This course considers fundamental questions of political theory, through reading and discussion of a selections from classic works by major thinkers of the modern era. The course offers an opportunity to step back from the news headlines to reflect theoretically on the basis and extent of legitimate political authority, and the claimed justifications for the use of coercive force either to uphold or resist it. At the same time, the course is intended to foster an informed and articulate critical perspective on the fraught and volatile political situation in the United States at the present moment, along with comparable crises of legitimation elsewhere in the world. The syllabus for Spring 2021 is being adjusted to accommodate discussion of the political crisis precipitated by the recent political events in the U.S.
Please note that despite the 400-level course number, the course has no prerequisites. Students from all Pratt programs are welcome, whatever their amount of prior coursework in the subject, or level of familiarity with the subject-matter. Please feel free to contact me (through my Pratt email) with any questions about the course. RT