Though we will be considering both classic and contemporary arguments, readings will be drawn mainly from contemporary sources, so as not to overlap with the other political philosophy courses offered by the department. Lectures will summarize the arguments of some of the classic texts by Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Mill and Aristotle. These works are most highly recommended to you and can be found on the syllabus marked with an asterisk (*). They are not required, however, and students are not expected to be familiar with the details of the arguments of these works.
As class discussion is an important element of the course, students are expected to attend class regularly and to have read and be prepared to discuss the assigned texts. Most of the required readings will be found in a course packet which will be available for this class at CopyWrite. It should be available at the beginning of the second week of classes. A few required readings will be available on reserve. These are marked with the pound sign (#).
Another course packet, which will be available at CopyWrite at the beginning of the second week of classes, contains outlines of the lectures and a number of graphs and tables. These materials are copies of the overheads that will be presented in class. They are meant to help you follow the arguments of the lectures, take further notes and review for examinations. They are not meant to be a substitute for the lectures. Because of the compressed nature of these notes, students will not find material understandable without having attended the lectures. Nor will they find the readings very helpful in understanding these notes, since the lectures contain a great deal of original analysis and terminology that is not found in the readings. Various changes in the content of the course will occur as a result of the development in my own ideas and in response to the questions and concerns of students. Thus I will undoubtedly be making some changes in the overheads I present in the course of the semester. And I will not necessarily follow the order of the overheads found there. Moreover, there will also be class discussions or lectures that are not outlined here. Students are responsible for all of this material.
Examinations and Paper
There will be two in-class essay examinations. A list of questions from which the examination questions will be selected will be made available to students one week prior to each examination. The mid-term examination is tentatively scheduled for February 22. The final examination will be held at a time determined by the registrar. Students who choose to do so may write an essay of about 15-20 pages in lieu of the final examination.
Students will also be required to write a research paper. A substantial outline or rough draft of the paper and a bibliography will be due the first week in April. The final draft of the paper will be due the day of the final examination.
The suggested topic for the final paper is an examination of the possibilities and limits of instituting some form of participatory democracy in a particular governmental or non-governmental organization. Students might find it especially interesting to write about some organization in which they have worked, but this is not required. Students who prefer to do so may write on any other issue of concern that is relevant to the course. However, please be sure that you have my approval for your topic. For students writing a final paper,
Final grades will be determined according to the following schedule:
Midterm Examination 20% Final Examination 40% Research Paper 40%
Active participation in class discussions will improve your final grade by up to one-half of a letter grade or 5 points on a hundred point grading scale.