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Spring Mini-Core Class | The Ideal Society

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Off-campus
Spring Mini-Core Class | The Ideal Society
Event Type: 
Lecture
Open To: 
Alumni
Columbia College
Topic: 
Humanities
Location: 
Off Campus

Event Contact

Columbia College Alumni Association

It is common to suppose that modern society has detoured in some crucial aspect (or aspects). However, it is difficult to visualize what a more successful model of society could be.

Join Professor John McWhorter - an academic, linguist and teacher in the Core - to examine the prescriptions of various thinkers over the past two thousand-plus years, to both assess whether we have progressed beyond their ideas and whether we find their ideas still include constructive counsel for our modern moment. Readings will include Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Rousseau, Smith, Mill, Marx and Fanon.

March 28th
Session 1: The purpose of government
Plato, The Republic (Hackett), pp. 186-212.
Hobbes, Leviathan (Oxford), pp. 82-6, 123-7

April 11th
Session 2: The Communal versus the Individual
Locke, Second Treatise of Government (Political Writings, Wootton,ed., Hackett), pp. 261-9
Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (Grove), pp. 1-14

April 25th
Session 3: The Nature of Progress
Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (The Basic Political Writings, Hackett), pp. 69-80
Mill, On Liberty (On Liberty, Utilitarianism, and Other Essays, Oxford), pp. 35-51

Refreshments will be served.

Class Fee, which includes entry to all three sessions:
$160 for Alumni and guest
$100 for Young Alumni in class years 2008-2017, and guest

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In the Republic, Socrates famously exiles the poets from his ideal city—a move that has not kept readers throughout the centuries from identifying Plato as the most poetic of philosophers. In a number of dialogues, Socrates registers even greater disdain for orators and rhetoricians.

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