David Justice

Postdoctoral Fellow at Baylor University

BIC 2340: Social World II: Modernity and the Problem of Order

Baylor University (Waco, TX), Spring 2023

This course studies classic modern works of western social and political thought that have played a formative role in the rise of modern political life and contemporary social science. In works by Hobbes and Locke, for example, we explore the origins of contemporary liberal democracy and consider the initial efforts to formulate a social science on the model of modern natural science. In works by Rousseau and Marx, we encounter the first great critical assessment of modern liberalism and examine its impact on the political landscape of modernity as well as on the study of social and political life. Utilizing the framework erected in the previous semester (Social World I), we also continue our mediation of the famous "quarrel between the ancients and the moderns" on certain perennial questions of human existence. Representative texts include Hobbes' Leviathan, Locke's Letter Concerning Toleration and Second Treatise, Rousseau's Social Contract, Smith's Wealth of Nations, Marx's German Ideology, Weber's The Protestant Ethic, and Mills' The Racial Contract.

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