School of Design, Arts, and Humanities 2018-19
School of Design, Arts, and Humanities
Western Political Concepts II
Name of Instructor
Day, Time, and Room Number
Final Exam Day, Time, and Room Number
The final is on Tuesday, May 7th, at 3:00pm, in Rowley G208.
Office Hours, Location, Phone
Tuesdays and Fridays 1:00-2:00pm, 3:30pm to 4:00pm; Wednesdays by appointment. My office is Rowley !018; my telephone number is 703 284 1687, but always email ahead of time!
A study of various political theories and ideologies from early modern to contemporary times. Topics include liberalism, conservatism, and political ideologies. Pre-requisite: prior successful completion of EN102. (3)
By accepting this syllabus, you pledge to uphold the principles of Academic Integrity expressed by the Marymount University Community. You agree to observe these principles yourself and to defend them against abuse by others. Items submitted for this course may be submitted to TurnItIn.com for analysis.
STUDENT COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
For the benefit of current and future students, work in this course may be used for educational critique, demonstrations, samples, presentations, and verification. Outside of these uses, work shall not be sold, copied, broadcast, or distributed for profit without student consent.
ACCOMMODATIONS AND ACCESSIBILITY
Please address any special challenges or needs with the instructor at the beginning of the semester.
Students with Disabilities
If you are seeking accommodations (class/course adjustments) for a long-term or short-term (less than 6 months) disability, you must do the following:
1) Register as a student with a disability with Student Access Services (SAS) in the Center for Teaching and Learning. This process takes time, so you should engage it as early as possible.
2) Once registered with SAS, you may be approved for accommodations by SAS. Approved accommodations will be listed on a “Faculty Contact Sheet” (FCS). This is important because not all accommodation requests are approved.
3) After receiving the FCS, meet with each of your instructors as soon as possible to review your accommodations, and have them sign the FCS. This document will help you and your instructors develop a plan for providing the approved accommodations.
4) Let SAS know if there are any concerns about the way your accommodations are being implemented by your instructors.
Please remember that:
1) Accommodations for disabling conditions cannot be granted if you do not follow the above steps.
2) Accommodations are not retroactive. That is, accommodations can only be applied to a course after they have been approved by SAS and put into motion by you through working with your instructors.
3) Appointments with the SAS staff are scheduled through the Starfish "Success Network" tab in Canvas. For more information, check the SAS website, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 703-284-1538.
Students with Temporary Challenges
Temporary challenges due to accident, illness, etc. that may result in missing class or navigating general campus access do not fall under the purview of SAS. If you experience something of this nature, please start by alerting your instructors. The Dean of Student Success may be involved in alerting instructors in extreme cases.
EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION POLICY
When students are absent due to a crisis situation or unexpected, serious illness and unable to contact their individual instructors directly, the Division of Student Affairs can send out an Emergency Notification. To initiate an Emergency Notification, students should contact the Division of Student Affairs 703-284-1615 or email@example.com. Emergency Notifications are NOT appropriate for non-emergency situations (e.g. car problems, planned absences, minor illnesses, or a past absence); are NOT a request or mandate to excuse an absence, which is at the sole discretion of the instructor; and are NOT a requirement for student absences. If a student contacts instructors about an emergency situation directly, it is not necessary to involve the Division of Student Affairs as arrangements are made to resolve the absence.
ACCESS TO STUDENT WORK
Copies of your work in this course including copies of any submitted papers and your portfolios may be kept on file for institutional research, assessment and accreditation purposes. All work used for these purposes will be submitted confidentially.
UNIVERSITY POLICY ON WEATHER AND EMERGENCY CLOSINGS
Weather and Emergency closings are announced on Marymount’s web site: www.marymount.edu, through MUAlerts, area radio stations, and TV stations. You may also call the Weather and Emergency Hotline at (703) 526-6888 for current status. Unless otherwise advised by local media or by official bulletins listed above, students are expected to report for class as near normal time as possible on days when weather conditions are adverse. Decisions as to inclement closing or delayed opening are not generally made before 6:00 AM and by 3:00 PM for evening classes of the working day. Emergency closing could occur at any time making MUAlerts the most timely announcement mechanism. Students are expected to attend class if the University is not officially closed. If the University is closed, course content and assignments will still be covered as directed by the course instructor. Please look for communication from course instructor (e.g., Canvas) for information on course work during periods in which the University is closed.
1. BROAD PURPOSE OF COURSE
This course provides a study of various political theories and ideologies from early modern to contemporary times. Topics include liberalism, conservatism, and political ideologies. The different concepts and topics are presented in classic readings designed to introduce students to some of the most important literature of modern and contemporary political thought and to provoke inquiry into the writers' fundamental conceptions about nature, reason, human nature, good and evil, and government.
2. COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon successful completion of this course students will be expected to:
1. be able to analyze political writings and determine the authors' fundamental conceptions regarding (1) "nature" or the structure of reality ("ontology" and "cosmology"), (2) the processes of and capacity for human knowledge ("epistemology"), (3) human nature ("philosophical anthropology" or "philosophical psychology"), (4) the ultimate standards of right and wrong ("ethics"), and (5) the proper functions of government ("politics");
2. have a basic understanding of the political concepts of "authority," "rights," "liberalism," "conservatism," "nationalism," "socialism," "communism," and "positivism";
3. be familiar with important writings by leading figures representing these approaches in modern political theory;
4. demonstrate a basic understanding of the nature of political “ideology” as a distinct form of political thought and action;
5. demonstrate a basic ability to read texts in political theory with critical understanding--i.e., to grasp the author's main points, to identify his supporting arguments and rationales, and to offer cogent internal and external criticism of the readings; and,
6. engage in the practice of writing and critical reasoning by composing well organized, acceptably written, logically argued essays and papers on issues of political theory.
3. TEACHING METHOD
The course will consist primarily of guided discussions of the readings and secondarily of lectures and background information by the instructor.
4. GRADING POLICY
Tuesday, January 22, 2019, is the last day to withdraw from a class without academic record.
Friday, March 22, 2019, is the last day to withdraw from a class with a grade of W.
The final grade is based on a possible total of 100 points that includes grades for class assignments (which includes answering questions in class and participating in class discussions) and quizzes, two short graded papers, two mid-term essay exams, and a final essay exam, as follows:
25% = Written assignments
15% = Lower mid-term exam
20% = Higher mid-term exam
30% = Final exam
10% = Class assignments, quizzes, constructive contributions to class discussions
The usual scale of 90-100%=A, 80-89%=B, 70-79%=C, 60-69%=D, and 59% and below=F will be used for all graded work.
The exams and the written assignments are all based on the primary readings of the course: not on the class lectures, which are intended to help you understand the readings and not to substitute for the readings. All the exams are essay exams. No grade of "I" or "Incomplete" will be given. If possible, written assignments and exams will be graded and returned within two weeks. No late written assignments will be accepted. Written assignments emailed to me by the due date-and-time will be accepted as long as you give me a hard copy by the next class. Students must retain a copy of each written assignment on their hard drive, thumb drive, or the cloud.
ATTENDANCE, CONDUCT, AND MAKE-UP EXAM POLICY
Attendance. Beginning with the second week of classes, students are allowed a total of nine absences, excused and/or unexcused. Students who miss ten classes or more for any reason will receive an “FA” in the course.
Each unexcused absence beyond three—up to the aforementioned limit of nine—will result in a lowering of the final grade by one percentage point. To be excused, an absence must be documented, unless I indicate otherwise. Excused absences are typically medical-, legal-, or job-related excuses. Acceptable documentation typically consists of a statement or form on official stationery (1) signed by a third party (doctor, police, judge, supervisor—not a parent or family member!) that (2) refers specifically to the day of absence from class and (3) the reason for the absence.
Note: Occasionally coming to class late—even real late once or twice—is not considered an absence. Coming to class without hard copies of the text for the day, or leaving class after dropping off a paper or taking an announced quiz without my prior permission, or spending time in class on internet sources unrelated to class, however, is considered an absence.
Merely informing me ahead of time that you will be absent from class 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, your fellow students and I salute you! Staying home may be the right thing to do, but it is not an excused absence. 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.
The limit of nine total absences recognizes that excessive excused absences may also be a problem. You should discuss such situations with me well before the last month of the semester. This is not a distance learning class. Any absence prevents you from participating in the class, but if your job or an illness keeps you away from class, it will significantly 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. You also have an obligation to report this to a University office (see the section on “Attendance” in the 2018-2019 University Catalogue).
When in doubt about any of these policies, please come and talk to me. They have been formulated with our substantial commuter and working student population in mind and are intended to be fair to everyone.
Classroom Conduct. Classroom conduct shall be civil in speech and manners. Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated, nor will behavior such as texting, emailing, or browsing the Internet. Students who violate these norms will be asked to leave the classroom and to meet with me and the Dean of Student Success. Please see the section on “Classroom Code of Conduct” in the 2018-2019 University Catalogue.
Make-up Exams: The same basic rules about excused absences apply to taking mid-terms. My policy of giving makeup exams on the same day as the final 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. 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 or employment emergency on the day of the test. If one of these applies and I am informed in a reasonable time before the exam and you have written documentation to support your request, 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. If you are late for the exam because of events outside of your control, let me know immediately or as soon as possible that day, and I will let you take the exam later that same day if possible.
5. CLASS SCHEDULE
This schedule is subject to changes because of weather and other factors: see the link to "Western Political Concepts II (Spring 2019)" in the Weekly Assignments section of the millerpolitics.com webpage before each class for an updated schedule and specific assignments.
Week I (1/15-18): Introduction to the course: the problem of authority and the liberal-Epicurean solution. Introductory essays (handouts and web links).
Week II (1/22-25): Ancient, Classical, and Classical-Christian solutions: macrocosmic and anthropological order. Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Thomas; "Modern Philosophers' Rejections of Classical Philosophy."
Week III (1/29-2/1): Epicurean solutions: social contracts and bills of rights: readings from Hobbes, Locke, & Rousseau.
Week IV (2/5-8): Readings from Hume and Burke. Written Assignment.
Week V (2/12-15): Readings from John Stuart Mill.
Week VI (2/19-22): MID-TERM (tentatively TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 19th). Readings from Mill.
Week VII (2/26-3/1): Readings from Walter Lippmann’s The Public Philosophy.
Week VIII (3/5-8): Readings from Walter Lippmann, The Public Philosophy.
Week IX (3/19-22): Readings from Walter Lippmann, The Public Philosophy.
Week X (3/26-29): Readings from Walter Lippmann, The Public Philosophy. MID-TERM (tentatively FRIDAY, March 29th)
Week XI (4/2-5): Political Ideologies. Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto
Week XII (4/9-12): Comte, Lectures on Positivism.
Week XIII (4/16): Readings from Adolf Hitler, Norman Cohn.
Week XIV (4/26):
Week XV (4/30-5/3): Readings from Catherine Wessinger.
The final exam will be given only at the date and time prescribed by the University Final Exam Schedule, which was not yet available when this syllabus was composed. Make your travel plans accordingly!
6. REQUIRED TEXTS
Much of the semester will focus on the following two books. You must obtain the hard copy edition of the Lippmann and Marx books; you may use the hard copy edition of the Mill book listed below or another hard copy edition. No digital editions will be allowed in the classroom without my prior consent.
Lippmann, Walter. The Public Philosophy. Transaction, 1989. ISBN: 9780887387913.
Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. The Communist Manifesto. Pathfinder, 2008. ISBN: 9781604880038
Mill, John Stuart. On Liberty and Utilitarianism. Bantam Classics, 1993. ISBN: 9780553214147.
All of the assigned readings from the following texts are available in other editions on the Internet. Other assigned materials will be made available either on reserve, on the internet, or, pending copyright permissions, in handouts.
Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan: Parts One and Two. Edited by Herbert W. Schneider. Library of Liberal Arts edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1958.
Locke, John. Second Treatise of Government. Library of Liberal Arts edition. Edited by Thomas P. Peardon. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1952. ISBN: 978-0023933004
Assignments may come from the following additional sources:
Crick, Bernard. In Defence of Politics, 2d ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972.
Ellis, Richard J. Dark Side of the Left: Illiberal Egalitarianism in America. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1999.
Garner, Richard T., and Andrew Oldenquist, eds. Society and the Individual: Readings in Political and Social Philosophy. Belmont, California: Wadsworth, 1990.
Kramnick, Isaac, and Frederick Watkins. The Age of Ideology: Political Thought, 1750 to the Present. 2d ed. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1979.
Lewis, C.S. Abolition of Man. New York: HarperOne, 2001.
Minogue, Kenneth. Alien Powers: The Pure Theory of Ideology. Wilmington: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 1985, 2008. (Other editions from 1985 to Kindle)
Niemeyer, Gerhart. Within and Above Ourselves: Essays in Political Analysis. Wilmington: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 1996.
Wessinger, Catherine. Millennialism, Persecution, and Violence: Historical Cases. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2000.
Useful Reference Works:
Nelson, Brian. Western Political Thought: From Socrates to the Age of Ideology. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1982.
Sabine, George H. A History of Political Theory. New York: Holt, Rinehart, Winston. There are four editions; any one is excellent.
Strauss, Leo, and Joseph Cropsey. History of Political Philosophy. New York: Rand McNally and Chicago: University of Chicago, 1963, 1972, 1987. Any of the three editions is excellent.
Stumpf, Samuel E. Socrates to Sartre: A History of Philosophy. 4th (or later) ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 1988.
A FEW FURTHER RULES
For the benefit of the class and your classmates, the following rules regarding electronic devices also apply to this course:
1. Turn your cell phones off during the class. If you are expecting an important call, put your phone on “Vibrate,” sit near the door, and, when the call comes, answer it outside the classroom.
2. It follows from the foregoing rule, but it must be separately stated: no talking and no texting on cell phones during class. If you do not follow this rule, I will publicly ask you to leave the room for the remainder of the class and will do my best to have you removed from the course for the rest of the semester.
3. No open lap-top or other computers are allowed in class without my prior permission. Devices such as tablets, Ipads, Kindles, Kobos, and Nooks that lie flat on the desk and on to which the readings can be loaded are permitted if approved by me, but hard copies of the readings are better. You can mark them up and take notes on them in class.
4. Be sure to check your Marymount email address regularly! This is Marymount’s and my principal way of contacting you with important information. Perhaps you rely mostly on Yahoo, gmail, or some other provider, but check your @marymount.edu mail daily to make sure you do not miss school information.
These rules are necessary to foster a suitable learning environment in the classroom during class. There are enough distractions with lawnmowers, snow blowers, air conditioners, and other outside forces to combat during lectures and discussions without these controllable distractions within the room.