Laurence Cooper Fall 1997
416 Willis Office Hours: Tues. 10-12
x4lll and by appt.


I. Purpose and Scope

 In this course we shall examine modern political thought through a careful reading of several classic texts. These texts do not tell the whole story of modernity, but they do tell an important part of it, and a part of special concern to those of us who live in liberal societies. Since the works to be read are often difficult and subtle, you should be sure to give them the time and attention they require. It is very important that you come to class prepared to discuss the assigned material.

For additional help with the reading, you may consult the appropriate chapters of History of Political Philosophy, edited by Strauss and Cropsey, which has been placed on reserve in the library. I encourage you, however, to read the texts carefully on your own before consulting any secondary works.


II. Course Requirements

 In addition to careful and timely reading of the assigned texts there will be a two short papers (25% each) and a final exam (40%). Class participation will count for 10%.

 III. Academic Honesty

 In accordance with Carleton policy, strict standards of academic integrity will be upheld in this class. Your signature on a test or assignment means that you have neither given nor received unauthorized aid. Students who are found to have violated this standard can expect severe sanctions.

 IV. Assigned Texts

 The following books are available for purchase at the bookstore:

Hobbes, Leviathan

Locke, Second Treatise of Government

Rousseau, The First and Second Discourses (trans. Masters)

Rousseau, On the Social Contract (trans. Masters)

Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals (trans. Kaufmann)

Tocqueville, Democracy in America (trans. Lawrence)


V. Reading Schedule 

I. The Rise of Modern Political Science

September 12 Hobbes, Author's Introduction and Chapters 5-6 and 9-10
September 15 Hobbes, Chapters 11 and 13-15
September 17 Hobbes, Chapters 17-18, 19 (first seven paragraphs only), 21 and 29

II. Liberalism and the Birth of the Bourgeois 

September 19 Locke, Chapters 1-4
September 22 Locke, Chapters 5-6
September 24 Locke, Chapters 7-8
September 26 Locke, Chapters 9-11
September 29 Locke, Chapters 12-17
October 1 Locke, Chapters 18-19

III. Rousseau's Rebellion

 October 3 Rousseau, First Discourse
October 6 Rousseau, Second Discourse, Preface and Part I
October 8 Rousseau, Second Discourse, Part II
October 10 Review previous reading, especially Preface


October 13 Mid-term Break
October 15 Rousseau, On the Social Contract, Book I
October 17 Rousseau, On the Social Contract, Book II
October 20 Rousseau, On the Social Contract, Book III
October 22 Rousseau, On the Social Contract, Book IV

IV Nietzsche's Assault

October 24 Nietzsche handout
October 27 Nietzsche, Genealogy, First Essay
October 29 Nietzsche, Genealogy, Second Essay
October 31 Review previous reading


V. Tocqueville, or Two Cheers for Liberalism

November 3 Tocqueville, pp. 9-20 and 31-60
November 5 Tocqueville, pp. 246-276
November 7 Tocqueville, pp. 287-301 and 503-517
November 10 Tocqueville, pp. 525-549, 614-16 and 627-32
November 12 Tocqueville, pp. 667-705
November 14 Conclusion