We human beings are strange animals...the one and only political animals. Why do human beings alone organize ourselves into political regimes and govern ourselves with laws? How should we order our political communities so as to encourage the flourishing of our distinctive nature? Explore questions such as these with aid of great thinkers from Plato to Alexis de Tocqueville.
Fall: FYW 1138: Know Yourself
the first-year writing seminar graduation
requirement) investigates the question at the heart of a truly liberal education, the question of human nature and human purpose. In antiquity, the Delphic Oracle instructed human beings to “know themselves.” But is to know ourselves to learn to be “at home” with ourselves, and in the world? Or is to know ourselves to know that we cannot be at home in this world - that we are wayfaring strangers, just passing through? What do these different conceptions of our nature mean for how we should live?
Spring: POLI 103: Introduction to Political Thought (which fulfills the Ultimate Questions GER) considers the comprehensive political questions: justice, the best regime, and the good human life. With the help of some of the great texts of political philosophy, this course explores the enduring philosophical problems - the meaning of virtue and happiness, the origins of legitimate authority - toward which our everyday political disagreements point.