Modern Political Thought

Course Description: 

What values should our political institutions promote? One way to address this question looks at how our values were defended and articulated in the past. Thinking about the past can provide important insights of how we should live together. This course reviews some of the major figures in modern political thought from Hobbes to J. S. Mill. The course provides 1) an appreciation of how some political concepts and values such as ‘authority’, ‘liberty’, and ‘equality’ were shaped during the XVII-XIX centuries, 2) a critical assessment of the arguments provided by these thinkers, 3) and a discussion about the methodological tools developed during the time. Special emphasis will be put on the significance of these ideas for contemporary controversies in political philosophy.

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