Course Details

POSC 371: Modern Political Philosophy: Liberalism and Its Critics*

Cross-listed with POSC 251. Liberalism is the dominant political philosophy of our time. Living in a liberal polity, each of us has been shaped by liberalism. But is liberalism the best political order? Do we even know what liberalism is? What are the strongest arguments in its favor, and what are the deepest criticisms we might level against it? In this course we will examine liberalism’s philosophic roots and engage with some of its most forceful advocates and most profound critics. Our readings will include authors such as Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville, Mill, and Nietzsche. Research paper required.
6 credits; HI, IS, WR2; Not offered 2021-2022