Bluefield State College

POSC 300—FALL 2012

CRN:  10670


Colin S. Cavell, Ph.D.                                                                                                       Course Room No.:  B105

Class TTH:  14:00-15:15 (2:00-3:15 P.M.)                                    INTERNET:  ccavell@bluefieldstate.edu

Office Hours:  MWF 11:00-13:00, 14:00-16:00                                                                      Office No.:  B120

VOICE:  304.327.4034 (W)                                                                                                          512-924-2364 (M)


A survey of ancient, medieval, modern, and post-modern political thought.  Special attention given to contemporary political ideologies, including fundamentalism, feminism, environmentalism, and communitarianism.  PR: POSC 200 or ENGL 201.


Grading Policy:  20% for Attendance*; 20% for the Class Presentation; 20% for the Midterm Exam; 20% for the Research Paper; and 20% for the Final Exam. A Guidelines sheet will be distributed outlining the requirements for your Class Presentation and for your Research Paper.


Grading Scale:  90-100=A; 80-89=B; 70-79=C; 60-69=D; 0-59=F.  These numerical scores correspond to the following evaluations:  “A” = Excellent; “B” = Good; “C” = Satisfactory (NOTE:  A grade of “C” or better is required in major courses); “D” = Poor (passing, except in major courses); “F” = Earned Failure (removed only by repeating the course; upon successfully  passing the course, the first grade is “excluded” from grade point average.  The second grade is “included” in the recalculation of the grade point average); and “I” = Incomplete.


Learning Outcomes:  Upon completion of POSC 300, students should be able to read and provide an immanent critique of texts; to articulate arguments and examine their flaws; be familiar with the basics of logical, ethical, and dialectical reasoning; be familiar with arguments, both pro and con, regarding the nature of the “good life”, ethical considerations for everyday life, questions of political rule in modern society, the state of nature and the basis for a social contract, private property, the value of tolerating alternative beliefs, the nature of labor, money, and commodities, the purposes of government, proper ordering of political relationships, class struggle, the basics of political economy, resolving the contradiction between liberty and order, and the equality of the sexes.


Academic Integrity Policy:   Academic integrity is expected of all students. This means that all work for this class must be undertaken and completed by you alone without collaboration from others. Any dishonesty in the performance of course work, such as plagiarism or cheating in other forms, will be reported. In the event the student is charged with some form of dishonesty, the Student Discipline Policy will be followed. The full text of the BSC Academic Honesty Policy can be found at:  http://www.bluefieldstate.edu/academics/academic-honesty-and-proctoring. In addition, students should be aware that research paper assignments may be submitted to Turnitin by the instructor for the purpose of checking for possible plagiarism. Submitted assignments will be included in the BSC dedicated database of assignments at Turnitin and will be used solely for the purpose of checking for possible plagiarism during the grading process during this term and in the future.


Attendance Policy*:  Attendance in class is mandatory.  It is the student’s responsibility to sign the attendance sheet each day of class; failure to sign the attendance sheet—even if in attendance—will be counted as an absence.  “When the number of clock hours of willful absences exceeds the number of  semester hours of credit, the instructor will notify the Registrar that the student has exceeded the permissible number of absences and should be withdrawn from class” (Bluefield State College Academic Catalog 2010-2012).   As well, you are expected to follow the syllabus and accordingly be prepared for each day’s class.  This means that you must read the pre-assigned readings before class so that you will be prepared to discuss and debate in class the subject matter scheduled for that day and answer questions related to the issues being covered.  NOTE:  TURN OFF all cell phones during class.


* Absence from class may be made up by preparing a two-page, typed (i.e. using maximum 12 point font size and maximum double-spaced text with one-inch margin on all sides), summary on the missed material scheduled to be covered the day(s) of your absence.  The summary must be in your own words and must not be copied material from the text(s), the internet, or any other source(s).  All summaries must be turned in to me by the last day of classes if you want credit for your absences.


Withdrawal Policy:   Academic Withdrawal from the course prior to the deadline date for withdrawal as published within the academic calendar is accomplished by securing a change in schedule form and having it signed by appropriate persons.  Blank copies of the change in schedule form are available in the offices of the Registrar, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Dean and the advisor.  After obtaining the required signatures, the student must submit, prior to the deadline date, the change in schedule form to the Office of the Registrar.


Disability Services Statement:  BSC is committed to full inclusion of all students. Students who, by nature of a documented disability, require classroom, equipment, testing or assignment accommodations should contact the Student Support Services at 304.327.4227 to request accommodations before the start of the semester. Your immediate attention to these arrangements is necessary to assure a positive learning experience.

Free Tutoring Services Available:  BSC offers free online tutoring for all BSC students in the following subjects:  Math; Accounting, Managerial; Accounting, Financial; Writing (all subjects); Grammar; Microeconomics; Macroeconomics; Statistics; Spanish. Chemistry, etc. This service is free and available 24 hours a day to all BSC students. Go to http://www.smarthinking.com/ and follow these instructions.


Required Text:


Cahn, Steven M..  2011.  Political Philosophy:  The Essential Texts.  (Second Edition)  New York, NY & Oxford, UK:  Oxford University Press. [ISBN 978-0-19-539661-4]


Supplemental Text:  [Supplied by instructor]


Aristophanes.  411 BCE/1964.  Lysistrata.  Translated by Douglass Parker.  New York, NY:  Mentor Books.


Aug. 21:  Introduction to Political Thought


Aug. 23:  Political Thought:  The Universal versus the General


Readings:  Cahn text, Plato “Defence of Socrates”


Aug. 28:  How Shall We Live?


Readings:  Cahn text, Plato “Defence of Socrates”


Aug. 30:  How Shall We Live? (cont’d.)


Readings:  Cahn text, Plato “Defence of Socrates”

Sept. 3:  Labor Day – College Closed


Sept. 4:  How to Counter Military Madness


Readings:  Aristophanes, Lysistrata


Sept. 6:  Sex & War


Readings:  Aristophanes, Lysistrata


Sept.  11:  Resolving the Contradiction Between War & Peace


Readings:  Aristophanes, Lysistrata


Sept.  13:  Justice & Injustice


Readings:  Cahn text, Plato “Crito”


Sept. 18:  ‘The Good’ for Humanity & Moral Virtue


Readings:  Cahn text, Richard Kraut “Introduction,” Aristotle, “Nicomachean Ethics:  Books I & II”


Sept. 20:  Moral Virtue (cont’d.) & Intellectual Virtue & Pleasure, Happiness


Readings:  Cahn text, Richard Kraut “Introduction,” Aristotle, “Nicomachean Ethics:  Books V, VI & X”


Sept. 25:  Foundations of Modern Political Thought


Readings:  Cahn text, Roger D. Masters “Introduction,” Niccolo Machiavelli, “The Prince:  Chs. V – IX, XII, XV – XVIII


Sept. 27:  Advice for Would-Be Princes


Readings:  Cahn text, Roger D. Masters “Introduction,” Niccolo Machiavelli, “The Prince:  Chs. XXI, & XXV


Oct. 2:  The State of Nature


Readings:  Cahn text, Jean Hampton, “Introduction,” Thomas Hobbes, “Leviathan”


Oct. 8:  Mid-Semester grades due to Registrar


Oct. 9:  The Necessity to Alienate Part of Our Natural Liberty to a Sovereign


Readings:  Cahn text, Thomas Hobbes, “Leviathan”


Oct. 11:  A Labor Theory of Value


Readings:  Cahn text, A. John Simmons, “Introduction,” John Locke, “Second Treatise of Government”


Oct. 12:  Faculty Workshop (No Classes)


Oct. 16:  Forced Worship Stinks in the Nostrils of God


Readings:  Cahn text, John Locke, “Letter Concerning Toleration”


Oct. 18:  Man Is Born Free


Readings:  Cahn text, Joshua Cohen, “Introduction,” Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “Of the Social Contract”


Oct. 22-Nov. 2:  Pre-Registration for Spring Semester for Currently Enrolled Students


Oct. 23:  But Everywhere He Is In Chains


Readings:  Cahn text, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “Of the Social Contract”


Oct. 25:  Modern Political Economy


Readings:  Cahn text, Charles L. Griswold, Jr., “Introduction,” Adam Smith, “The Wealth of Nations”


Oct. 30:  Labor, Money, & Commodities


Readings:  Cahn text, Adam Smith, “The Wealth of Nations”


Nov. 1:  The Latent Causes of Faction


Readings:  Cahn text, Bernard E. Brown, “Introduction, James Madison “Federalist No. 10”


Nov. 6:  The First Object of Government


Readings:  Cahn text, James Madison “Federalist No. 10”


Nov. 8:  The Real is Rational


Readings:  Cahn text, Steven B. Smith, “Introduction,” G.W.F. Hegel “Philosophy of Right”


Nov. 9:  Last Day to Withdraw with "W" for Full Semester Classes


Nov. 13:  The Proper Ordering of Political Relationships


Readings:  Cahn text, G.W.F. Hegel “Philosophy of Right”


Nov. 15:  Nothing to Lose But Your Chains


Readings:  Cahn text, Richard Miller, “Introduction,” Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, “Manifesto of the Communist Party”


Nov. 19-23:  Thanksgiving Day Holidays – College closed


Nov. 27:  Entering Relations Independent of Our Will


Readings:  Cahn text, Karl Marx, “A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy”


Nov. 29:  Research Papers Due (Research Papers must be submitted today)


Assignment: Research Papers Due today.  Hand in a hard copy of your Research Papers to me in class and send me an electronic copy by email as a Microsoft Word attachment.


Dec. 4:  The Struggle Between Liberty and Authority


Readings:  Cahn text, Jeremy Waldron, “Introduction,” John Stuart Mill, “On Liberty”


Dec. 6:  The Subordination of One Sex to Another is Wrong


Readings:  Cahn text, John Stuart Mill, “The Subjection of Women”


Dec. 7:  Last day of classes. In-Class Presentations and Research Papers MUST be completed by this date. No submissions will be accepted after this date.



Dec. 17:  Final grades due to Registrar electronically