01:30 PM to 02:45 PM MW
Planetary Hall 124
Section Information for Fall 2021
This course will explore three philosophers (Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau) who ground what has come to be known as social contract theory. Through a close reading of key texts we will explore the philosophical underpinnings of these theories: Metaphysical Materialism (Hobbes), Natural Law (Locke) and Philosophical Anthropology (Rousseau). In each case we will be examining what it means to be a person, what it means to enter into a contract and how this is possible. We will also be looking closely at the question of ‘nature’ as it appears in each of these thinkers’ works. For Hobbes, natural law and physical law are coextensive; for Locke natural law and God’s law are tightly bound; for Rousseau, human nature becomes a foundational object of philosophy. As a philosophy course, we will focus on the philosophy that drives these projects and grounds the practical side of these theories. In addition, we will examine the implications of these philosophical grounds with respect to issues such as gender, race and colonialism.