PHIL 345 Modern Political Philosophy


Where, according to the moderns, did classical political philosophy go wrong in their understanding of nature, of human nature, of justice, of civic virtue, of the purpose of political order, of the best political order? Why was a new beginning necessary? Following that new beginning, modern political philosophy is a series of radical critiques of previous modern thinkers. In dispute are questions about equality, liberty, political legitimacy, democracy, and ultimately, whether reason is capable of solving such moral and political puzzles definitively. Among the readings in the course will be works by Niccolo Machiavelli, John Locke, David Hume, and Friedrich Nietzsche.