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Social Studies Courses

Western Political Thought

Who should take this course? ​​​​​​​ Seniors who are interested in learning about the foundational thinkers and texts of western political thought should sign up for this year-long course.

What will we be studying?

We will begin with ancient Greek thinkers like Thucydides, Plato and Aristotle, move through the medieval era with Augustine and Aquinas and then conclude with modern philosophers like Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke, Kant, Marx, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche and more. By the time we are finished, students should have mastered the basics of western political philosophy.

What will be expected of me? How is the course taught?

Students will be expected to attend class, participate in discussions, and complete reading and writing assignments. Students should also be prepared to grapple with some of the profound questions asked by philosophers--questions about the meaning of justice, the purpose of life as well as the desired outcomes of a political community.

Are there any special demands,costs, etc.?

Only a desire to read about these seminal thinkers.

Details and pre/co-requisites:

This is a full year course. Students should be prepared for high-level discussions and assignments. If more than 34 sign up, admission will be determined based on GPA as well as recommendations from previous teachers.