PHIL 332 A: History of Modern Political Philosophy

Spring 2024
MW 2:30pm - 4:20pm / SAV 156
Section Type:
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

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PHIL 332: History of Modern Political Philosophy

Spring 2024

Instructor: José J. Mendoza  


Office: Savery Hall 385

Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 4:30-5:30pm


Course Description

This course is designed as a broad introductory survey to some of the principal authors, ideas, concepts, and problems found in the history of modern political philosophy.


Meeting Time and Location:

Monday and Wednesday, 2:30-4:20pm, in Savery Hall 156


Required Texts

All Texts will be available on Canvas.


Reading Schedule

WEEK ONE (Mar 25th and Mar 27th)

Niccolo Machiavelli: The Prince and Discourses on Livy (selections) 

WEEK TWO (April 1st and April 3rd)

Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan (selections)

WEEK THREE (April 8th and April 9th)

John Locke: Second Treatise of Government (selections)

WEEK FOUR(April 15th and April 17th)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Social Contract and The Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (selections)

WEEK FIVE (April 22th and April 24th)

United States Declaration of Independence

Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

David Hume: "Of the First Principles of Government"; "Of the Origin of Government"; and "Of the Original Contract"

Edmund Burke: "Reflections on the Revolution in France"

WEEK SIX (April 29th and May1st)

Marie-Olympes de Gouges: "Declaration of the Rights of Women and Citizens"

Mary Wollstonecraft: "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman"

WEEK SEVEN (May 6th and 8th)

Charles Montesquieu: Spirit of the Laws (selections)

Publius (a.k.a. James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay): The Federalist Papers (selections)

WEEK EIGHT (May13th and May 15th)

Immanuel Kant: "On the Common Saying: 'This May be True in Theory, but it does not Apply in Practice'"

WEEK NINE (May 20th and May 22nd)

Jeremy Bentham: "An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation"

John Stuart Mill: "On Liberty" and "On the Subjection of Women"

WEEK TEN (May 27th and May 29th)

Karl Marx: "A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy" (selections); "Alienated Labor"; "Critique of the Gotha Program" (selections) and The Communist Manifesto



Reading Quizzes (40% of course grade or 1.6 of the 4.0 total)

Two Writing Assignments (60% of course grade or 2.4 of the 4.0 total)


Grading Scale

(roughly each 1% increment between grades is equivalent to 0.1)

A          95% = 4.0

B          85% = 3.0

C          75% = 2.0

D         65% = 1.0

At the end of the quarter I will convert your course grade from a percentage to the UW 4-point scale using this metric: 95% and up is 4.0; 94% is 3.9; 93% is 3.8; etc.  Each 1% step is a 0.1 step on the UW 4-point scale. So an 86.1%, e.g., would give you a 3.1 on the UW scale. 85.5% rounds up to 86% (and thus 3.1), but 85.49% does not. At the bottom of the scale, however, 60% also rounds up to 0.7. See image below.



Catalog Description:
Examination of major political philosophies from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth century, with attention to the underlying philosophical methods and foundations.
GE Requirements Met:
Social Sciences (SSc)
Writing (W)
Last updated:
July 19, 2024 - 2:26 pm