Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Social & Political Philosophy Syllabus & Schedule Spring 2011

PHIL 2 – Soc/Pol Phil, Spring 2011 Instructor: Eric Gerlach
Mon/Wed 9:30-10:45 am Office Hours: Mondays 11-12 @ K’s Coffee
Class Code: 24260 Email: ericgerlach@gmail.com
Room: BCC 52 Blog: ericgerlach.blogspot.com

Social & Political Philosophy Syllabus & Class Schedule

Course Description
This course introduces students to the history of Social and Political Philosophy. We will study ancient and modern thinkers on the subjects of human nature, social class, authority, liberty, capitalism, socialism, communism, anarchism, fascism, post-colonialism, and feminism.

Required Texts:
-The only text for the class is the Course Reader, available at Lazer Image, 61 Shattuck Square, Berkeley, (510) 644-3339. A copy of the reader will be put on reserve in the BCC Library.

Required Assignments:
- Four In-class Responses 40%
- MIDTERM Exam 30%
- FINAL Exam 30%


Jan 24 Introduction to the class
Jan 26 & 31 Early Civilization (Radin, Kramer, Barthes)
Feb 2 & 7 Human Nature (Mencius, Xun Zi, Mo Zi)
Feb 9 & 14 Social Class/Caste (Plato & Aristotle) (1st Response)
Feb 16 & 23 Authority & Sovereignty (Machiavelli & Hobbes)
Feb 28 & Mar 2 Rights & Liberty (Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Thoreau)
Mar 7 & 9 French & US Revolutions (Paine, US Constitution) (2nd Response)
Mar 14 & 16 Capitalism (Smith, Long)
Mar 21 Review for Midterm Exam
Mar 28 & 30 Hegel, Opposition & Revolution (Marcuse, McLellan)
Apr 4 & 6 Socialism (Engels, Marcuse)
Apr 11 & 13 Communism (Marx, Trotsky, Gramsci, Mao) (3rd Response)
Apr 25 & 27 Anarchism (Mayer, Chomsky, Foucault)
May 2 & 4 Fascism (Hitler, Heidegger, Sluga)
May 9 & 11 Post-Colonialism (Fanon, Ayers/Dohrn, West, hooks) (4th Response)
May 16 & 18 Feminism (hooks, Humm, Butler)
May 23 Review for Final Exam
May 25 FINAL EXAM (all work must be turned in by this day)

Student Learning Outcomes:
Information Competency: understand philosophical concepts and systems
Critical Thinking: evaluate philosophical concepts and argue for and against viewpoints
Global Awareness & Valuing Diversity: understand and appreciate diverse cultures of thought

General Student Requirements
Students are expected to come to class prepared to ask questions and participate in discussions. All readings and assignments should be completed by the beginning of class on the day they are listed here. This class is run as a lecture/discussion course.

Students are responsible for all class material (even if they miss class). If you miss class, it is strongly advised that you ask a classmate for notes. It is your responsibility to ask if you missed something; it is not the instructor’s responsibility to remind you. Please read through the syllabus and plan ahead.

Late assignments will only be excused in cases of well-documented emergencies; in addition, students must have evidence that substantial progress has been made on the assignment before the emergency took place. If a student has any extenuating circumstances which may affect full participation in the class, the student must speak to the instructor as far ahead of any due date as possible. All assignments must be completed and all requirements must be met in order to pass the class. You must turn in all assignments (even if they are late) in order to be eligible to receive a “C” grade or higher. There are no exceptions, under any circumstance.

Plagiarism—“[t]o use another person’s ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source” (MLA Handbook, 5th ed., §1.8)—will not be tolerated. Plagiarists, intentional or inadvertent, will receive a zero on the assignment in question; repeat offenders will get an F for the course and will be subject to college disciplinary action. Students are encouraged to review plagiarism policies in the current Vista College catalog.

Attendance is mandatory. If you miss more than five classes, you will receive an F in the course. (Note: I do not distinguish between “excused” and “unexcused” absences; if you miss more than five classes, for any reason, you cannot pass the class.)

A Note on Disabled Student Program and Services (DSP&S): DSP&S services are provided for any enrolled student who has a verified disability that creates an educational limitation that prevents the student from fully benefiting from classes without additional support services or instruction. Please let the instructor know if you require any support services or would like more information about DSP&S.

The syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor. Any changes will be announced in class. Additional handouts of required readings may also be added.