POLI 355: Political Philosophy: Plato to Machiavelli Report a Broken Link

This course provides an overview of classical political thinking about the best life for humankind and the best ways to live together as a community in which members share similar aspirations. The course is divided into two parts; seven units form Part 1 and six units make up Part 2. Part 1 addresses the main similarities and differences in the political ideas of Plato and Aristotle, and forms two-thirds of the course content. These thinkers, arguably, have been the most intellectually significant as well as the most influential philosophical thinkers then or since. Part 2 discusses a handful of philosophers who embroidered in interesting ways on some of the earlier ideas about politics.

Required Readings


Unit 1


Read Chapter 1.

Unit 2


Unit 5


Unit 7


Stiehm, Judith Hicks. “The Unit of Political Analysis: Our Aristotelian Hangover.” Discovering Reality: Feminist Perspectives on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science. Edited by Sandra Harding and Merrill B. Hintikka. Dordrecht, Holland: Reidel, 1983. 31–43.

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Unit 8


Read Chapter 16.

Unit 9