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

CTI 301G • Intro To Ancient Greece-Wb

29950 • Walthall, Denton
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM • Internet
GC VP (also listed as C C 301)
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CTI 302 • Classics Of Soc/Pol Thought-Wb

29955 • Viroli, Maurizio
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM • Internet
SB (also listed as GOV 314E)
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This course explores the changing role of human psychology in the history of political thought through the study of classic texts in philosophy and psychology. In roughly chronological order, we will examine several key philosophers’ accounts of the deepest human concerns—justice, happiness, and love—and the potential political life has to fulfill those yearnings. In the final part of the course, we will study Darwin’s evolutionary theory of human mental faculties in The Descent of Man, Freud’s theory of unconscious psychological drives, and current theories of evolutionary psychology. We will discuss how these different views of human nature suggest different approaches to politics and ethics.

We will read selections from the following works:

  • Plato The Republic, The Symposium 
  • St. Augustine: The Confessions, City of God 
  • Hobbes The Leviathan 
  • Rousseau Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
  • Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil
  • Darwin The Descent of Man 
  • Freud Civilization and its Discontents
  • And selected articles on evolutionary psychology

 


CTI 302 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thought

29965 • Gilmore, Nate
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM PAR 301 • Hybrid/Blended
SB (also listed as GOV 314E)
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This course explores the changing role of human psychology in the history of political thought through the study of classic texts in philosophy and psychology. In roughly chronological order, we will examine several key philosophers’ accounts of the deepest human concerns—justice, happiness, and love—and the potential political life has to fulfill those yearnings. In the final part of the course, we will study Darwin’s evolutionary theory of human mental faculties in The Descent of Man, Freud’s theory of unconscious psychological drives, and current theories of evolutionary psychology. We will discuss how these different views of human nature suggest different approaches to politics and ethics.

We will read selections from the following works:

  • Plato The Republic, The Symposium 
  • St. Augustine: The Confessions, City of God 
  • Hobbes The Leviathan 
  • Rousseau Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
  • Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil
  • Darwin The Descent of Man 
  • Freud Civilization and its Discontents
  • And selected articles on evolutionary psychology

 


CTI 302 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thought

29960 • Dempsey, Erik
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM PAR 301
SB (also listed as GOV 314E)
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This course explores the changing role of human psychology in the history of political thought through the study of classic texts in philosophy and psychology. In roughly chronological order, we will examine several key philosophers’ accounts of the deepest human concerns—justice, happiness, and love—and the potential political life has to fulfill those yearnings. In the final part of the course, we will study Darwin’s evolutionary theory of human mental faculties in The Descent of Man, Freud’s theory of unconscious psychological drives, and current theories of evolutionary psychology. We will discuss how these different views of human nature suggest different approaches to politics and ethics.

We will read selections from the following works:

  • Plato The Republic, The Symposium 
  • St. Augustine: The Confessions, City of God 
  • Hobbes The Leviathan 
  • Rousseau Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
  • Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil
  • Darwin The Descent of Man 
  • Freud Civilization and its Discontents
  • And selected articles on evolutionary psychology

 


CTI 302 • Classics Of Socl/Polit Thought

29970 • Gilmore, Nate
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM SZB 296 • Hybrid/Blended
SB (also listed as GOV 314E)
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This course explores the changing role of human psychology in the history of political thought through the study of classic texts in philosophy and psychology. In roughly chronological order, we will examine several key philosophers’ accounts of the deepest human concerns—justice, happiness, and love—and the potential political life has to fulfill those yearnings. In the final part of the course, we will study Darwin’s evolutionary theory of human mental faculties in The Descent of Man, Freud’s theory of unconscious psychological drives, and current theories of evolutionary psychology. We will discuss how these different views of human nature suggest different approaches to politics and ethics.

We will read selections from the following works:

  • Plato The Republic, The Symposium 
  • St. Augustine: The Confessions, City of God 
  • Hobbes The Leviathan 
  • Rousseau Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
  • Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil
  • Darwin The Descent of Man 
  • Freud Civilization and its Discontents
  • And selected articles on evolutionary psychology

 


CTI 304 • The Bible/Its Interpreters

29975 • Yoo, Philip
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM PAR 301
GCWr
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CTI 304 • The Bible/Its Interpreters

29980 • Yoo, Philip
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM PAR 301
GCWr
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CTI 304 • The Bible/Its Interprters-Wb

29985 • Landau, Brent
Meets MW 8:30AM-10:00AM • Internet
GCWr
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CTI 310 • Intro To Philos Of Religion

29995
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM ART 1.102 • Hybrid/Blended
(also listed as PHL 305)
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CTI 321 • Theor Foundtns Modern Polit-Wb

30005 • Stauffer, Devin
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM • Internet
EGC (also listed as GOV 351D)
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This course examines the philosophic origins of modern politics and culture by looking at the works of several authors whose writings played decisive roles in the rise and development of modernity. In our study of Machiavelli's Prince, Hobbes' Leviathan, Locke's Second Treatise of Government, and selected political writings of Rousseau and Nietzsche, we will consider how modern politicla thought broke with the past and offered a new set of political visions. We will consider the differing views of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Nietzsche on issues such as the aims and limits of politics, the role of morality in the harsh world of political necessity, the proper place of religion and reason in political life, and the nature and basis of justice, freedome, and equality. Throughout the course, we will reflect of the impact that the revolutionary doctrines of modern political philosophy have had on the political world in which we live. 
 
Grading:
Paper: 20%
First Exam: 25%
Second Exam: 25%
Attendance: 10%
Participation: 10%
Quizzes: 10%
 
Texts:
Machiavelli, The Prince  (University of Chicago)
Hobbes, Leviathan (Hackett)
Locke, Two Treatises of Government (Yale)
Rousseau, The First and Second Discourses (St. Martin's Press)
Nietzsche, On The Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life (Hackett)
Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Penguin)

CTI 335M • Marx And Marxist Theory-Wb

30025 • Matysik, Tracie
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM • Internet
GCWr (also listed as EUS 346, HIS 332R, PHL 342M)
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This course introduces students to the writings of Karl Marx as well as to those of his intellectual successors in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It will treat the nineteenth century context of industrialization and democratization in Europe in which Marx formulated his social, political, and philosophical critique, as well as the theoretical and philosophical legacy that followed through the twentieth century. The course will not focus on Soviet Marxism, but will examine how western Marxism’s critique of capital evolved in complex relationship to the existence of Soviet Marxism. We will spend roughly eight weeks reading Marx’s writings, and then seven weeks reading his  intellectual successors (including writings from Rosa Luxemburg, Georg Lukács, Walther Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Antonio Gramsci, Louis Althusser, Cedric Robinson, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Dipesh Chakrabarty, and Slavoj Žižek).  This course focuses on intellectual history, and students should thus expect to read philosophy and social theory throughout the semester.

Textbooks:

Robert C. Tucker, ed., The Marx-Engels Reader, 2nd edition (New York: Norton, 1978).Vincent Barnett, Marx (New York: Routledge, 2009).

Grading:
First paper: 25%

Second paper: 25%

Option II or III: 10- to 12-page paper: 50%

Final Journal: 30%!Class Presentation: 10%

Participation (including attendance and also sustained constructive contribution to classdiscussion): 10%


CTI 350 • Masterworks Of World Drama

30035 • Renfro, Joshua
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM PAR 301 • Hybrid/Blended
EWr VP
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What are we humans doing when we go about our human business?  What happens when love goes wrong?  Is justice possible and what does injustice look like?  In what ways do our families define us?  Are we able to choose our own destiny even when dealt a tragic hand?  These are just some of the questions that the masterworks of theater have posed.  Theater poses these vital questions in gripping, spectacular ways, and the way a question is posed is likely meaningful to how we answer it.  Using three loose themes—Fate & Freedom, Love & Lineage, Justice & Judgment—we will uncover significant questions plays ask (and answers they provide) while paying attention to theater's form.  This form, drama, is almost universal across world cultures.  Better acquaintance with Sophocles, Euripides, Terence, Shakespeare, Molière, Goethe, Chekhov and other great playwrights might even help explain why during the pandemic, Americans with the relevant subscriptions stream eight hours of "content" per day.  More importantly, encounters with these plays will challenge us to think, feel, and perhaps even act (pun intended) more spectacularly.   

 

Readings:

 

Anonymous, Everyman; Aristotle, Poetics (selections); Chekhov, The Seagull; Euripides, Bacchae; Goethe, Egmont; Marlowe, Dr. Faustus; Molière, Psyché; Nottage, Sweat; Terence, Adelphoe; Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, Richard II; Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus; Wilson, The Piano Lesson

 

Grading scheme:

 

5 short papers: 30%; 2 longer essays (plus re-writes): 25%; recitation of monologue: 10%; group performance: 10%; final exam: 15%; active participation and attendance: 10% 


CTI 372 • Darwin & Politics Of Evolution

30050 • Prindle, David
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM WEL 1.316 • Hybrid/Blended
(also listed as GOV 353D)
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CTI 375 • The Five Books Of Moses

30070 • Yoo, Philip
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM ETC 2.136
GC (also listed as J S 364, MES 342, R S 361)
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The first five books of the Bible—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy—contain well known stories such as the creation of the world, the flood, promises made to Israel’s ancestors, and the revelation of divine law through Moses. Collectively known as the ‘Torah’ in Jewish tradition and the ‘Pentateuch’ in Christian tradition, these five books remain influential in debates about the purpose and nature of the deity (God), the cosmos, law, ritual, ethics, history, family, and nationhood. In this class, we will read the entirety of these five books in translation, investigate the socio-historical circumstances that give shape to these books, and consider how these five books achieve the status of sacred literature. Attention will also be given to the transmission of these five books and its continued significance for its many past and present readers. (With permission of the instructor, students may complete a portion of the course requirements by reading selections from the Hebrew text with the instructor.)


CTI 379 • Conference Course-Wb

30071
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Please contact the Jefferson Scholars advisor for more information on how to register for the course.