Modern Political Philosophy: Authority, the Origin of Rights, and Civil Society
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Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Undergraduate Studies
Course Number: NPHI 2125
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
This course is an introduction to theories that have shaped thinking about power, authority, and justice in modern liberal societies. We examine the meanings and moral foundations of rights; the idea of a social contract; state sovereignty and individual autonomy; competing conceptions of human nature; the role of reason, nature, and natural law in politics; the concepts of justice, liberty, equality, and democracy; and the emerging tensions between the nation-state and the forces of globalization. Students critically analyze primary texts by Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Mill, and selected contemporary theorists. The relevance of these thinkers and their theories to contemporary social and political issues is a theme throughout the course.