David Justice

Postdoctoral Fellow at Baylor University

Social World I: The City and the Soul

Baylor University (Waco, TX), Fall 2023

This course studies classic works from the ancient and medieval traditions of western social and political thought up to the modern rejection of those traditions inaugurated by Machiavelli. Ancient and medieval thinkers typically conceived of civic life as involving an ordering of the soul as well as an arrangement of physical conditions and resources, while early moderns like Machiavelli promote a realism dominated by the concepts of material self-interest and bodily security. With this course, we seek to put in place a framework to facilitate our own reconsideration of the famous "quarrel between the ancients and the moderns" on perennial questions of social and political organization. Representative texts include Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics and Nicomachean Ethics, and modern interlocutors in the social and psychological sciences.

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