzini's Duties of Man. Mazzini was one of the principal individuals responsible for the creation of modern Italy in the 19th century. His essay reflects some of the contemporary reaction against the liberalism that was identified with the Industrial Revolution and the capitalism that accompanyied it.

Hegel, s.v. the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy entry, "Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel."

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty.

John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism.

Chapter Two of Mill's Utilitarianism

As you read Mill's essay on utilitarianism, consider the following:

  1. According to Mill, what is the "theory of utility"?
  2. What is the Greatest Happiness Principle"?
  3. According to Mill, is the pleasure of relaxing in a warm bath morally better than studying your Western Political Concepts assignments?
  4. Is the pleasure of eating, drinking, and generally carousing better morally better than the painful job of keeping an all-night watch over a sick friend?
  5. If you answer "no" to either of the previous two questions, does your answer pose a problem to Mill's Greatest Happiness Principle?
  6. According to Mill, can human nature be improved over time?
  7. According to Mill, is the world declining from a once-great Golden Age, or is the world headed on a path of constant improvement?
  8. How does the Greatest Happiness Principle, according to Mill, apply (or how should it apply) to politics?

Compare Mill's argument for Utilitarianism, which we have been studying, with Aristotle's arguments on the nature of happiness, pleasure and pain, and character formaion in these excerpts from the Nicomachean Ethics.

  1. What does Aristotle say that happiness is? What does Mill say?
  2. What does Aristotle say that moral virtue is? What does Mill say?
  3. What does Aristotle say the ultimate standard of right and wrong (i.e., justice) is?
  4. What does Aristotle say the proper relation between virtue and pleasure is? What does Mill say?
  5. According to Aristotle, how do people achieve this proper relationship? What does Mill say?
  6. What does Aristotle say that prudence is? What do you think Mill would say?

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto complete.

As you read the Manifesto try to answer the following questions:

  1. In the first section of the Manifesto, "Bourgeois and Proletarians," what theory of history does Marx present?
  2. Who or what are the bourgeoisie?
  3. Who or what are the proletarians or the proletariat?
  4. What is the foundation of all history, politics, and civilization?
  5. What do Marx and Engels expect to happen soon?
  6. In the second section, "Proletarians and Communists," who are the communists and what is their relation to the proletarians?
  7. What is the problem with "property"? all property?
  8. What is the foundation of human culture?
  9. What is the proletarian programme (to borrow the Brit spelling)?
  10. In the third section of the Manifesto, "Socialist and Communit Literature," what is Marx's main criticism of all other socialist or communist theories?
  11. A "manifesto" is a statement in support of a call to action: what is the call to action in Marx's manifesto? (Section four of the Manifesto).

Videos of Mussolini and Hitler speeches

Triumph of the Will

Mussolini Speech against Germany

Mussolini Rome Speech 1939

Declaration of War Against Great Britain and France 1940

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Volume One, "Unlimited Power of the Majority in the United States, and its Consequences".

Eighteenth Century (and Hobbes)

Richard Price, "The Evidence for a Future Period of Improvement in the State of Mankind".

Richard Price, "Discourse on the Love of our Country".

John Adams, Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law alternative copy here.

Thomas Paine's Rights of Man.

Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France.

Excerpts from Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (excerpts).

Madison's Federalist 10

A few readings from Adam Smith

David Hume, "Of the Origin of Government" and "Of the Original Contract"

David Hume's essays

Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence

Chapters One and Four of Jeremy Bentham's Principles of Morals and Legislation

Jeremy Bentham, Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, ch. 1.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Social Contract.

Regarding Rousseau's concept of the General Will, there are two lines of inquiry: (1) what exactly is the General Will? and (2) how is the General Will actually determined. Keep in mind that Rousseau says in Book I, chapter 6, that the General Will is an expression of the "Sovereign," so his discussions of the nature of the Sovereign will relate directly to his conception of the General Will. Please review The Social Contract Book I, ch. 6 & 7 (assigned last week), and read Book II, ch. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8; Book III, ch. 11; and Book IV, ch. 1 & 2. Material about what the General Will essentially is can be found in I.6 & 7, II.1, 2, 3, & 4; and Book IV.1 (compare this to III.11). Material about how the General Will is determined can be found in Book I.6, II.3, 4, 7, IV.2.

The term "General Will" seems to be a synonym to "the common good" or "the public good," but not quite. "Will" suggests a psychological function: people will certain things, or they have a strong will, a weak will, or they are willful. Whose will is the General Will? "General" suggests a contrast to "particular," but Rousseau discusses particular wills—the will of an individual or of a faction—the will of the majority, and he contrasts the General Will with the "will of all." Might the general will be the will of nobody in a society? Is a majority vote ever acceptable to Rousseau? Compare Rousseau's discussion of the General Will with Hume's comments on human nature in the opening paragraphs of his essay "On the Origin of Government."

Rousseau says of his social contract formula, "the clauses of this contract are so determined by the nature of the act that the slightest modification would make them vain and ineffective," and thus not legitimate. Do you know of any country in existence today (or ever) that is built upon a Rousseauian social contract? If not, what does that imply about the legitimacy of all of the states and governments in existence now or ever?

As you read the material about how the General Will is determined, list the conditions or requirements—the rules—Rousseau prescribes for the determining the General Will. What procedures must be followed? Why is a majority vote not sufficient? or is it?

This is tricky stuff. Jotting down notes as you go along will help. You will think that you understand Rousseau's idea after you have read a few chapters, and then he makes some contradictory statements that make your understanding disappear like smoke. Or the Cheshire cat.

Aristotle is an arch representative of the classical tradition in philosophy. Mill is an arch example of the epicurean or modern tradition. What's the diff between their conceptions of ethics?

Willi Boskovsky (1974)