[SOLVED] History of Political Thought
History of Political Thought: final reflection paper instructions For the final (and main) assignment, students will need to write and submit a 2000-2500 words reflection paper, based on the course material: Hannah Arendt, Prologue, The Human Condition Aristophanes, and a lighthearted entry to the theme of good political order Reading: Ecclesiazusae (Recommended: The Clouds) Reading: Aristotle, Politics, Book I (all), Book II (Ch. 1-5), Book VI (all); (recommended: the rest of Politics). Ibn Khaldun, and a Muslim look at origins and varieties of human social order Reading: The Muqaddimah (selections) Machiavelli, and the model of the Roman Republic Reading: Machiavellis Discourses: Book I Intro, 1-4, 7, 9, 11, 17, 18, 26, 27, 37, 38, 49, 53- 55,58; Book III 27, 29, 41, 47, 49. Hobbes, and the Social Contract Reading: Leviathan, Authors Introduction, and Chapters 13-15, 17-19, 21, and 29. Locke, and the Liberal Social Contract Reading: The Second Treatise, Chs. 1-5 and 8-14. Rousseau, and the Republican Social Contract Reading: The Social Contract, Books I and II (all); Book III Chs 1, 8, Book IV Ch. 8. Montesquieu, and a different look at origins and evolution of political societies and regimes Reading: The Spirit of Laws (selections) Week Eleven (Nov 9 13) Karl Marx and the revolutionary socialist alternative Week Twelve (Nov 16 20) Ayn Rand, and a radical un-socialist alternative The generic theme for the reflection paper is: How to build a good political order? In search of an answer across centuries. Note, again, this is a generic theme, based on which you will be expected to specify a narrower topic. Some ways to narrow down (can be combined): – Select several authors/readings you would like to focus most, to discuss them by comparing, contrasting, etc. – Select a unifying concept, idea, argument, on which several authors/works touch, and thus allow for a convenient comparative reflection. – Possible to build on a definitional problem a debated, controversial, elusive concept or idea that can be discussed and explained by teasing it out through multiple authors. – Opt for a chronological evolution of an idea across several of our authors/works to show how an idea or argument evolved, or remained the same, across time. – Select a particular concern, problem, dissatisfaction you felt in reading several authors and thus, write the paper focusing on such a problem. Important requirements: – The paper will need to offer a cross-author/cross-work discussion, by comparing, contrasting and other ways of critique of several authors. Ideally, 5-6 authors. 4 is also ok. 2-3 is too few. More than 6 may be too difficult to handle in a short paper. – The paper needs to be a good essay; not a list of brief comments on several authors one by one. Therefore, it is quite important to come up with a nice topic that helps you to think about multiple sources in a critical reflection. – The paper needs to be your reflection on the course material !!! it is necessary to offer your own thoughts, reading, understanding, critique, etc. It should not be a mere passive retelling of what author X, author Y and author Z wrote about something. – References to the relevant readings, with quotes where necessary, are needed. Not important to be very specific in citation details but it should be just clear that you are working with specific sources, and you cite appropriate.
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