Introduction to Political Philosophy

Yale Course , Fall 2006 , Prof. Steven B. Smith

Lecture 1: Introduction: What is Political Philosophy?

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Lecture Details :

Introduction to Political Philosophy (PLSC 114)

Professor Smith discusses the nature and scope of "political philosophy." The oldest of the social sciences, the study of political philosophy must begin with the works of Plato and Aristotle, and examine in depth the fundamental concepts and categories of the study of politics. The questions "which regimes are best?" and "what constitutes good citizenship?" are posed and discussed in the context of Plato's Apology.

00:00 - Chapter 1. What Is Political Philosophy?
12:16 - Chapter 2. What Is a Regime?
22:19 - Chapter 3. Who Is a Statesman? What Is a Statesman?
27:22 - Chapter 4. What Is the Best Regime?

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:

This course was recorded in Fall 2006.

Course Description :

Introduction: What is Political Philosophy - Socratic Citizenship: Plato's Apology-Plato's Crito - Philosophers and Kings: Plato's Republic,Plato's Republic,Plato's Republic - The Mixed Regime and the Rule of Law: Aristotle's Politics - New Modes and Orders: Machiavelli's The Prince - The Sovereign State: Hobbes' Leviathan - Constitutional Government: Locke's Second Treatise - Constitutional Government: Locke's Second Treatise - Democracy and Participation: Rousseau's Discourse - Democratic Statecraft: Tocqueville's Democracy in America - In Defense of Politics

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