Justice & Power, Second Session, Study Guide


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This is a selection of readings and DVDs which will allow students of this course in political philosophy to explore the ideas presented in the classes.

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Justice & Power, Second Session, Study Guide

  1. 1. GENERALsymbols: after a DVD, (N) = available from Netflix (L) after a book, = Ham Co PublicLibrary; # = number of copies at the Ham Co Public Library.My “office hours” are 24/7 at e-Mail address: jbpowers@mac.comYou can review any session you miss at www.slideshare.net/jbpowersYou will also find some of the handouts there as free downloadsWhen I wrote this little book in 1977 my template was William Ebenstein, Great PoliticalThinkers; Plato to the Present, 1960. @ AbeBooks.com for $1.00 and up. My mentor when Ibegan high school teaching in 1964 had just come back from a John Hay fellowship at Yale. Hereshe had used this text. I team taught with her and the seed was planted. You just can’t beat Abefor $ and availability!Ryan, Alan P., On Politics; A History of Political Thought. 2 vols, Norton, 2012.(L) Az$43. A review in the 10/29/12 New Yorker led me to reference this book. He begins withHerodotus and Thucydides before he goes to Plato and Aristotle. All of our ten are included andquite a few more.The first four sessions below were taught last fall. Hence their numbers. Spring 2013 classesbegin with Thomas Hobbes and are titled v-xi. The first four classes are available on Slideshareat the URL listed above. It is not necessary to review them in order to understand this spring’sclasses. i-Introduction to Justice & PowerRegrettably, Justice & Power has become a collector’s item! ;-) i.e., no copies available. TryeBay ;-)This session is a revised introduction and acknowledgements from the two editions of thebooklet written in the twentieth century. ii-Plato
  2. 2. Below are the texts for a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar at St. John’s College,Santa Fe, in 1984:Annas, Julia, An Introduction to Plato’s Republic. Oxford University Press, 1981 L .For both beginners and advanced students. First of several books assigned reading for an NEHseminar in Santa Fe, NM, summer of 1983.Plato, Plato’s Republic, trans. G.M.A. Grube. Hackett, 1974. L Nice text, goodsummaries and introduction.Shorey, Paul What Plato Said, abridged ed. Univ of Chicago Press, 1965. Synopses ofall the dialogues with analysis and critical comments.White, Nicholas P., A Companion to Plato’s Republic. Hackett, 1979. Another of theseminar texts. iii-AristotleThe Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a very readable entry on Aristotle’s Politics at :http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-politics/index.html#return2-supplement1Aristotle, The Politics; Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought, ed.Stephen Everson Cambridge University Press, 1988. L (4) Excellent 25 page introduction,no annotations.Aristotle, The Politics of Aristotle; Translated with Introduction Analysis and Notesby, Peter L. Phillips Simpson University of North Carolina Press, 1997 . L (2) 44 pagesof introduction, detailed annotations. Especially helpful are his head notes before each section(20-140 lines of text) where he summarizes what Aristotle will be saying in this block of text.Aristotle is not the easiest writer to come to grips with!Stocks, John L., Aristotelianism. Longmans, Green & Co., 1927. L (2) Very readableessay on Aristotle’s place and method in the history of Western Philosophy. Even though the datemay seem to work against it, this short treatment is timeless and demonstrates nicely the rolewhich Aristotle’s contribution has played in the intellectual history of our society. (only 155 pp.)He begins with a biography and what he calls the Socratic succession. Next Aristotle’s World is asort of Cliff’s Notes to the whole body of thought. “The City,’ pp. 103-118 is his digest of ThePolitics. The epilogue is a history of the influence of Aristotle on later thought. iv-Machiavelli
  3. 3. The Borgias DVD (N) 2011--A Showtime series starring Jeremy Irons as a very believableRoderigo Borgia, Pope Alexander vi. His famous children, Cardinal Césare and daughterLucretia, the poisoner are also accurately, if sympathetically portrayed. The storytelling reflectsthe rough and violent behavior of the age hence I’d rate it -R. But it recreates the era which ledMachiavelli to write his ruthless but accurate handbook for princes. It depicts the diplomacy ofRenaissance Italy in a memorable form.Machiavelli, Niccolo, The Prince. If you don’t already have a copy, by all means, buy one.It’s a real page turner. Lots of possibilities at rock bottom prices. Also widely available on line.Everyone should read this book! He wrote in the vernacular when most books were still beingwritten in Latin. And the translations are reflective of Machiavelli’s desire to be easilyunderstood. The library has a million copies of every description. The one with the best intro andnotes is Bondanella’s & Musa’s trans. Oxford Univ Press, 1984. Sadly, of their 2 copies one iscurrently listed as lost. Amazon lists 121 available used from $3.09. There’s an e-Book in ProjectGutenberg for free download at www.gutenberg.org. jbp 9/ 5/12 v-HobbesThe library has a huge collection of Hobbes’ writings, including for the adventurous adownloadable e-book of Leviathan. There are a host of biographies and monographs as well. vi-LockePhysics:The Elegant Universe: Disk 1 DVD (N) 2005--Physicist Brian Greene givesa very understandable introduction to the quest for unification which begins with Newton, thefather of modern physical science, and carries on to the present. I include this because it remindsme of Thales and the beginning of all science with the Greeks who also strove for unification, thesingle principle which explains the physical world. Newton’s was the age which so influencedLocke in his quest to apply natural laws to the study of politics. vii-MontesquieuThe library has a huge collection of Montesquieu’s writings also. There are a host of biographiesand monographs as well. I can’t personally recommend as I haven’t used them. viii-Rousseau
  4. 4. For Rousseau, I recommend the Penguin Classic translations of his three most famous works,Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, The Social Contract, and his celebrated autobiographythe Confessions. Each is preceded by an excellent introduction by its translator, MauriceCranston. Rousseau is a gifted writer which helps explain the tremendous impact of his ideas.These books make a worthy addition to anyone’s library. I have reread them several times withprofit. ix-JeffersonArnn, Larry F., The Founders’ Key. Thomas Nelson, 2012 L(1). This current study of the18th century natural rights philosophy makes an eloquent argument that Jefferson and the otherFounders made “a possession for all ages” with the Declaration and the Constitution. Arnnrejects the Progressives’ contention that this philosophy is an obsolete albatross restrainingtoday’s bureaucratic regulatory state. Read it and decide for yourself.Becker, Carl L., The Declaration of Independence; A Study in the History of PoliticalIdeas. Vintage Books, 1958 (c. 1921) L(3) Abe Books has numerous copies starting at $1 +shipping. This classic work describes the context and the intellectual history of this famousdocument. Amazon has several reprint versions in paper and hardback. This is the book where Ifirst learned about the near plagiarism by Jefferson from Locke’s Second Treatise.Kiernan, Denise & Joseph D’Agnese, Signing Their Lives Away; The Fame andMisfortune of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence. Quirk Books,2009. An easy read on the subject which Becker addresses above. The breezy style is uniqueamong my recommendations , but I have overcome my stuffy academicism in this case. It is awonderful exercise on post-holing history to examine this group of signers. I remember reading ahagiographic coffee table sized book by the DAR (?) in the IHHS library. It was patriotic but fullof ahistorical factoids. this one is sound. Nice treatment of Jefferson’s part in the expression ofthe “common ideas” of the Founders.Malone, Dumas, numerous. The editor of the complete works of Thomas Jefferson. Thisfamous scholar has written biographies, great and small, in addition to the “works” andnumerous monographs and scholarly articles on specialized topics. x-BurkeAmazing Grace DVD (N) 2006--A very touching film about the career of WilliamWilberforce to abolish the British slave trade. Excellent special features. Inspired by the 200 thanniversary of the event and by a biography of the same name, below:Burke, Edmund & Thomas Paine, Two Classics of the French Revolution, Reflections& The Rights of Man. Anchor Doubleday, 1973. (L) 3. No notes or critical apparatus. Doescontain very brief bio sketches of the authors. Useful to see Paine’s reaction and defense of therevolution.
  5. 5. Clark, J.C.D., ed., Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France; A CriticalEdition. Stanford Univ. Press, 2001. Abe Bks price for like new $ 11. hard to imagine amore definitive treatment, 88 page intro, detailed footnotes, outline, all the scholarly “bells andwhistles.” Sadly, if the library has copies I couldn’t find them on their website.Metaxas, Eric, Amazing Grace. HarperSanFrancisco, 2007. L (4) and a downloadableversion for the adventurous. A breezy modern biography which put me off at first because hedidn’t write like “an historian.” But I soon warmed to it as he clearly (1) knew his stuff and (2)deeply cared about this amazing man. Although Burke’s support is only mentioned 3 times, thefact that Burke was a parliamentary ally is an important reminder of his general sympathy for theoppressed. This contrasts with his reaction towards the French Revolution. xi-MarxThe Library has biographies and texts galore. I have not evaluated them to make suggestions.You’re on your own here. ;- Needless to say we all have learned as much as we cared to aboutMarxism throughout our lives. If this class whets your appetite to dig for more, I will have metmy goal.A website, www.marxists.org gives a huge amount of textual material of original writing byMarx and his epigones. It is hosted by people who consider themselves to be his disciples. “Aword to the wise is sufficient.” Ebenstein (above) gives the entire text of The CommunistManifesto, a distinction which no other work he excerpts shares. That should impress you withits significance to the history of political philosophy xii-ConclusionsNo additional resources here. When I wrote Justice & Power 36 years ago, I had the rest of theschool year to present my conclusions by the way I taught about American Government. So as Idevelop this Power Point I am in not quite virgin territory. I hope to involve you and your fellowstudents in what will become our conclusions.