Associate Professor Northeastern University

PHIL 3721: ADVANCED TOPICS IN VALUE THEORY - HOBBES, LOCKE, ROUSSEAU

Fall 2012 || Level 3 Semester 1 Module 2011/2012

My office: Room 2.07, 3 Cavendish Road

Office Hours: Tuesday 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM, Wednesday 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (or by appointment)

Course Description:

One core idea of modern political thought in the West is the social contract. As the social contract was theorized over the centuries, it also became a central feature in contemporary ethical theory, as realized in Rawls’s and Scanlon’s contractualism and Habermas’s discourse ethics. Consequently, in order to appreciate contemporary Western ethical and political thought, one does well to have a firm grasp of the various initial formulations of the social contract. The three main defenders of this view are Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Hobbes’ revolutionary account of the social contract continues to play an important role in contemporary political theorizing. Locke’s elaboration of the social contract formed the basis of the American democratic tradition. Rousseau’s articulation of an ideal of a social contract both played a central role in the French Revolution and inspired Kant’s moral and political theory. In this course, we will study closely the classic presentations of the social contract as found in selected texts by these thinkers.

Module Outline:

**READINGS MAY BE CHANGED, AND NEW READINGS MAY BE ADDED**

Week 1: The Headwaters of Modern Political Philosophy

26 Sep

Introduction – No Reading

27 Sep

Selections – on website

28 Sep

No additional reading

Week 2: Hobbes

3 Oct

Leviathan, Chapters 6 – 12

4 Oct

Leviathan, Chapter 13

5 Oct

Leviathan, Chapters 14 – 15

Week 3: Hobbes

10 Oct

Leviathan, Chapter 16

11 Oct

Leviathan, Chapter 17

12 Oct

No additional reading

Week 4: Hobbes

17 Oct

Leviathan, Chapters 18 – 20

18 Oct

Leviathan, Chapters 21 – 27

19 Oct

Leviathan, Chapters 28 – 30

Week 5

NO MEETINGS

Week 6 – John Locke

31 Oct

Second Treatise, Sections 1 – 24

1 Nov

No New Reading

2 Nov

Second Treatise, Sections 25 – 51

Week 7 – John Locke

7 Nov

No New Reading

8 Nov

Second Treatise, Sections 77 – 142

9 Nov

No New Reading

Week 8 – John Locke, J.J. Rousseau

Nov 14

Second Treatise, Sections 211 – 243

Nov 15

Nov 16

Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Part 1

Week 9 – Jean Jacques Rousseau

Nov 21

Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Part 2

Nov 22

No New Reading

Nov 23

Social Contract, Book 1

Week 10 – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Nov 28

Social Contract, Book 2

Nov 29

No New Reading

Nov 30

Social Contract, Book 3

Week 11

NO MEETINGS