Course Details

POSC 258: Politics and Ambition

Is personal ambition a threat to peace and the public good or is it a prod to nobility and heroism? Does it exemplify the opposition between self and society or does it represent their intersection and mutual support—or both? And what is the nature of political ambition, especially the ambition to rule: what does the would-be ruler really want? We will take up these and related questions by studying several classic works of philosophy and literature. Readings will likely include works by Plato, Xenophon, and Shakespeare as well as American founders, statesmen, and moral leaders. 
6 credits; HI; Not offered 2021-2022