What is just? What is right? Are human beings equal? In what ways should we be free? To what degree must we obey the state? What are our duties to others? Is “big government” compatible with individual liberty? This course explores these and other fundamental political questions concerning freedom and authority, rights and obligations, peace and war, moral obligation and selfishness, faith and reason. It will also delve into contentious public policy problems (e.g., income inequality, affirmative action, sexual discrimination), each of which poses moral and practical difficulties. Our goal will be to think openly, honestly, and precisely about the quandaries of political life. This course is open only to first years and sophomores.