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Lecture 1:
Tips for getting the most
out of this course:
 Keep   an open mind

 Critique   an argument based on:
    ○ Logically co...
What is Politics?
   Struggle to influence group decision-making
     Resources (“power” or material goods)
Power
   Pressure to do something you would not
    have done
     Power vs. Coercion vs. Influence vs.
     Authority

...
Power vs. Authority
   Constraint vs. Consent
     Authority: legitimacy of rulers/rules


   Subordination vs. Will
  ...
Theory
   Explanation via an abstraction or model
     Why use?
     What constitutes “good” theory?
     What is your...
Big questions of political
theory?
   What role does the state play in the lives of
    individuals?

   What ought to b...
Questions continued
   What roles do freedom, liberty, and justice
    have in society?
     How to define?


   How sh...
Structure Of the Course
   Ideas (concepts)

   Ideologies (set of beliefs)

   Classical (state centered)

   Contemp...
The “State of Nature”
   What is it?
     Anarchy before the state (pre-political)
     Gets at basic human nature


 ...
Thomas Hobbes
   Motivations: desires, passions, & fear

   No ultimate “good” or morality

   Without government, all ...
John Locke
   State of nature not anarchic
     Pursue self-interest
      ○ Cooperation when preferences overlap
     ...
More on Locke
   Individuals are rational  rational law of
    nature
     “natural law” based on reason
     natural ...
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
   True state no different from other
    mammals
     Hobbes & Locke wrong
      ○ social develop...
More on Rousseau
   In nature, humans amoral

   Begin to associate with others to
    increase efficiency
     Adopt c...
Why Move Beyond the State of
Nature?
   Hobbes:
     ORDER!
      ○ Above all else
         Any rule better than none

...
Beyond (cont)
   Locke:
     State of nature preferred to arbitrary rule


     Need for objectively judging violators ...
Beyond (cont)
   Rousseau:
     Development leads beyond “nature”
     Once out, organization necessary
      ○ Work to...
Lecture 1 -power, theory, & overview
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Lecture 1 -power, theory, & overview

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Lecture 1 -power, theory, & overview

  1. 1. Lecture 1:
  2. 2. Tips for getting the most out of this course:  Keep an open mind  Critique an argument based on: ○ Logically consistent? ○ Factually correct? ○ Sufficient evidence? ○ Better explanation? ○ Quality of the argument’s assumptions?
  3. 3. What is Politics?  Struggle to influence group decision-making  Resources (“power” or material goods)
  4. 4. Power  Pressure to do something you would not have done  Power vs. Coercion vs. Influence vs. Authority  Negative Power: “made to do”  Positive Power: “empowered to do”
  5. 5. Power vs. Authority  Constraint vs. Consent  Authority: legitimacy of rulers/rules  Subordination vs. Will  Authority: choose to obey  Both are linked <back>
  6. 6. Theory  Explanation via an abstraction or model  Why use?  What constitutes “good” theory?  What is your goal? ○ Example: Model Airplane  Connected to facts  Normative theory vs. empirical theory ○ “humans are good” vs. “humans inclined towards cooperative behavior”
  7. 7. Big questions of political theory?  What role does the state play in the lives of individuals?  What ought to be the ruling set of values & institutions? ○ Who decides these?
  8. 8. Questions continued  What roles do freedom, liberty, and justice have in society?  How to define?  How should political conflicts be resolved?
  9. 9. Structure Of the Course  Ideas (concepts)  Ideologies (set of beliefs)  Classical (state centered)  Contemporary (beyond the state)
  10. 10. The “State of Nature”  What is it?  Anarchy before the state (pre-political)  Gets at basic human nature  Why is it important?  Degree of human autonomy  Degree of state control ○ Justifies govt.
  11. 11. Thomas Hobbes  Motivations: desires, passions, & fear  No ultimate “good” or morality  Without government, all against all  “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”  Fear drives aggression ○ State of war  Connection with IR Realism
  12. 12. John Locke  State of nature not anarchic  Pursue self-interest ○ Cooperation when preferences overlap  respect for others’ rights  No morality in the state of nature  Moral principles are learned
  13. 13. More on Locke  Individuals are rational  rational law of nature  “natural law” based on reason  natural respect for “private property” ○  avoids fear & insecurity  Connection with IR Neoliberalism
  14. 14. Jean-Jacques Rousseau  True state no different from other mammals  Hobbes & Locke wrong ○ social development?  Neither innately bad nor good  Driven by self-preservation & empathy
  15. 15. More on Rousseau  In nature, humans amoral  Begin to associate with others to increase efficiency  Adopt common moral standards (learned)  Free moral agents ○ Power of self-improvement (evolve)
  16. 16. Why Move Beyond the State of Nature?  Hobbes:  ORDER! ○ Above all else  Any rule better than none  Humans must be controlled
  17. 17. Beyond (cont)  Locke:  State of nature preferred to arbitrary rule  Need for objectively judging violators of “natural law” ○ cannot fairly judge their own case  Increase efficiency
  18. 18. Beyond (cont)  Rousseau:  Development leads beyond “nature”  Once out, organization necessary ○ Work towards common good ○ Bring out moral goodness

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