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Great Courses – Hobbes to Habermas

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The Modern Political Tradition – Hobbes to Habermas

Prof. Lawrence Cahoone’s course consists of 36 lectures. We’ll handle them two at a time, so we’ll have 18 sessions. Participants have the option of streaming the lectures from Kanopy or Hoopla at their leisure or watching the lectures in person at the Library. The showing at the Library will commence at 10am. The discussion will begin at 11:15. You have the option of attending in person or via Zoom. If you are going to attend via Zoom you must sign up for the course. If you want a reminder of the classes, sign up for the course. You’ll get the Zoom invitation as an added bonus.

Week 1 – October 6, 2022

Lecture 1 – Origins and Conflicts of Modern Politics

Suggested Readings

None – It’s the first lecture for heaven’s sake.

Lecture 2 – Ancient Republics, Empires, Fiefdoms

Suggested Readings

Week 2 – October 20

Lecture 3 – Machiavelli’s New Order

Suggested Readings

Lecture 4 – Hobbes, Natural Law, the Social Contract

Suggested Readings

  • Hobbes – Leviathan – Available for download in Libby

Week 3 – November 3

Lecture 5 – Locke on Limited Government and Toleration

Suggested Readings

Lecture 6 – Rousseau’s Republican Community

Suggested Readings

Week 4 – November 17

Lecture 7 – Kant’s Ethics of Duty and Natural Rights

Suggested Readings

Possible Discussion Question – How does Kant’s view fit with the notion of “natural rights”?

Lecture 8 – Smith and the Market Revolution

Suggested Readings


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