POLITICAL SCIENCE 650:  ARISTOTLE’S ETHICS AND RHETORIC

Fall, 2010

Instructor: Larry Arnhart

Office: Zulauf 404

Office telephone: 815-753-7049

Email: larnhart@niu.edu

Office hours:  Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2:00 pm—4:00 pm, other times by appointment

 

CLASS MEETINGS

Mondays, 6:30 pm-9:10 pm, DuSable Hall 466

 

REQUIRED TEXTS

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, trans. Joe Sachs (Focus Publishing, 2002)

Aristotle and Plato, Plato’s Gorgias and Aristotle’s Rhetoric, trans. Joe Sachs (Focus Publishing 2009)

Douglas Rasmussen and Douglas Den Uyl, Liberty and Nature: An Aristotelian Defense of Liberal Order (Open Court, 1991).

 

GRADING

The final grade will be based on the grades for journal writing (15% for journal entries 1-6 and journal responses 1-5, 15% for journal entries 7-13 and journal responses 6-12), two class discussion papers (10% each), a term paper (20%), and class participation (30%).

 

For the journal writing, you will be divided into groups of three people—one group for the first half of the semester, another for the second half.  You will give copies of your journal entries to the other two people in your journal group.  Then you will write responses to the journal entries you have received.  Each journal entry should be at least 600 words long.  Each journal response should be at least 300 words long.  The journal entry will convey your thoughts about the reading for that week.  Usually, it’s best to pick one topic that you can cover in a brief entry.  The journal response is your response to the journal entry you have received.  The purpose of this journal writing is to generate a written conversation to complement the oral conversations in class.

 

For the two class discussion papers, you will select two weeks in the semester for which you will write a paper on the reading for that week.  Copies of the discussion paper will be distributed to all members of the class by email no later than 5:00 pm of the Saturday preceding the class meeting.  Each discussion paper should be at least 1,200 words long.  The purpose of each paper is to stimulate discussion in class by offering your interpretation and assessment of something in the reading for the week.  There will be no more than two discussion papers for each week.  Whenever you write a class discussion paper, that will also serve as your journal entry for that week.

 

Since this is a graduate seminar, everyone is expected to show regular and instructive class participation.

 

The term paper will be due no later than December 7 at 2:00 pm at the instructor’s office.  This paper should be at least 2,500 words long.  The purpose of this paper is to allow you to work though one topic related in some way to the readings and discussions in this course.

 

 

ASSIGNMENTS

 

Aug  23:  Introduction

 

Aug 30:   Aristotle, NE, Books 1-2

Journal entry #1

 

Sept  6:    No class (Labor Day)

 

Sept  13:  Aristotle, NE, Books 3-4

Journal entry #2

Journal response #1

 

Sept  20:  Aristotle, NE, Book 5

Journal entry #3

Journal response #2

 

Sept  27:  Aristotle, NE, Books 6-7

Journal entry #4

Journal response #3

 

Oct  4:     Aristotle, NE, Books 8-9

Journal entry #5

Journal response #4

 

Oct 11:    Aristotle, NE, Book 10

Journal entry #6

Journal response #5

 

Oct 18:    No class

 

Oct  25:   Aristotle, Rhetoric, Book 1, chapters 1-8

Journal entry #7

Journal response #6

 

Nov  1:    Aristotle, Rhetoric, Book 1, chapters 9-15

Journal entry #8

Journal response #7

 

 

 

Nov  8:    Aristotle, Rhetoric, Book 2, chapters 1-11

Journal entry #9

Journal response #8

 

Nov  15:  Aristotle, Rhetoric, Book 2, chapters 12-26

Journal entry #10

Journal response #9

 

Nov  22:  Aristotle, Rhetoric, Book 3

Journal entry #11

Journal response #10

 

Nov  29:  Rasmussen and Den Uyl, pages 1-115

Journal entry #12

Journal response #11

 

Dec  6, 6:00 pm-7:50 pm:  Rasmussen and Den Uyl, pages 131-144, 162-165, 173-191, 206-225

Journal entry #13

Journal response #12

 

Dec  7:  term paper due in the instructor’s office no later than 2:00 pm