†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE

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POLITICAL SCIENCE 351††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††PROFESSOR CHRISTOPHER WHIDDEN

LIBERALISM AND ITS CRITICS††††††††††††† †††††††††OFFICE: ZULAUF 424

SPRING 2005†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††OFFICE HOURS: MONDAY, 12PM-3PM

CLASS MEETS: TTH 2:00-3:15PM†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† AND BY APPOINTMENT

ROOM: DUSABLE 461 †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††EMAIL: cwhidden@niu.edu (use this to contact me) ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† LIBERALISM AND ITS CRITICS

 

Catalog Description: Advocates and critics of the political philosophy of liberalism, which contends that the purpose of civil society is to secure peaceful enjoyment of natural individual rights (life, liberty and property). Representative authors include Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Burke, and Nietzsche. Students are advised that it is highly recommended (though not required) that they take POLS 251 (Introduction to Political Philosophy), either concurrently (i.e. at the same time), or prior to taking POLS 351.††

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† What this course will study

 

Contemporary liberalism and conservatism agree that certain parts of human life should be free from public/government regulation. They call these parts of human life ďprivateĒ as distinguished from ďpublic; or sometimes ďsocietyĒ as distinguished from the ďstateĒ or ďgovernment.Ē While they agree about the existence of these distinctions, they disagree about what areas of human life should belong to the private sphere (or society), and hence be free from political control. Liberals think such things as speech, press, and sexual orientation belong to the private and that government should protect and defend the private sphere but not intrude into and regulate it. Conservatives think the market and property should be similarly protected but not controlled by government. Thus, contemporary liberalism and conservatism both share the same belief that some areas of human life should be free from government control, but they disagree about what those areas are.

 

Contemporary liberalism and conservatism thus understood are both Liberalism, which is the focus of this class. This Liberalism with a capital ďLĒ might be called ďclassical liberalismĒ as distinguished from contemporary liberalism. We will focus on classical liberalism and its critics. This development of that tradition has now culminated in contemporary liberalism and conservatism each of which are partial embodiments of classical liberalism. We will try to understand why the idea of ďthe private sphereĒ came into being, which requires understanding the pre-liberal thought against which Liberalism was a reaction; what reasons justify and attack its existence; and why what was originally one (Liberalism) has become two (contemporary liberalism and conservatism).


 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Required Texts

 

Please purchase the following editions. We will frequently refer to them in class and it will be time consuming and confusing if we do not all have the same editions.The books are available at the bookstore in the Holmes Student Center, as well as at the Village Commons Book Store.

 

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan ed. Richard Tuck

John Locke, Second Treatise of Government ed. Richard Cox

Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence (Please note: This text is not available for purchase.††† But be sure to print a copy of it to have in front of you in class):

††††††††††† http://www.archives.gov/national_archives_experience/charters/declaration_transcript.html

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The First and Second Discourses ed. Roger D. Masters

Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France ed. J.G.A. Pocock

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Use and Abuse of History translated by Adrian Collins

 

 

Recommended Text

 

Students (especially those who have never taken a course in political philosophy) are advised to read Harvey Mansfieldís A Studentís Guide to Political Philosophy in its entirety during the first week of classes.The Studentís Guide provides a faced paced overview of the history of political philosophy.On Tuesday, 1/25 there will be a short quiz at the beginning of class on pp. 29-54 of the Studentís Guide, which is the section most pertinent to our class.As we will not spend much time in class discussing the Studentís Guide, the questions on the quiz will be very straightforward, i.e. can be easily answered by anyone who has done the reading carefully. †††††††††††††††††††††††

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Course Outline

 

1/18 Introduction: Political philosophy, liberal education, Liberalism, liberalism and conservatism.

 

1/20 Introduction to Hobbesí Leviathan.Read Leviathan (pp. 9-11, 69-75, 86-90).Hereafter specific assignments will be made in class for the next class.Students should refer to the study guide on Leviathan that will be distributed in class.

 

1/25 Quiz 1 (The quiz covers Mansfield, Studentís Guide pp. 29-54.)Leviathan, conít.

 

1/27 Leviathan, conít

 

2/1 Leviathan, conít

 

2/3 Leviathan, conít

 

2/8 Leviathan, conít.Take home essay on Hobbes handed out. Due in class on†††

†††††† 2/15.

 

2/10 Leviathan, conít

 

2/15 Hobbes essay due.Begin Lockeís Second Treatise (Read books I-III).

 

2/17 Second Treatise, conít

 

2/22 Second Treatise, conít

 

2/24 Second Treatise, conít

 

3/1 Second Treatise, conít

 

3/3 Second Treatise, conít.Take home essay on Locke handed out.Due in class on 3/10.

 

3/8 Second Treatise, conít

 

3/10 Locke essay due.Declaration of Independence. (Note: The professor will assume that any students who miss the class on the Declaration in order to leave early for spring break are unpatriotic bourgeois worms.)

 

3/15-3/17 No class.Spring Break.

3/22 Introduction to Rousseauís Discourse on Inequality (often called the Second Discourse).Read pp. 101-115

3/24 Second Discourse, conít

3/29 Second Discourse, conít

3/31 Take home essay on Rousseau handed out.Due in class on 4/7.Second Discourse, conít

4/5 Introduction to Burkeís Reflections.Read pp. 3-15.

4/7 Rousseau essay due.Reflections, conít.

4/12 Reflections, conít.

4/14 Reflections, conít

4/19 Reflections, conít

4/21 Take home essay on Burke handed out.Due in class on 4/28.Reflections, conít

4/26 Introduction to Nietzsche, The Use and Abuse of History.Read pp. 3-17.

4/28 Burke essay due.Use and Abuse, conít

5/3 Use and Abuse, conít

5/5 Use and Abuse, conít

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† How to succeed in this course

 


1.Attendance: Attendance at each class is both expected and required. As the texts we are reading are rather difficult, there is no substitute for the experience of being in class and participating in discussions that are designed to help you navigate your way through the texts.If you are a student who has a history of missing class, do not sign up for this course.Students who have extended absences due to illness should notify the instructor as promptly as possible during the absence and produce a doctorís note indicating the nature and duration of the illness. This note should be presented at the first class upon returning. Students who provide written documentation of illness will in no way be penalized for missing class, although they are still responsible for the material covered while they were absent.However, the instructor reserves the right to lower a studentís grade if he or she is habitually or chronically absent without a documented excuse.Exactly how much the final grade will be lowered by in case of excessive or prolonged unexcused absences is solely at the discretion of the professor and will be determined by how many unexcused absences a student has accumulated.If you are concerned that your grade might be lowered because you have to frequently miss class, do not take this class.To succeed in this class, you need to be here for every class discussion.

 

2.Class Preparation: The best way to prepare for each class is to read the entire assigned portion of each book prior to the first day we begin that book. While one reading of this material is not sufficient, the lectures will be easier to grasp if you have done at least that much.I encourage you to make good use of the study guides that I will pass out to you.The study guides are intended to guide your reading.They consist of questions that a student should be able to answer after having read the assignment.While the study guides make no claim to being comprehensive (which is to say you may find parts of a text that you want to talk about in class that are not addressed in the study guide, which is fine), you should hopefully find it to be a challenging but helpful guide as you read some difficult philosophical texts.Be sure to bring your study guide to class every day, as we will often refer to it.

 

3.†† Good note taking is important to your success in this class. Learn to listen carefully to the arguments made and write them down as best you can. Review your notes after class to see if they make sense. By reviewing them soon after they are taken, sometimes you can remember things that will make sense out of what is confusing. Get together with other students periodically to go over each otherís notes. If you got 50% of the discussion and your study partners got 50%, perhaps between you, you will have 75%. What remains unclear can be discussed with the instructor over email or during office hours. One of the important suggestions I can make is to be sure to write down the questions asked by other students and my responses. I frequently use studentsí questions as a vehicle to make important points so if you write down their questions, as well as my answers, you will benefit. If you only write down my responses, without noting the questions to which they are a response, the responses will make little sense.

 

4.Class Participation: The proper kind of participation in the class is expected, required, and

rewarded. Students can earn an ĎAí for class participation by thoughtfully responding to my questions and those raised by their classmates.Also, students who raise their own thoughtful questions and observations that are well grounded in the text we are reading earn credit toward participation.†† In order to earn an ĎAí for class participation, you must not only be present and attentive in class, but also actively participate by answering the professorís questions about the reading, by asking intelligent questions, and by making thoughtful observations.


Classes will be mainly lecture and discussion and most will involve reading aloud and discussing passages from the readings. Since classes are usually conducted by reading and discussing passages from the assigned readings, it is necessary that you bring the appropriate readings to class.

 

Grades and Assignments

 

Grades for this course will be tabulated as follows:

 

Quiz (on 1/25)††††††††††††† 20 pts.

Hobbes essay†††††††††††††† 100 pts.

Locke essay†††††††††††††††† 100 pts.

Rousseau essay††††††††††† 100 pts.

Burke essay††††††††††††††††† 100 pts.

Class participation††††††† 80 pts.

Final exam††††††††††††††††††† 200 pts.(Tues. May 10, 2-3:50 p.m.)

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ≠_______

††††††††††††††††††††††† 700 possible points

A= 630-700 points

B= 560-629 points

C= 490-559 points

D= 420-489 points

F= 419 points or below

 

Each essay will be a 1,000 word (do not exceed 1,000 words) take home essay on a topic of my choosing that will be graded on the basis of: 1) Content and quality of argument; and 2) Written style and clarity.All essays will receive one of four grades:

Check plus: 100 points.Check: 85 points.Check minus: 70 points.

Students who do not hand in an essay will receive a grade of Ďzeroí for that assignment.

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††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Required classroom decorum

 

Be on time to class.Students who consistently arrive late will be reprimanded.If there is a reason as to why you may be late on occasion (such as having to walk all the way across campus between classes) let me know as soon as possible.

Do not leave during class.Use the restroom, get a drink of water, etc. before class begins.If your situation is so pressing that you need to disturb the class and the professor by leaving, please take your things and do not return until the next class session.If you have to leave class early, tell me before class begins and try to sit by the door so that you can slip out quietly and unobtrusively.

While I welcome class discussion, there is to be only one person speaking at a time.Do not have ďside conversationsĒ with other students while the professor or another student is speaking.If you wish to speak, raise your hand and I will recognize you.Students who have not been recognized and who speak out of turn and without raising their hand will be told to stop speaking.

Respect your classmates.In a course such as this one that offers you the opportunity to participate in a discussion, it is essential that you show one another respect.Show respect to others by treating them the way you wish to be treated.Do not snicker at others who have the courage to raise questions and admit that they do not understand.Students who do not show respect for others will draw the professorsí ire.

 

Students with special needs

 

††††††††††† NIU abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which mandates reasonable accommodations be provided for qualified students with disabilities. If you have a disability and may require some type of instructional and/or examination accommodation, please contact me early in the semester so that I can provide or facilitate in providing accommodations you may need. If you have not already done so, you will
need to register with the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR), the designated office on campus to provide services and administer exams with accommodations for students with disabilities. The CAAR office is located on the 4th floor of the University Health Services building (815-753-1303). I look forward to talking with you soon to learn how I may be helpful in enhancing your academic success in this course.

 

Undergraduate Writing Awards

 

The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Departmentís spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28. All copies should have two cover pages Ė one with the studentís name and one without the studentís name. Only papers written in the previous calendar year can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following yearís competition even if the student has graduated.

 

Department of Political Science Web Site

 

Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu