The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas

David Prindle


ProfessorPh.D., MIT

Professor of Government
David Prindle

Contact

Biography


Professor Prindle has published research in the areas of voting and parties, energy policy, the presidency, and the politics of the entertainment media. His first book, Petroleum Politics and the Texas Railroad Commission (1981) won the V.O. Key, Jr. Award, given by the Southern Political Science Association to the best book on Southern politics. He has also written The Politics of Glamour: Ideology and Democracy in the Screen Actors Guild (1988), and Risky Business: The Political Economy of Hollywood (1993).

In 1982 he received the Allen Shivers Award as the best teacher in the Department of Government, and in 1994 the Harry Ransom Award for Teaching Excellence as the best teacher in the College of Liberal Arts. Prof. Prindle won the the Eyes of Texas Teaching Award in 1998.

In 2009 Prometheus Books published his latest book, Stephen Jay Gould and the Politics of Evolution. In 2006 Johns Hopkins published his book, The Paradox of Democratic Capitalism.

Courses


GOV 310L • American Government

38325 • Fall 2016
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM ART 1.102

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV F370L • Congress And The Presidency

83365 • Summer 2016
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM BUR 130

 

Course Description

Gov. 370L, “Congress and the Presidency”

Professor David Prindle

 

THE PURPOSES OF THIS CLASS:  To help students become better scholars and citizens by helping them to understand how to apply the concepts of political science to an understanding of the functioning of the American political system, and by showing them how to compare the normative concepts of the public interest and democratic theory to the actual functioning of national institutions.  The first third of the class is about Congress as an institution, the second third is about the Presidency as an institution, and the final third is about individual Presidents.

 

CLASS PREREQUISITE:  Upper-division standing in Government.

 

ASSIGNED READING:

 

  • Lawrence Dodd and Bruce Oppenheimer (eds.) Congress Reconsidered tenth edition  (CQ Press, 2013; see note below)
  • Michael Nelson (ed.) The Presidency and the Political System tenth edition (CQ Press, 2014; see note below)
  • Roger Davidson, Walter Oleszek, and Frances Lee, Congress and Its Members, 14th edition  (CQ Press, 2014; see note below)
  • Donald R. Kelley and Todd G. Shields, (eds.) Taking the Measure: The Presidency of George W. Bush (Texas A&M University Press, 2013)
  • Some news articles, to be distributed in class

 

NOTE:  Instead of making you buy these three CQ Press books, and then assigning you to read only some of the chapters, I will choose relevant chapters from each and put them into an electronic textbook, which you can access through the CQ Website.  The cost to download all the chapters will be considerably less than the cost of the three paper books.  Notice, however, that you must buy or otherwise acquire a copy of the Kelley and Shields book, which is not published by CQ Press.

 

REQUIREMENTS

 

            In general, each of the three tests in this class will be counted equally; that is, each will count one?third toward the final grade.  At the end of the semester, the three numerical scores will be averaged, and final grades will be assigned on the basis of the conventional scale: 92.3 and above will receive an “A” in the course, 90 to 92 will receive an "A minus," 88 to 89.7 will receive a "B plus," 82.3 to 87.7 will receive a “B,” 80 to 82 will receive a "B minus," 78 to 79.7 will receive a "C plus," 72.3 to 77.7 will receive a “C,” 70 to 72 will receive a "C minus," 68 to 69.7 will receive a "D plus," 62.3 to 67.7 will receive a “D,” 60 to 62 will receive a "D-minus, and below 60 will receive an “F.”  Anyone missing a grade (that is, anyone failing to take a test or turn in an essay) will also receive an “F.”  I may make some small adjustments in these averages to reflect the quality of contribution to class discussion.

CTI 372 • Darwin & Politics Of Evolution

33165 • Spring 2016
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM PAR 301
(also listed as GOV 353D)

 

“Darwin and The Politics of Evolution”

Spring,  2016

Professor David Prindle

 

Purpose of the Course

 

            Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, generally shortened to The Origin of Species, is one of the two or three most influential science books ever published.  But unlike the case with other science books, The Origin, published in 1859, is also of profound political importance.  Part of this political importance—the implications of Darwin's theory for religious explanations of the diversity of life—is well understood by all socially-aware citizens.  But there is much less awareness of the political implications of controversies within the science of evolutionary biology founded by Darwin.

     In this class I will explicate and explore both the "outside" and "inside" political implications of the science launched by the Origin, and ask the students to evaluate them.

 

Assigned Reading

 

1)  Charles Darwin,  The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, first edition,

      (Barnes and Noble Classics, 2004) [first published 1859]

2)  Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True  (Viking, 2009)

3)  Phillip Johnson, Darwin on Trial, second edition, (InterVarsity Press, 1993)

4)  David Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould and the Politics of Evolution  (Prometheus Books,

      2009)

5)  A package of readings, available online.

 

Grading Criteria

 

        There are three assignments due in this class. I may make some minor adjustments in a few of the final grades to reflect excellent class participation, but in general, each of the three assignments counts one-third of the final grade.

        For your three assignments, you may choose to write two essays and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay.  It is up to you to decide how you mix the tests and essays, and in what order you choose to do them.  You may not, however, "load up" by turning in an essay at the same time that you take a test, thus getting two?thirds of the assignments out of the way on the same day.

            At the end of the semester, an average of 92.3 or higher will earn an "A,", 90 to 92 will earn an “A-,” 88 to 89.7 will earn a “B+,” 82.3 to 87.7 will earn a "B," 80 to 82 will earn a "B-," 78 to 79.7 will earn a "C+," 62.3 to 77.7 will earn a "C," 60 to 62 will earn a "C-," and 50 to 59.7 will earn a "D."  People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, or who average below 50, will receive an “F.” 

           

 

Prerequisites

 

            Student are able to enroll in this class through two channels.  First, Government majors who are eligible for upper-division standing may enroll through the usual departmental processes.  Second, students who are participating in the Thomas Jefferson Center’s “great books” program (officially, CTI in the catalogue), may enroll in the class through that program.

GOV 310L • American Government

37680 • Spring 2016
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM MEZ 1.306

Course Description, Spring, 2016

Gov. 310L, "Introduction to American and Texas Politics"

Professor David Prindle

 

Statement of Purpose

 

                        The purpose of this course is not only to provide useful information and a point of view with which to understand politics in the state and the nation.  I am an explicitly normative teacher; that is, I try to supply students with the ideal of a democratic polity as well as the reality of the system, in order that they may compare the reality with the ideal and evaluate the results.  In other words, I hope to help my students to become better citizens.

 

Prerequisites

 

            Students must have one semester’s worth of credit before they are allowed to enroll for this class.  That is, a freshman can enroll, but not until after his or her first semester at UT.

 

Assigned Reading

 

American Government and Politics Today, 2014-2015 Brief ed. by Steffen Schmidt, Mack Shelley, and Barbara Bardes

 

Texas Politics, 13th ed., by Charldean Newell, David Prindle, and James Riddlesperger

 

There is a variety of ways to purchase these two books:

 

    1. In printed form, they are available as a “streamlined custom text” at the Co-op. This single volume consists of selected chapters from the two textbooks that are substantially discounted. You can also buy the whole printed books off the Cengage Website, but

you will pay more than for the custom package at the Co-op.

   2. Virtually, they are available as e-books on the Cengage Publisher Website.  This way is substantially cheaper than buying the paper copy.

 

Grading Policy

            There are three tests in this class, the score on each of which, in general, counts one third of your grade.  For a few students, I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation. Here are the average numerical grades, and their corresponding letter grades:

A:              92.3 or higher

A minus:   90 to 92

B plus:      88 to 89.7

B:              82.3 to 87.7

B minus:   80 to 82

C plus:      78 to 79.7

C:              62.3 to 77.7

C minus:    60 to 62

D:              50 to 59.7

F:               Below 50

 

            People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, in addition to those who average below 50, will receive an “F.”  I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation.

GOV 310L • American Government

37575 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM GAR 0.102

Course Description, Fall, 2015

Gov. 310L, "Introduction to American and Texas Politics"

Professor David Prindle

 

Statement of Purpose

 

                        The purpose of this course is not only to provide useful information and a point of view with which to understand politics in the state and the nation.  I am an explicitly normative teacher; that is, I try to supply students with the ideal of a democratic polity as well as the reality of the system, in order that they may compare the reality with the ideal and evaluate the results.  In other words, I hope to help my students to become better citizens.

 

Prerequisites

 

            Students must have one semester’s worth of credit before they are allowed to enroll for this class.  That is, a freshman can enroll, but not until after his or her first semester at UT.

 

Assigned Reading

 

American Government and Politics Today, 2014-2015 Brief ed. by Steffen Schmidt,       

    Mack Shelley, and Barbara Bardes

 

Texas Politics, 13th ed., by Charldean Newell, David Prindle, and James Riddlesperger

 

    There is a variety of ways to purchase these two books:

 

    1. In printed form, they are available as a “streamlined custom text” at the Co-op. This single volume consists of selected chapters from the two textbooks that are substantially discounted. You can also buy the whole printed books off the Cengage Website, but

you will pay more than for the custom package at the Co-op.

   2. Virtually, they are available as e-books on the Cengage Publisher Website.  This way is substantially cheaper than buying the paper copy.

 

 

Grading Policy

 

            There are three tests in this class, the score on each of which, in general, counts one third of your grade.  For a few students, I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation. Here are the average numerical grades, and their corresponding letter grades:

A:               92.3 or higher

A minus:     90 to 92

B plus:        88 to 89.7

B:               82.3 to 87.7

B minus:     80 to 82

C plus:        78 to 79.7

C:               62.3 to 77.7

C minus:     60 to 62

D:              50 to 59.7

F:               Below 50

 

            People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, in addition to those who average below 50, will receive an “F.”  I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation.

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

37860 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CBA 4.332

 

Course Description

Gov. 370L, “Congress and the Presidency”

Professor David Prindle

 

THE PURPOSES OF THIS CLASS:  To help students become better scholars and citizens by helping them to understand how to apply the concepts of political science to an understanding of the functioning of the American political system, and by showing them how to compare the normative concepts of the public interest and democratic theory to the actual functioning of national institutions.  The first third of the class is about Congress as an institution, the second third is about the Presidency as an institution, and the final third is about individual Presidents.

 

CLASS PREREQUISITE:  Upper-division standing in Government.

 

ASSIGNED READING:

 

  • Lawrence Dodd and Bruce Oppenheimer (eds.) Congress Reconsidered tenth edition  (CQ Press, 2013; see note below)
  • Michael Nelson (ed.) The Presidency and the Political System tenth edition (CQ Press, 2014; see note below)
  • Roger Davidson, Walter Oleszek, and Frances Lee, Congress and Its Members, 14th edition  (CQ Press, 2014; see note below)
  • Donald R. Kelley and Todd G. Shields, (eds.) Taking the Measure: The Presidency of George W. Bush (Texas A&M University Press, 2013)
  • Some news articles, to be distributed in class

 

NOTE:  Instead of making you buy these three CQ Press books, and then assigning you to read only some of the chapters, I will choose relevant chapters from each and put them into an electronic textbook, which you can access through the CQ Website.  The cost to download all the chapters will be considerably less than the cost of the three paper books.  Notice, however, that you must buy or otherwise acquire a copy of the Kelley and Shields book, which is not published by CQ Press.

 

REQUIREMENTS

 

            In general, each of the three assignments in this class will be counted equally; that is, each will count one?third toward the final grade.  At the end of the semester, the three numerical scores will be averaged, and final grades will be assigned on the basis of the conventional scale: 92.3 and above will receive an “A” in the course, 90 to 92 will receive an "A minus," 88 to 89.7 will receive a "B plus," 82.3 to 87.7 will receive a “B,” 80 to 82 will receive a "B minus," 78 to 79.7 will receive a "C plus," 72.3 to 77.7 will receive a “C,” 70 to 72 will receive a "C minus," 68 to 69.7 will receive a "D plus," 62.3 to 67.7 will receive a “D,” 60 to 62 will receive a "D-minus, and below 60 will receive an “F.”  Anyone missing a grade (that is, anyone failing to take a test or turn in an essay) will also receive an “F.”  I may make some small adjustments in these averages to reflect the quality of contribution to class discussion.

 

     For your three assignments, you may choose to write two essays and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay.  It is up to you to decide how you mix the tests and essays, and in what order you choose to do them.  You may not, however, "load up" by turning in an essay at the same time that you take a test, thus getting two?thirds of the assignments out of the way on the same day.

CTI 372 • Darwin & Politics Of Evolution

33370 • Spring 2015
Meets MW 4:30PM-6:00PM CLA 0.102
(also listed as GOV 353D)

 

“Darwin and The Politics of Evolution”

Spring,  2015

Professor David Prindle

 

Purpose of the Course

 

            Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, generally shortened to The Origin of Species, is one of the two or three most influential science books ever published.  But unlike the case with other science books, The Origin, published in 1859, is also of profound political importance.  Part of this political importance—the implications of Darwin's theory for religious explanations of the diversity of life—is well understood by all socially-aware citizens.  But there is much less awareness of the political implications of controversies within the science of evolutionary biology founded by Darwin.

     In this class I will explicate and explore both the "outside" and "inside" political implications of the science launched by the Origin, and ask the students to evaluate them.

 

Assigned Reading

 

1)  Charles Darwin,  The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, first edition,

      (Barnes and Noble Classics, 2004) [first published 1859]

2)  Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True  (Viking, 2009)

3)  Phillip Johnson, Darwin on Trial, second edition, (InterVarsity Press, 1993)

4)  David Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould and the Politics of Evolution  (Prometheus Books,

      2009)

5)  A package of readings, available online.

 

Grading Criteria

 

        There are three assignments due in this class. I may make some minor adjustments in a few of the final grades to reflect excellent class participation, but in general, each of the three assignments counts one-third of the final grade.

        For your three assignments, you may choose to write two essays and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay.  It is up to you to decide how you mix the tests and essays, and in what order you choose to do them.  You may not, however, "load up" by turning in an essay at the same time that you take a test, thus getting two?thirds of the assignments out of the way on the same day.

            At the end of the semester, an average of 92.3 or higher will earn an "A,", 90 to 92 will earn an “A-,” 88 to 89.7 will earn a “B+,” 82.3 to 87.7 will earn a "B," 80 to 82 will earn a "B-," 78 to 79.7 will earn a "C+," 62.3 to 77.7 will earn a "C," 60 to 62 will earn a "C-," and 50 to 59.7 will earn a "D."  People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, or who average below 50, will receive an “F.” 

           

 

 

Prerequisites

 

            Student are able to enroll in this class through two channels.  First, Government majors who are eligible for upper-division standing may enroll through the usual departmental processes.  Second, students who are participating in the Thomas Jefferson Center’s “great books” program (officially, CTI in the catalogue), may enroll in the class through that program.

GOV 310L • American Government

37760 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM MEZ 1.306

Statement of Purpose

 

                        The purpose of this course is not only to provide useful information and a point of view with which to understand politics in the state and the nation.  I am an explicitly normative teacher; that is, I try to supply students with the ideal of a democratic polity as well as the reality of the system, in order that they may compare the reality with the ideal and evaluate the results.  In other words, I hope to help my students become better citizens.

 

Prerequisites

 

            Students must have one semester’s worth of credit before they are allowed to enroll for this class.  That is, a freshman can enroll, but not until after his or her first semester at UT.

 

Assigned Reading

 

American Government and Politics Today, 2012-2013 Brief ed. by Steffen Schmidt,       

    Mack Shelley, and Barbara Bardes

 

Texas Politics, 12th ed., by Charldean Newell, David Prindle, and James Riddlesperger

 

    There is a variety of ways to purchase these two books:

 

    1. In printed form, they are available as a “streamlined custom text” at the Co-op. This single volume consists of selected chapters from the two textbooks that are substantially discounted. You can also buy the whole printed books off the Cengage Website, but

you will pay more than for the custom package at the Co-op.

   2. Virtually, they are available as e-books on the Cengage Publisher Website.  This way is substantially cheaper than buying the paper copy.

 

 

Grading Policy

 

            There are three tests in this class, the score on each of which, in general, counts one third of your grade.  For a few students, I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation. Here are the average numerical grades, and their corresponding letter grades:

A:              92.3 or higher

A minus:   90 to 92

B plus:      88 to 89.7

B:              82.3 to 87.7

B minus:   80 to 82

C plus:      78 to 79.7

C:              62.3 to 77.7

C minus:    60 to 62

D:              50 to 59.7

F:               Below 50

 

            People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, in addition to those who average below 50, will receive an “F.”  I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation.

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

38985 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM GAR 0.102

THE PURPOSES OF THIS CLASS:  To help students become better scholars and citizens by helping them to understand how to apply the concepts of political science to an understanding of the functioning of the American political system, and by showing them how to compare the normative concepts of the public interest and democratic theory to the actual functioning of national institutions.  The first third of the class is about Congress as an institution, the second third is about the Presidency as an institution, and the final third is about individual Presidents.

 

CLASS PREREQUISITE:  Upper-division standing in Government.

 

ASSIGNED READING:

 

  • Lawrence Dodd and Bruce Oppenheimer (eds.) Congress Reconsidered ninth edition  (CQ Press, 2009; see note below)
  • Michael Nelson (ed.) The Presidency and the Political System ninth edition (CQ Press, 2010; see note below)
  • Roger Davidson, Walter Oleszek, and Frances Lee, Congress and Its Members, 13th edition  (CQ Press, 2010; see note below)
  • Julian Zelizer, (ed.)  The Presidency of George W. Bush: A First Historical Assessment (This is a paperback, available at the usual bricks-and-mortar venues in town).    
  • Some news articles, to be distributed in class

 

NOTE: Because this course description had to be submitted far in advance of the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester, I may make some adjustments in the assigned reading to update some of the books.

 

NOTE:  Instead of making you buy these three CQ Press books, and then assigning you to read only some of the chapters, I will choose relevant chapters from each and put them into an electronic textbook, which you can access through the CQ Website.  The cost to download all the chapters will be considerably less than the cost of the three paper books.  Notice, however, that you must buy or otherwise acquire a copy of the Zelizer book, which is not published by CQ Press—if, in fact, I end up assigning the Zelizer book rather than finding a more recent analysis.

 

REQUIREMENTS

 

            Each of the three assignments in this class will be counted equally; that is, each will count one?third toward the final grade.  At the end of the semester, the three numerical scores will be averaged, and final grades will be assigned on the basis of the conventional scale: 92.3 and above will receive an “A” in the course, 90 to 92 will receive an "A minus," 88 to 89.7 will receive a "B plus," 82.3 to 87.7 will receive a “B,” 80 to 82 will receive a "B minus," 78 to 79.7 will receive a "C plus," 72.3 to 77.7 will receive a “C,” 70 to 72 will receive a "C minus," 68 to 69.7 will receive a "D plus," 62.3 to 67.7 will receive a “D,” 60 to 62 will receive a "D-minus, and below 60 will receive an “F.”  Anyone missing a grade (that is, anyone failing to take a test or turn in an essay) will also receive an “F.”  I may make some small adjustments in these averages to reflect the quality of contribution to class discussion.

 

     For your three assignments, you may choose to write two essays and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay.  It is up to you to decide how you mix the tests and essays, and in what order you choose to do them.  You may not, however, "load up" by turning in an essay at the same time that you take a test, thus getting two?thirds of the assignments out of the way on the same day.

T C 357 • Polit And Eco In Amer Thought

43440 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CRD 007B

Description:

This will not be the usual political theory course, in which topics such as legitimacy, federalism, and checks and balances comprise the subject matter. Nor will it be a class in economics, in which a theory and mathematical techniques derived from it are taught as scientific truth. Instead, we will focus on American attitudes toward the proper relationship between government and the economy as they have evolved over more than two centuries.

We will address the way Americans have argued about such questions as the following: does the market or the government do a better job creating prosperity and justice? Are small or large units of production healthier for society, and what should government do to encourage units of the appropriate size? Is agriculture or industry more useful for a healthy society? Under what conditions, and to what extent, should government regulate business? Should government attempt to ensure that income is equally distributed?  Was there any justification for the $700 billion bank bailout of 2008?

Although much of our reading and discussion will deal with historical subjects, the final two weeks of the course and the final reading assignments will deal primarily with contemporary policy controversies.

 

Texts/Readings:

John Locke, Second Treatise on GovernmentAdam Smith, selections from The Wealth of NationsGeorge Gilder, Wealth and Poverty

Paul Krugman The Consience of a LiberalThe following sections of Michael Levy (ed.), Political Thought in America: An Anthology: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Daniel Webster, Andrew Jackson, John Calhoun, Woodrow Wilson, The Populist Party Platform, Franklin Roosevelt, Orestes Brownson, Walt Whitman, William Graham Sumner, John Dewey, Milton Friedman, Eugene Debs, Norman Thomas, Irving Kristol, Richard Ely

 

Assignments:

Two in-class quizzes: 5% each

Class participation: 20%

Two mid-term essays (7 pages each): 20% each

Final essay (12 pages): 30%

  

About the Professor:

Professor David Prindle is a political scientist whose interests have varied over the years, leading him to publish work in several different areas of the discipline. He began as a specialist in voting and parties, changed to study the politics of oil in Texas, moved on to examine the Presidency in comparative perspective, spent a decade investigating the political relevance of the entertainment media, and is now writing his second book on the politics of evolution. His book that is most relevant to this course, The Paradox of Democratic Capitalism, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2006.     Professor Prindle garnered two degrees at the University of California before earning his Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1977. He won the Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012. His hobbies are racquetball and fishing.

CTI 372 • Darwin & Politics Of Evolution

34590 • Spring 2014
Meets MW 4:30PM-6:00PM CLA 0.102
(also listed as GOV 353D)

Purpose of the Course

 

            Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, generally shortened to The Origin of Species, is one of the two or three most influential science books ever published.  But unlike the case with other science books, The Origin, published in 1859, is also of profound political importance.  Part of this political importance—the implications of Darwin's theory for religious explanations of the diversity of life—is well understood by all socially aware citizens.  But there is much less awareness of the political implications of controversies within the science of evolutionary biology founded by Darwin.

     In this class I will explicate and explore both the "outside" and "inside" political implications of the science launched by the Origin, and ask the students to evaluate them.

 

Assigned Reading

 

1)  Charles Darwin,  The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, first edition,

      (Barnes and Noble Classics, 2004) [first published 1859]

2)  Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True  (Viking, 2009)

3)  Phillip Johnson, Darwin on Trial, second edition, (InterVarsity Press, 1993)

4)  David Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould and the Politics of Evolution  (Prometheus Books,

      2009)

5)  A package of readings, available online.

 

Grading Criteria

 

        There are three assignments due in this class. I may make some minor adjustments in a few of the final grades to reflect excellent class participation, but in general, each of the three assignments counts one-third of the final grade.

        For your three assignments, you may choose to write two essays and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay.  It is up to you to decide how you mix the tests and essays, and in what order you choose to do them.  You may not, however, "load up" by turning in an essay at the same time that you take a test, thus getting two?thirds of the assignments out of the way on the same day.

            At the end of the semester, an average of 92.3 or higher will earn an "A,", 90 to 92 will earn an “A-,” 88 to 89.7 will earn a “B+,” 82.3 to 87.7 will earn a "B," 80 to 82 will earn a "B-," 78 to 79.7 will earn a "C+," 62.3 to 77.7 will earn a "C," 60 to 62 will earn a "C-," and 50 to 59.7 will earn a "D."  People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, or who average below 50, will receive an “F.” 

           

 

 

Prerequisites

 

            Student are able to enroll in this class through two channels.  First, Government majors who are eligible for upper-division standing may enroll through the usual departmental processes.  Second, students who are participating in the Thomas Jefferson Center’s “great books” program (officially, CTI in the catalogue), may enroll in the class through that program.

GOV 310L • American Government

38965 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM JES A121A

Statement of Purpose

 

The purpose of this course is not only to provide useful information and a point of view with which to understand politics in the state and the nation.  I am an explicitly normative teacher; that is, I try to supply students with the ideal of a democratic polity as well as the reality of the system, in order that they may compare the reality with the ideal and evaluate the results.  In other words, I hope to help my students become better citizens.

 

Prerequisites

 

Students must have one semester’s worth of credit before they are allowed to enroll for this class.  That is, a freshman can enroll, but not until after his or her first semester at UT.

 

Assigned Reading

 

American Government and Politics Today, 2012-2013 Brief ed. by Steffen Schmidt,       

    Mack Shelley, and Barbara Bardes

 

Texas Politics, 12th ed., by Charldean Newell, David Prindle, and James Riddlesperger

 

    There is a variety of ways to purchase these two books:

 

    1. In printed form, they are available as a “streamlined custom text” at the Co-op. This single volume consists of selected chapters from the two textbooks that are substantially discounted. You can also buy the whole printed books off the Cengage Website, but

you will pay more than for the custom package at the Co-op.

   2. Virtually, they are available as e-books on the Cengage Publisher Website.  This way is substantially cheaper than buying the paper copy.

 

 

Grading Policy

 

There are three tests in this class, the score on each of which, in general, counts one third of your grade.  For a few students, I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation. Here are the average numerical grades, and their corresponding letter grades:

A:              92.3 or higher

A minus:   90 to 92

B plus:      88 to 89.7

B:              82.3 to 87.7

B minus:   80 to 82

C plus:      78 to 79.7

C:              62.3 to 77.7

C minus:    60 to 62

D:              50 to 59.7

F:               Below 50

 

People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, in addition to those who average below 50, will receive an “F.”  I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation.

CTI 372 • Darwin & Politics Of Evolution

34138 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAI 3.02
(also listed as GOV 353D)

See Syllabus

GOV 310L • American Government

38695 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ 1.306

Course Description

                        The purpose of this course is not only to provide useful information and a point of view with which to understand politics in the state and the nation.  I am an explicitly normative teacher; that is, I try to supply students with the ideal of a democratic polity as well as the reality of the system, in order that they may compare the reality with the ideal and evaluate the results.  In other words, I hope to help my students become better citizens.

 

Grading Policy

            There are three tests in this class, the score on each of which, in general, counts one third of your grade.  For a few students, I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation. Here are the average numerical grades, and their corresponding letter grades:

A plus:      97 or higher

A:              93 to 96.7

A minus:   90 to 92.7

B plus:      87 to 89.7

B:              83 to 86.7

B minus:   80 to 82.7

C plus:      77 to 79.7

C:              63 to 66.7

C minus:    60 to 62.7

D:              50 to 59.7

F:               Below 50

            People who have missed one or more of the three assignments, in addition to those who average below 50, will receive an “F.”  I may make some minor adjustments in these averages to reflect class participation.

 

Texts

American Government and Politics Today, 2010-2011 Brief ed. by Steffen Schmidt,       

    Mack Shelley, and Barbara Bardes

Texas Politics, 11th ed., by Charldean Newell, David Prindle, and James Riddlesperger

 

    There is a variety of ways to purchase these two books:

     1. In printed form, they are available as a “streamlined custom text” at the Co-op. This single volume consists of selected chapters from the two textbooks that are substantially discounted. You can also buy the whole printed books off the Cengage Website, but

you will pay more than for the custom package at the Co-op.

   2. Virtually, they are available as e-books on the Cengage Publisher Website.  This way is substantially cheaper than buying the paper copy.

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

38835 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM MEZ B0.306

Prerequisite

Upper-division standing in Government.

 

Course Description

Purpose: To help students become better scholars and citizens by helping them to understand how to apply the concepts of political science to an understanding of the functioning of the American political system, and by showing them how to compare the normative concepts of the public interest and democratic theory to the actual functioning of national institutions.  The first third of the class is about Congress as an institution, the second third is about the Presidency as an institution, and the final third is about individual Presidents.

 

Grading Policy

Each of the three assignments in this class will be counted equally; that is, each will count one?third toward the final grade.  At the end of the semester, the three numerical scores will be averaged, and final grades will be assigned on the basis of the conventional scale: 92.3 and above will receive an “A” in the course, 90 to 92 will receive an "A minus," 88 to 89.7 will receive a "B plus," 82.3 to 87.7 will receive a “B,” 80 to 82 will receive a "B minus," 78 to 79.7 will receive a "C plus," 72.3 to 77.7 will receive a “C,” 70 to 72 will receive a "C minus," 68 to 69.7 will receive a "D plus," 62.3 to 67.7 will receive a “D,” 60 to 62 will receive a "D-minus, and below 60 will receive an “F.”  Anyone missing a grade (that is, anyone failing to take a test or turn in an essay) will also receive an “F.”  I may make some small adjustments in these averages to reflect the quality of contribution to class discussion.

For your three assignments, you may choose to write two essays and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay.  It is up to you to decide how you mix the tests and essays, and in what order you choose to do them.  You may not, however, "load up" by turning in an essay at the same time that you take a test, thus getting two?thirds of the assignments out of the way on the same day.

 

Texts

  • Lawrence Dodd and Bruce Oppenheimer (eds.) Congress Reconsidered ninth edition  (CQ Press, 2009; see note below)
  • Michael Nelson (ed.) The Presidency and the Political System ninth edition (CQ Press, 2010; see note below)
  • Roger Davidson, Walter Oleszek, and Frances Lee, Congress and Its Members, 13th edition  (CQ Press, 2010; see note below)
  • Julian Zelizer, (ed.)  The Presidency of George W. Bush: A First Historical Assessment (This is a paperback, available at the usual bricks-and-mortar venues in town).    
  • Some news articles, to be distributed in class

NOTE: I am not completely committed to assigning the Zelizer book.  I may find another one on the Bush Presidency that I think is better suited to the needs of this class.

NOTE:  Instead of making you buy these three CQ Press books, and then assigning you to read only some of the chapters, I have chosen the relevant chapters for each and put them into an electronic textbook, which you can access through the CQ Website.  The cost to download all the chapters will be considerably less than the cost of the three paper books.  Notice, however, that you must buy or otherwise acquire a copy of the Zelizer book, which is not published by CQ Press.

 

LAH 350 • Amer Politics And Econ Thought

30043 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.212
(also listed as GOV 379S)

Prerequisites

In order to take this class you must be enrolled in the Government Department’s honors program.

 

Course Description

This course will offer something more, and something less, than a standard survey of American political thought.  It will offer more because its focus is just as much on economic thought as on political thought, or more precisely, its focus is on the interaction of political and economic thought.  It will offer less because it does not cover some of the standard topics of American political thought courses—much Constitutional development, federalism, civil rights, and civil liberties, for example—except where those topics directly impinge on the interaction of the political and economic.

We address such questions as:  Under what circumstances should government regulate the economy?  Should government encourage industry, or agriculture, or both, or neither?  Should taxes be progressive?  Under what circumstances, if any should government redistribute wealth?  Is the unregulated market the best producer of social wealth?  In pursuit of these and other topics we will read some of the writings of John Locke, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, the Populists, the Progressives, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, George Gilder, Paul Krugman, and many others.  In other words, this is an old-fashioned history-of-ideas course with a great deal of reading and, I hope, a significant amount of class discussion.

 

Grading Policy

Two in-class quizzes                            5% each 

Class participation                               20%

Two short essays                                 20% each

Final essay                                         30%

 

Texts

Everyone must read:

John Locke   Second Treatise Of Government (public domain)

Adam Smith   The Wealth of Nations (public domain)

Michael B. Levy (ed.)   Political Thought In America:  An  Anthology, selected readings, second edition (The Dorsey Press, 1988)

George Gilder  Wealth and Poverty   (1981; now out of print, but available through libraries, used-book stores, Amazon.com, etc.)

Paul Krugman   The Conscience of a Liberal (W. W. Norton, 2007)

Selected articles and documents from a reading packet, available at the House of Tutors on the corner of 24th and Pearl Streets

CTI 370 • The Politics Of Evolution

34010 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WCH 1.120
(also listed as GOV 335M)

Course Description

    Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection is one of the two or three most influential science books ever published.  But unlike the case with many other science books, the Origin, published in 1859, is also of profound political importance.  Part of this political importance—the implications of Darwin’s theory for religious explanations of the diversity of life—is well understood by all socially aware citizens.  But there is much less awareness of the political implications of controversies within the science of evolutionary biology founded by Darwin.

   In this class, we explicate and explore both the “outside” and “inside” political implications of the science launched by the Origin, and ask the students to evaluate them.

Prerequisites

    Upper-division standing in Government, or enrollment in the Thomas Jefferson Center’s “great books” program.

Grading Policy

    There are three assignments in this class.  Each will be counted equally; that is, each will count one third toward the final grade.  At the end of the semester, the three numerical scores will be averaged, and final grades will be assigned on the basis of the conventional scale: 92.3 and above will receive an AA@ in the course, 90 to 92 will receive an "A minus," 88 to 89.7 will receive a "B plus," 82.3 to 87.7 will receive a AB,@ 80 to 82 will receive a "B minus," 78 to 79.7 will receive a "C plus," 72.3 to 77.7 will receive a AC,@ 70 to 72 will receive a "C minus," 68 to 69.7 will receive a "D plus," 62.3 to 67.7 will receive a AD, 60 to 62 will receive a "D-minus, and below 60 will receive an AF.@  Anyone missing a grade (that is, anyone failing to take a test or turn in an essay) will also receive an AF.@  I may make some small adjustments in these averages to reflect the quality of contribution to class discussion.

For your three assignments, you may choose to write two essays and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay.  It is up to you to decide how you mix the tests and essays, and in what order you choose to do them.  You may not, however, "load up" by turning in an essay at the same time that you take a test, thus getting two thirds of the assignments out of the way on the same day.

Assigned Reading

1)  Charles Darwin,  The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, first edition,      (Barnes and Noble Classics, 2004) [first published 1859]

2)  Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True  (Viking, 2009)

3)  Phillip Johnson, Darwin on Trial, second edition, (InterVarsity Press, 1993)

4)  David Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould and the Politics of Evolution  (Prometheus Books,      2009)

5)  A package of readings, available at the House of Tutors, at the corner of 24th and     Pearl Streets west of campus.

GOV 310L • American Government

38500 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM FAC 21

Course Description

The purpose of this course is not only to provide useful information and a point of view with which to understand politics in the state and nation.  I am an explicitly normative teacher; that is, I try to supply students with the ideal of a democratic polity as well as the reality of the system, in order that they may compare the reality with the ideal and evaluate the results.  In other words, I hope to help my students become better citizens.

Prerequisites

This is a required, lower-division course.  It has no prerequisites.  The University recommends, however, that students hold off enrolling in Gov. 310L until they have earned at least 12 hours of credit.

Grading Policy

There are three tests in this class, the score on each of which counts one-third of your grade, with the exception that I may make some minor adjustments in the averages to reflect class participation.  I follow the University’s policy in plus-and-minus grading.  

Assigned Reading

American Government and Politics Today, 2010-2011 brief edition, by Steffen Schmidt, Mack Shelley, and Barbara Bardes

Texas Politics, 12th edition, by Charldean Newell, David Prindle, and James Riddlesperger

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

38855 • Fall 2011
Meets MW 3:30PM-5:00PM BUR 108

see syllabus

T C 357 • Polit And Eco In Amer Thought

42905 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM CRD 007A

Description:This will not be the usual political theory course, in which topics such as legitimacy, federalism, and checks and balances comprise the subject matter. Nor will it be a class in economics, in which a theory and mathematical techniques derived from it are taught as scientific truth. Instead, we will focus on American attitudes toward the proper relationship between government and the economy as they have evolved over more than two centuries.We will address the way Americans have argued about such questions as the following: does the market or the government do a better job creating prosperity and justice? Are small or large units of production healthier for society, and what should government do to encourage units of the appropriate size? Is agriculture or industry more useful for a healthy society? Under what conditions, and to what extent, should government regulate business? Should government attempt to ensure that income is equally distributed?  Was there any justification for the $700 billion bank bailout of 2008?Although much of our reading and discussion will deal with historical subjects, the final two weeks of the course and the final reading assignments will deal primarily with contemporary policy controversies.

Texts/Readings:John Locke, Second Treatise on GovernmentAdam Smith, selections from The Wealth of NationsGeorge Gilder, Wealth and PovertyGar Alperovitz  American Beyond CapitalismThe following sections of Michael Levy (ed.), Political Thought in America: An Anthology: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Daniel Webster, Andrew Jackson, John Calhoun, Woodrow Wilson, The Populist Party Platform, Franklin Roosevelt, Orestes Brownson, Walt Whitman, William Graham Sumner, John Dewey, Milton Friedman, Eugene Debs, Norman Thomas, Irving Kristol, Richard Ely

Assignments:Two unannounced in-class quizzes: 5% eachClass participation: 20%Two mid-term essays (7 pages each): 20% eachFinal essay (12 pages): 30%

About the Professor: Professor David Prindle is a political scientist whose interests have varied over the years, leading him to publish work in several different areas of the discipline. He began as a specialist in voting and parties, changed to study the politics of oil in Texas, moved on to examine the Presidency in comparative perspective, and for the last several years has investigated the political relevance of the entertainment media. His book that is most relevant to this course, The Paradox of Democratic Capitalism, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2006.     Professor Prindle garnered two degrees at the University of California before earning his Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1977. He won the Harry Ransom Award for Teaching Excellence in 1994. His hobbies are racquetball and fishing.

CTI 370 • The Politics Of Evolution

34205 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 1.306
(also listed as GOV 335M)

Purpose

 

            Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, generally shortened to The Origin of Species, is one of the two or three most influential science books ever published.  But unlike the case with other science books, The Origin, published in 1859, is also of profound political importance.  Part of this political importance—the implications of Darwin's theory for religious explanations of the diversity of life—is well understood by all socially aware citizens.  But there is much less awareness of the political implications of controversies within the science of evolutionary biology founded by Darwin.

     In this class I will explicate and explore both the "outside" and "inside" political implications of the science launched by the Origin, and ask the students to evaluate them.

 

Class Content

 

   I.  The original theory and its context

 

       A.  Historical and scientific context of the Origin

             Reading:  1.  Chapter One of the Book of Genesis

                              2.  Extracts from William Paley's Natural Theology

                              3.  Extracts from Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology

                              4.  Stephen Jay Gould, "The Freezing of Noah"

 

       B.  The theory

             Reading:  On the Origin of Species, first edition

 

       C.  Reception of the theory in the nineteenth century

             Reading:  1.  Gould, "False Premise, Good Science"

                              2.  Gould "Fleeming Jenkin Revisited"

                              3.  Gould, "Not Necessarily a Wing"

                              4.  Gould, "Natural Selection and the Human Brain: Darwin vs.

                                     Wallace"

 

 II.  Controversies within evolutionary biology, 1972-2009, and their philosophical and

       political implications

 

       A.  What evolves?

              Reading:  1.  Richard Dawkins, selections from The Selfish Gene

                               2.  Gould, "Caring Groups and Selfish Genes"

 

       B.  What are the historical contours of evolution?

             Reading:  1.  Niles Eldredge and Gould, "Phyletic Gradualism"

                              2.  Daniel Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Chapter 10

                              3.  Richard Dawkins, The Extended Phenotype, Chapter 6

                              4.  Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, Chapter 9

                              5.  Niles Eldredge, selections from Time Frames: The Evolution of

                                   Punctuated Equilibria

                              6.  David Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould and the Politics of Evolution

                                   Chapter 3

 

      C.  Can Homo sapiens be studied using the same concepts and methods that are

            applied to animals?

            Reading:  1.  E. O. Wilson, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, Chapters 1, 2, and

                                    27

                             2.  Philip Kitcher, selections from Vaulting Ambition

                             3.  Gould, "Our Natural Place"

                             4.  Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould, Chapter 4

                             5.  John Alcock, selections from The Triumph of Sociobiology

                             6.  Steven Pinker, selections from The Blank Slate

 

     D.  Is the human species an accident or inevitable?

           Reading:  1.  Gould, selections from Wonderful Life

                            2.  Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould, Chapter 3

                            3.  Simon Conway Morris, selections from Life's Solution

                            4.  Simon Conway Morris, selections from The Crucible of Creation

                            5.  Richard Dawkins, "Hallucigenia, Wiwaxia and Friends"

 

III.  Darwinism vs. Creationism in modern society

 

        A.  The intellectual attack on Darwinism, and the defense

               Reading:  1.  Michael Behe, selections from Darwin's Black Box

                               2.   Phillip Johnson, selections from Darwin On Trial

                               3.   William Dembski, selections from Intelligent Design: The Bridge

                                       Between Science and Theology

                               4.  Selections from Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics,

                                       edited by Robert Pennock

                               5.  Michael Shermer, selections from Why Darwin Matters

                               6.  Gould, "Evolution as Fact and Theory"

                               7.  Gould, "Hooking Leviathan by Its Past"

                               8.  Prindle, Stephen Jay Gould, Chapter 6

                               9.  Selections from Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True

 

       B.  Court cases

 

             1.  Lemon v. Kurtzman, 1971 (U. S. Supreme Court decision)

                      Reading:  Read the decision

 

             2.  McLean v. Arkansas, 1982 (Federal court decision)

                  Reading:  Selections from Creationism On Trial: Evolution and God at Little

                                      Rock, edited by Langdon Gilkey

 

             3.  Tammy Kitzmiller et al v. Dover Area School District et al, 2005 (Federal

                   court decision)

                    Reading:  Read the decision

 

Assignments

 

            There are three assignments in this class.  Three times during the semester students will have a choice of taking a test or writing an essay.  The tests will consist of twenty-five multiple-choice questions and ten short-answer questions.  The essay topics will ask the students to compare, contrast, and evaluate opposing positions on various topics within the politics of evolution.  Over the course of the semester students may choose to write two essay and take one test, or take two tests and write one essay, but they may not choose three tests or three essays.

 

GOV 310L • American Government

38734 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM GAR 0.102

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

38710 • Fall 2010
Meets MW 3:30PM-5:00PM JGB 2.102

THE PURPOSES OF THIS CLASS: To help students become better scholars and citizens by helping them to understand how to apply the concepts of political science to an understanding of the functioning of the American political system, and by showing them how to compare the normative concepts of the public interest and democratic theory to the actual functioning of national institutions.

GOV 379S • Amer Polit & Econ Thought-Hon

38755 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM CMA A5.136
(also listed as LAH 350)

Course Description: This course will offer something more, and something less, than a standard survey of American political thought.  It will offer more because its focus is just as much on economic thought as on political thought, or more precisely, its focus is on the interaction of political and economic thought.  It will offer less because it does not cover some of the standard topics of American political thought courses—much Constitutional development, federalism, civil rights, and civil liberties, for example—except where those topics directly impinge on the interaction of the political and economic.  We address such questions as:  Under what circumstances should government regulate the economy?  Should government encourage industry, or agriculture, or both, or neither?  Should taxes be progressive?  Under what circumstances, if any, should government redistribute wealth?  Is the unregulated market the best producer of social wealth?  In pursuit of these and other topics we will read some of the writings of John Locke, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, the Populists, the Progressives, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, George Gilder, Gar Alperovitz, and many others.  In other words, this is an old-fashioned history-of-ideas course with a great deal of reading and, I hope, a significant amount of class discussion.

Grading policy:

First essay:               10% of final grade
Second essay:           30% of final grade
Third essay:              40% of final grade
Class participation:   20% of final grade

Textbooks:  (I may slightly fiddle with this list between now and the first day of
                                 the semester)

John Locke  Second Treatise Of Government
Adam Smith  The Wealth of Nations
Michael B. Levy (ed.)  Political Thought In America:  An Anthology, selected readings
George Gilder    Wealth and Poverty   (this book is out of print; see me)
Paul Krugman   The Conscience of a Liberal
Selected articles and documents from a reading packet, available at the House of
     Tutors on the corner of 24th and Pearl Streets

GOV F370L • Politics Of Hollywood

84789 • Summer 2010
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM WEL 2.312

Course Description:

Purposes of This Class:
1.  To help students become scholars about the politics of
    the screen entertainment industry.
2.  To assist students become wiser consumers of the screen
    entertainment industry's products.
3.  To enable students to be better citizens, in the sense
    of being competent to evaluate public policy questions
    involving the screen entertainment industry, in the
    light of the public interest.


Grading Policy
There are three tests in this course.  Each of the three tests will, in general, comprise one-third of your grade.  Each test will consist of two parts. In the first part, there will be twenty-five multiple choice questions, dealing with the concepts from the lectures and the reading. In the second part, you will be given a group of ten words or phrases (which will be listed on the syllabus).  You will be asked to define each word or phrase, and then explain why it is important to the study of the politics of the screen entertainment industry, all in sixty or fewer words.  
At the end of the semester, the three numerical scores will be averaged, and final grades will, in general, be assigned on the basis of a numerical scale.  For a few students, I may make some small adjustments in these averages to reflect the quality of contribution to class discussion.

Assigned Reading
1.  Dan Franklin, Politics and Film, selected chapters
2.  James Steyer, The Other Parent, selected chapters
2.  A package of duplicated articles, to be assigned; available from House of Tutors at 24th and Pearl Streets; this package includes much of my book Risky Business
3.  A few articles can be found on electronic reserve (I will hand out instructions for accessing this material in class).



GOV 310L • American Government

38675 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM BUR 106

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 370L • Politics Of Hollywood

38975 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 3:00PM-4:00PM MEZ 1.306

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

39305 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 201

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

T C 357 • Polit And Eco In Amer Thought

43815 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 1.104

Fall 2009: T. C. 357a,  Politics and
Economics in American Thought

David Prindle                    Office hours: Tuesdays,  1:50 to 3:20, and
Office:  4.104 Batts Hall                               by appointment
Unique # 43815                                        Phone:  232-7214
Classes Tuesday and Thursday,              email: dprindle@austin.utexas.edu 
     12: 30 to 1:45 p. m.         
Classroom: MEZ 1.104

Prerequisite for this course:  upper-division standing in Plan II

READING
Everyone must read:

John Locke  Second Treatise Of Government
Adam Smith  The Wealth of Nations
Michael B. Levy (ed.)  Political Thought In America:  An Anthology, selected readings
George Gilder    Wealth and Poverty   (this book is out of print; see me)
Paul Krugman     The Conscience of a Liberal
Selected articles and documents from a reading packet, available at the House of
     Tutors on the corner of 24th and Pearl Streets

CLASS SESSIONS

    Date       Reading Assignment                 Topic

Aug.  27                                          Reasoning, argument, fallacies
Sept.   1                                                                   Argument, continued
           3                                                                   Argument, continued
           8                                                                   Argument, continued
         10                            Historical context of Liberalism
         15      Locke, entire, and "Declaration        John Locke
        of Independence"  p. 81 in           
              Levy reader
         17                                  John Locke, continued
         22                                continued
         24     Smith, omitting the following                Adam Smith
                   pages:  from p. 141, third
                   paragraph to end of chapter;
                   pp. 282 350 and 359 367; pp.
                   394 429; pp. 484 520
         29                                                                  Smith, continued

 Oct    1                                Origins of American political thought                                                
           6     Docs by Hamilton; Hamilton                 Hamilton and Jefferson
                     in Levy, p. 131; docs by                    (FIRST ESSAY DUE)
                      Jefferson; Jefferson in Levy,
                    pp. 81, 97, 99, 101, 156
  Oct.  8     “Invisible Hand of James                      James Madison
                Madison;” Federalist #10 and
          #51 in reading packet
         13     Jackson in Levy; p. 199; also               Jacksonians and Whigs
                   Buel, p. 183, Whitman, pp. 200,
                   201, Brownson, p. 238,  Kent,
                   p. 174, Webster, p. 179
         15     Calhoun in Levy, p. 311                       The Problem of Slavery
         20                           Onset of industrialism
         22     In reading package: United States       Constitutional Law
        v. E. C. Knight (1895);              
        Lochner v. New York (1905);
         27     Levy: Populist Platform, p. 356; Ely,    Populism and  Progressivism
                      p. 346, Wilson, p. 350       
         29     Levy:  Debs, p. 387; Thomas,              Marxism and democratic
                      p. 445                                                      socialism
Nov.   3      Levy:  Sumner, p. 323; Carnegie,        Defense of capitalism ("Social
                      p. 331                                                      Darwinism")
           5     Levy:  Dewey, p. 411, Roosevelt,        The new liberalism; Keynes and
                       p. 419                                                     the New Deal
         10     Levy: Friedman, p. 436           [SECOND ESSAY DUE];  Milton
                                                                                     Friedman
         12                                                                 John K. Galbraith and Institutional
                                                                                     Economics
         17     Reading packet:  "The Idea of             "Marketplace of Ideas"
                      a Marketplace of Ideas"       
         19     Gilder, omitting chapters 14,               Supply-side economics
                      17, 18, 20, 21           
         24                                                                 Current events
         26                                                                 THANKSGIVING BREAK—NO
                                                                                     CLASS
Dec.    1      Krugmanm chapters 4-13                  The post-Reagan left
           3                                                                 Modern economic theory
          10  (Thursday)                                             FINAL PAPERS DUE


                    GRADING POLICY

    Two unannounced in-class quizzes       5% each
     Class participation                               20%
     Each short paper                                 20% each
     Final paper                                             30%

ESSAYS

     Three essays are required in this class.  The first and second must be from five to seven typed, double spaced pages.  The third must be from ten to twelve typed, double spaced pages.  No legal size paper.  Each must have a cover page with your
student class identification number (NOT your name), the date, the course, and the topic covered.  The first is due Tuesday, Oct. 6, the second is due Tuesday, November 10, and the third is due Thursday, Dec. 10. You have only one possible topic for each of the first two essays.  Those topics are given below.  You may choose from two possible topics for the third paper, also given below.

Topic, first essay:  Taking Locke and Smith as the archetypal Liberal theorists, assess and evaluate the extent to which Liberalism successfully accomplishes the following 
 a.  Derives individual and social behavioral rules from natural law.  By “behavioral rules,” I mean both prescriptive rules (how humans should behave in a moral  sense) and prudential rules (useful or workable versus useless or unworkable).
 b.  Justifies minimal governmental interference with private property.
 c.  Justifies political democracy.
    Having done this, evaluate classical Liberal theory according to your own values.  Is it emotionally and intellectually satisfying?  Why or why not?

Topic, second essay:  Pick three "conservatives" from this list:
Hamilton, Kent, Webster, Calhoun, Sumner, Carnegie, the Supreme Court in 1895 and 1905 (counts as one). Pick three "progressives" from this list: Jefferson, Madison, Buel, Jackson, Whitman, Brownson, Debs, Thomas, Populists, Ely, Wilson. Compare and contrast the way the conservatives as a group and the progressives as a group deal with question “a,” and any two of the remaining three questions:
 a.  What activities are proper for government in the economic sphere, and what explicit
         limits should be placed on its activities?
 b.  Are people basically equal or unequal?  Is it to the advantage of society to consider them equal or unequal?
c.  Are there natural laws?  If so, what are they, how do we discover them, and what do they tell us about the relationship of politics and economics?
d.  How should wealth and power be distributed in society, and how should that
        distribution be determined?
    Try to account for (explain the source of) their similarities and differences.  Are the conservatives and progressives, as a group, consistent in their arguments across time, or do they change on one or more fundamental questions?  If you decide that they change, explain  when and why.  Finally, explain why you find the conservatives or progressives more persuasive.
HINT: You will find it easier to write this paper if you are first able to explain what all conservatives have in common, and what all progressives have in common.
HINT:  You will find it easier to write this paper if you choose at least one progressive and at least one conservative from the years prior to the Civil War, and at least one progressive and at least one conservative from the years following the Civil War.

Topic A, third paper:  First, pick a disputed question about politics and economics in current American society.  Such a question might be, but is not limited to, the following:
  a.  Should we have national health insurance?
  b.  Has our attempt to "end welfare as we know it" been a success?
  c.  Should we attempt to redistribute wealth?
  d.  Should we more vigorously regulate business in order to protect our environment?
  e.  Should we allow completely free trade, or should we place limitations on imports?
  f.   Should government do anything about the supply and price of oil, and if so, what?
  g.  Should the stock market be more closely regulated?
  h.  Should the government regulate hate speech?
  i.   Should private campaign contributions be outlawed, and candidates and/or parties
       be publicly financed?
  j.   How should we raise government revenue, and how should the tax burden be
       distributed?
    Spend a page or so summarizing the problem as it has been depicted in the media.
    Second, compare and contrast what Krugman, on the one hand, and Gilder on the other, DO or WOULD argue on the subject of the question you have chosen.  As part of this exercise, you will be expected to do the following for each theorist:
  a.  Analyze the premises underlying their argument.
  b.  Evaluate the logical structure of their argument.
  c.  Evaluate their use of evidence.
  d.  Explain how their arguments apply to the social problem in question.
    Third, evaluate the approach of the two theorists you have chosen to the problem you have chosen.  Who is more persuasive, and why?

Topic B, third paper: Critique Gilder from the standpoint of Krugman.  Critique Krugman from the standpoint of Gilder.  That is, analyze and criticize each using the ideology and method of the other.  You will want to begin by summarizing the argument of each, which will include elucidating the underlying premises, explaining the logical reasoning, and giving examples of the use of evidence.
    How would Gilder criticize Krugman's premises, and vice-versa?
    What important points would Krugman claim that Gilder leaves out, and vice-versa? 
    What important mistakes in the marshaling of evidence would Gilder claim that Krugman make, and vice versa? 
    Finally, giving due allowance for the fact that Gilder's book appeared in 1981, and Krugman's in 2007, explain whether you find Gilder or Krugman more persuasive, and why.

Students with Disabilities

    As per University policy, any disabled student may request appropriate academic accommodations from the office of Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259.

GOV 310L • American Government

38130 • Spring 2009
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM UTC 2.102A

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 370L • Politics Of Hollywood

38440 • Spring 2009
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM MEZ 1.306

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

39570 • Fall 2008
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ B0.306

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

GOV 310L • American Government

39120 • Spring 2008
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM UTC 2.112A

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 370L • Politics Of Hollywood

39445 • Spring 2008
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM MEZ 1.306

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

GOV F310L • American Government

86020 • Summer 2007
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM ART 1.102

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 370L • Politics Of Hollywood

38940 • Spring 2007
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BUR 106

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

38955 • Spring 2007
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM WAG 201

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

GOV 310L • American Government

39555 • Fall 2006
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ 1.306

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 370L • Politics Of Hollywood

38050 • Spring 2006
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BUR 106

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

38070 • Spring 2006
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM ESB 115

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

GOV 310L • American Government

37425 • Fall 2005
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM JES A121A

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 370L • Politics Of Hollywood

36530 • Spring 2005
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BUR 106

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

36540 • Spring 2005
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BUR 108

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

GOV 310L • American Government

37090 • Fall 2004
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM BUR 106

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV F310L • American Government

85335 • Summer 2004
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM WEL 2.224

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 310L • American Government

34850 • Spring 2004
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM BUR 106

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

35245 • Spring 2004
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM BUR 108

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

GOV 370L • Politics Of Hollywood

35925 • Fall 2003
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BUR 106

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

GOV F310L • American Government

85410 • Summer 2003
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM WEL 2.224

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 310L • American Government

34370-34480 • Spring 2003
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM BUR 106

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

34945 • Spring 2003
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM BUR 108

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

GOV 370L • Politics Of Hollywood

35450 • Fall 2002
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM BUR 106

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

GOV 310L • American Government

34335-34370 • Spring 2002
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM BUR 106

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 370L • Politics Of Hollywood

35905 • Fall 2001
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM BUR 106

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

GOV F310L • American Government

84960-84970 • Summer 2001
Meets MTWTH 10:00AM-11:30AM ETC 2.108

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 310L • American Government

34315-34340 • Spring 2001
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM BUR 106

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 370L • Politics Of Hollywood

35565 • Fall 2000
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM BUR 106

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

GOV S310L • American Government

85205-85210 • Summer 2000
Meets MTWTH 11:30AM-1:00PM PHR 2.108

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 370L • Congress And The Presidency

34550 • Spring 2000
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BUR 112

Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

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