HIST212 - CLASSICAL LIBERAL THGHT

Description: 
This seminar will examine the competing and diverse currents of classical liberal thought that have been a part of the Western dialogue from the nineteenth century to the present. The course requires active participations in discussion and two papers, one brief and one a longer paper. "Classical Liberal Thought," in briefest form, is a belief in minimal government and maximal individual choice, consistent with peace and order. Looked at from afar, any movement of thought might seem all of one piece. Studied up close, however, what seemed uniform at first becomes complex and diverse. As one studies such things as Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Marxism, Islam, conservatism, or feminism, for example, the more that one reads, analyzes, and compares, the more internal debates and differences one sees in each, whatever the agreements. Our "classical liberals" disagree, often in ways that make them mutually incompatible, about rights, benefits, ethical criteria, safety nets, human nature, and human history. The function of our discussion will be to analyze individual thinkers and, as we read beyond the first of them, to compare our thinkers, looking always both for agreements and, above all, for disagreements.
Instructors: 
KORS, ALAN
Day and Time: 
T 0300PM-0600PM
Room: 
VAN PELT LIBRARY 452
Activity: 
SEM
Cross Listings: 
    Registration Notes: 
    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN SEMINARS