Political Science 100

Winter 2001

  ETHICS & POLITICS

Professor: Kimberly Smith

Willis 418

Phone: x-4123

Email: ksmith@carleton.edu

Office Hours

Is it possible to be a good person if you're involved in politics? Is it possible to be a good person if you're not involved in politics? What are the moral risks, and rewards, of politics? Is there, or should there be, a special ethic of politics? These are our central questions, but they will take us down many side roads: Loyalty, idealism, honesty, interest, love, suffering, justice - how do these fit into a political life? What sort of people get involved in politics, what sort should get involved, and what happens to them? And most importantly, should you devote part of your life to political action?

Course requirements:

  1. This is a discussion course. Students are expected to do the readings before class and come prepared to participate actively in class discussion. I'll do very little if any lecturing. Satisfactory participation is required to pass the course.
  2. There will be a number of short papers assigned over the course of the term. Satisfactory completion of these papers is required to pass the course. Satisfactory completion may require one or more rewrites.
OUTLINE OF COURSE

I. Introduction

Class 1: Intro

II. Three Political Ethics

Class 2: Marsilius of Padua, Defender of the Peace, Ch. 14 (handout)
Machiavelli, The Prince, Ch. 15 (handout)

Class 3: Weber, Politics as a Vocation, pp. 118-128 [R]

*paper 1 due

III. Role Morality

Class 4: Ishiguro, Remains of the Day, pp. 3-110

Class 5: Ishiguro, 113-201

Class 6: Ishiguro, 205-end

*paper 2 due

*Class 7: Evening session

Film: Twelve Angry Men

Class 8: Discussion of Twelve Angry Men

IV. Politics as a Vocation

Class 9: Warren, All the King's Men, Ch. 1-2

Class 10: Warren, Ch. 3

Class 11: Warren, Ch. 4-5

Class 12: Warren, Ch. 6-7

Class 13: Warren, Ch. 8-9

Class 14: Warren, Ch. 10

*paper 3 due

*Class 15: Evening session

Film: Primary Colors

Class 16: Discussion of Primary Colors

V. Ethics and the Politics of Resistance

Class 17: LeGuin, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas [R]

Class 18: Steinbeck, In Dubious Battle, Ch. 1-6

Class 19: Steinbeck, Ch. 7-11

Class 20: Steinbeck, Ch. 11-end

Class 21: Walker, Meridian, intro-p. 48

Class 22: Walker, pp. 49-98

Class 23: Walker, pp. 99-153

Class 24: Walker, pp. 153-end

Class 25: King, Love, Law and Civil Disobedience [R]

Foreman, A Defense of Monkeywrenching [R]

Class 26: Film: "A Force More Powerful"

Class 27: Discussion of "A Force More Powerful"

*paper 4 due

Class 28: Conclusions

 

*final paper due Monday, March 12 at 12:00