This course is intended as an introduction to political philosophy as seen through an examination of some of the major texts and thinkers of the Western political tradition. Three broad themes that are central to understanding political life are focused upon: the polis experience (Plato, Aristotle), the sovereign state (Machiavelli, Hobbes), constitutional government (Locke), and democracy (Rousseau, Tocqueville). The way in which different political philosophies have given expression to various forms of political institutions and our ways of life are examined throughout the course.
18 hours of video;
Steven B. Smith is the Alfred Cowles Professor of Political Science and Master of Branford College at Yale. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1981. At Yale he has served as the Director of Graduate Studies in Political Science, Director of the Undergraduate Program in Humanities, and Acting Chair of Judaic Studies. His research has been focused on the history of political philosophy and the role of statecraft in constitutional government. His recent publications include Spinoza, Liberalism, and Jewish Identity, Spinoza's Book of Life, and Reading Leo Strauss.
PLSC 114: Introduction to Political Philosophy by Professor Steven B. Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://oyc.yale.edu/political-science/plsc-114.