Next up in our new series of posts previewing summer and fall 2022 courses: Prof. Matt Kuchem, with a HiPPos class that spans the disciplines of philosophy and political science.

POS/PHI345 Modern Political Thought

Days/Times: Tu/Th 2:05-3:20pm in Fall 2022

Prerequisites: one course in political science, philosophy, Western history, or consent of instructor

Counts for:

• Major option: Philosophy (elective), Political Science (Political Philosophy option), Business & Political Science (Poli Sci elective), Digital Humanities (Humanities core elective), Social Studies Education 5-12 (content area elective)

• Minor: Philosophy (elective), Political Science (elective)

Dr. Kuchem adds, “The first page of the course syllabus features a photo of the exterior of the Louvre Museum in Paris. The juxtaposition of the ‘classical’ and ‘modern’ architectural styles represent the stark contrast between the classical and modern views of politics in Western thought which we will encounter in this course.”

Complete the sentence: “Students should consider taking this course because…”

“…they’ll get to read from some of the best authors who’ve grappled with some of the biggest questions about politics and society.”

What’s a big question that you’re asking in this course?

What is justice, and what makes a political system just?

How often have you taught this course? What’s something you plan to do differently this time?

I teach this course every other year and usually tweak a few of the readings. But one of the fun things about this seminar is that every time I teach it, class discussions (on the same texts) often go in different and unexpected directions.

What’s a reading you’re especially excited for students in this course to discuss?

Truthfully, all of them! But since that’s not a particularly illuminating response, I’ll say that I’m looking forward to diving into the political philosophy of John Rawls on the nature of justice in a pluralistic society. How can we create a cohesive and just society when we disagree on what justice actually is? We’ll do a deep dive into his later work, plus look at some of his critics.

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