Power

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Philosophy

“Justice removed, then, what are kingdoms but great bands of robbers? What are bands of robbers themselves but little kingdoms?” (Augustine)

“The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, thought of saying “This is mine‟ and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society‟ (Rousseau).

Discuss with reference to both Rousseau and Augustine. Are they using political theory to simply justify power as it exists, or are they making a different argument? What is distinct in their philosophical questions, approaches, and potential answers? Conclude by examining why their differences matter for the way we conceive of the proper role of society and our own roles within it.

Readings:
Augustine
J. Elshtain Augustine and the Limits of Politics
J. Rist, Augustine, Ancient Thought Baptised, Chapter 6,
M. Hanby, Augustine and Modernity
H. Chadwick, Augustine: A Very Short Introduction
R. Dodaro, Christ and the Just Society in the Thought of Augustine, Chapters 2-3,
E. Stump and N. Kretzmann, Cambridge Companion to Augustine, “Augustine’s Political Philosophy,”
Georgetown Augustine Project, “Augustine the African,” “Christianity and Society,” “Confessions”
Augustine, The City of God Against the Pagans, Book 4, Chapter 4 and Book 19 chapters 11-14, 17
Rousseau
D. Boucher and P. Kelly Political Thinkers (Chapter 14)
H. Gildin Rousseau’s Social Contract: the design of the argument
I. Hampsher-Monk A History of Political Thought, (Chapter 4)
T.O’Hagan Rousseau, (Chapters 4-6)
S. Johnston Encountering Tragedy, (Chapter 4)
D. Knowles Political Philosophy, (Chapter 7)
J. Plamenatz Man and Society Vol. 1
J-J. Rousseau Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men (also entitled Second Discourse)
J. Shklar Men and Citizens
T. Strong The Politics of the Ordinary
D. Tannenbaum and G. Schultz Inventors of Ideas, (Ch. 14)
N. Warburton et al. Machiavelli to Mill, (Ch. 4)
**Numerous and varied sources are also available through searches on scholar.google.com and through the Google Books, Project Gutenberg, MIT Classics, and many other sources. The online database, JSTOR, available through the University is also an excellent place to search for additional information.

Course name: political theory