Archive for July, 2009

Revised 451 Syllabus

July 8, 2009

I’ve posted a new draft of the syllabus for POLS 451, my fall seminar on toleration and public reason.  I’ve dropped one historical week (Bayle) and one theoretical week (Raz and Estlund), added an applied week (education), and left the first week of class without any readings.  I’ve also made the laptop ban just a suggestion, to be discussed in the first week of class.  The syllabus is here


POLS 354, 2009-10

July 2, 2009

POLS 354 (offered Winter 2010) is a lecture course on democratic theory.  The course focuses on the philosophical foundations of democracy, but also addresses more concrete issues of institutional design and civic ethics.  I will post a draft syllabus in the Fall.

POLS 456, 2009-10

July 2, 2009

Libertarianism has been much in the news this past year, as the financial crisis unfolded, and the influence of novelist Ayn Rand on Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan became a matter of public debate. POLS 456 (offered Winter 2010) will cover the classic general statements of libertarianism (e.g. Friedman, Hayek, Nozick), but also examine specific policy issues from a libertarian perspective (e.g. drug use, marriage). The course will focus on standard, “right-libertarianism,” but will also address recent debates about “left-libertarianism” (Vallentyne, Steiner, Otsuka; people who start from libertarian philosophical assumptions, but reach egalitarian conclusions about policy, roughly speaking). The readings will all be from the 20th and 21st centuries (though remembering your Locke from POLS 250 would be helpful).

What is libertarianism? The following links will give you the flavour: