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300-Level Interdisciplinary Course  
UI-357      Early American Political Thought
Catalog Description

A critical historical analysis and philosophical examination of the origins and development of early American political thought articulated in the classic works of significant American political theorists.

Course Content

This course consists of a critical examination of the origins and development of early American political thought. Extensive analysis of several major selections by theorists have made a major contribution to early American political thought. This particular course will analyze political theoretical concepts, normative principles and issues from the interconnected interdisciplinary perspectives of politics (political systems), culture, religion, and social philosophy (social systems), and ethical theory (behavioral systems).

Nature of Course

Students will be encouraged to develop competency working in the area of ethical justification by applying moral principles and logical arguments to normative problems and issues in political theory. Students will be encouraged to participate in an active Socratic dialogue with the instructor and with other students. At the end of each session, a series of analytical questions will be posed to students. Students will be required to respond orally to such questions in the following session. This particular course will use a "Great Books" approach.

Student Expectations
  1. To attend consistently all scheduled classes and to be prepared in all assigned work.
  2. To participate and to engage actively in class discussion and dialogue with other students and the instructor.
  3. To maintain diligently a systematic set of class notes and to finish all required reading assignments on time.
  4. To take three major examinations (including a final exam), that will be composites of objective questions (multiple choice and/or identification) and analytical essay questions in which they clearly demonstrate comprehension of the critical thinking skills and substantive material of the course.
  5. To prepare and respond orally to a series of analytical questions posed at the end of each prior session.
  6. To prepare an oral presentation on a political philosophical issue or normative concept.
  7. To prepare an interdisciplinary (10-15 page) written research paper.
  8. To comprehend the diverse conceptual frames of reference by which various political theories are designed and articulated.
  9. To be able critically to evaluate scholarly research in the discipline of political theory.

Political Systems (PS-103 or PS104), a course in Social Systems and a course in Behavioral Systems.



Credit Hours 3