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Foundations of Modern Politics

16-Week Session

  • 350 US dollars
  • Online

Service Description

Fridays, August 28 - December 18 (except November 27) 2:30 - 3:35 PM EST We live in a time where there is a good deal of confusion about what conservatives and progressives actually believe. Conservatives tend to have predictable opinions about marriage, guns, taxes, and morality, but what philosophical convictions underwrite these opinions? What philosophical convictions underwrite progressive opinions on these matters? What does it mean for a man to consistently reason and act according to conservative principles? In order to answer these questions, one must go back to the beginning of the debate between conservatives and progressives. In Foundations of Modern Politics, Joshua Gibbs leads students through three works of modern political philosophy which have deeply shaped contemporary political discourse: Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract, Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolutions in France, and Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto. We will also read Plato’s Republic, the first and most important work of political philosophy ever written. In reading these books, students will not simply find lists of issues about which either party feels strongly. Rather, students will encounter the divide between liberals and conservatives which originates in disagreements about time, nature, and pleasure. Foundations of Modern Politics will prove a helpful class for parents whose children have lately begun inquiring about the news, about fashionable political movements, and about the concepts of justice and injustice. Students will be given the tools and perspective they need to see beyond the surface of contemporary news stories to the theological convictions which drive modern men and women. BOOK LIST The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity edited by John McManners The Republic by Plato

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