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You are here: Home Courses Middlebury-CMRS Course List PHIL / HIST / PSCI 0815 Political Philosophy II - only offered Spring 2019 and Spring 2020

PHIL / HIST / PSCI 0815 Political Philosophy II - only offered Spring 2019 and Spring 2020

[Please note: This seminar is offered for the Spring 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters. It is not offered in Autumn semesters. Each seminar runs only subject to sufficient student demand.] This seminar explores western political thought at a crucial period in its development, between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.  It centres on readings from key texts in the era’s political thought, informed by consideration of the wider historical and intellectual context.  Among the major themes of the era were the religious strife generated by the Protestant Reformation, the intellectual aspiration for rationality, and the increasingly intensive governments developed by western European states, including their colonial ventures. (Foreign language texts are read in English translation: there is no language requirement for this course.)

Sample topics

The Renaissance background

More and Erasmus

Reformation Political thought: Luther & Calvin

Jean Bodin

Thomas Hobbes

John Locke

David Hume, Political Essays

Adam Smith

Voltaire, Political Writings

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origins of Inequality and The Social Contract  

A life-changing experience
My semester at CMRS was a life-changing experience. With the backdrop of the beautiful and historically-relevant Oxford, I read, wrote, and learned mo...
Jason Martin, Spring Semester 2011, Albion College