CBCA 1204 Justice, Power, and Democracy: Introduction to Ancient Greek Political Thought

The origins of political philosophy—and of political thought more generally—are found in ancient Greece, and Greek political thinkers were the first to compare and analyze the forms of government (democracy and oligarchy, aristocracy and tyranny, etc.) that continue to shape our conception of the political. The Greeks not only invented democracy, but were lead by their own political experience to reflect on the nature of justice, and role of power, and the inevitable conflict between the two. In this class we will examine these fundamental questions of political philosophy through a close readings of selected texts of the historians Herodotus and Thucydides, and as well as from the philosophers Plato and Aristotle, in an attempt to undertand the continuing relevance of greek political thought in our own day.



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