POLS 011. Ancient Political Thought (TH)
This course offers an introduction to one of the most fascinating periods in the history of political thought, when Classical Athens, in a time of great rivalry with Sparta, gave birth both to democracy and to the critique of democracy. We will read philosophical texts by Plato and Aristotle, literary texts by Sophocles and Aristophanes, and historical texts by Thucydides and Plutarch, paying close attention to rhetorical and argumentative detail as well as institutional context, with the aim of bringing ancient ideas and arguments to bear on our own political lives. Topics include realism and idealism; nature and convention; family and gender; the relative merits of different constitutions such as monarchy, aristocracy, democracy; the responsibilities of leaders; and the value of studying the history of political thought. This course would constitute ideal preparation for an honors seminar on Plato or Aristotle.
Eligible for INTP
Fall 2022. Thakkar.
Spring 2024. Thakkar.
Catalog chapter: Political Science
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/political-science
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