Ancient Political Science

Paul Bullen

The goal of this course is to understand what Aristotle means when he says that political science is the ruling science. The precedents in the sophists and Plato are studied with a view to elucidating Aristotle.

The course will be two-thirds lecture and one third discussion. Grades will be based on class participation and a paper.

Plato, Collected Dialogues (Cooper, ed.; Hackett)
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (Irwin, trans.; Hackett)
Aristotle, Politics (Reeve, trans.; Hackett)

I. Sophists
Week 1: Introduction and background
Week 2: Plato, Protagoras 317E–328C

II. Plato
Week 3: Gorgias 462B–465D, Euthydemus 289D–293A, Republic (selections),
Week 5: Statesman beginning–262A2; 279E6–280A6; 287A7–end
Week 4: Laws (selections)
Week 6: Cleitophon, Minos, Alcibiades I, Rival Lovers (selections)

III. Aristotle
Week 7: Nicomachean Ethics: I 1-4, V 1-2, VI, X 9
Week 8: Politics III, VII-VIII
Week 9: Politics I 1-7, 12-13 , IV 1-2
Week 10: Summary

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