The course aims to familiarize students with some major themes in Western and American political and moral thought.
- Read and understand some key thinkers and writers from the three cities generally associated with the development of the Western moral tradition: Athens, Jerusalem, and Rome.
- Understand what these thinkers believed about a good life and the purpose and place of politics in a good life.
- Understand some of the basic questions and tensions within the Western moral tradition.
- Understand at a general level the transition from the Western moral tradition to modernity, and the effect of that transition on political conversation.
- Understand the fundamental political thinking of the American founders, and how that thinking contrasts with later strands of American political thought.
The syllabus of this course is tailored to particular circumstances and needs.