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Students are introduced to canonical early modern philosophers, plus several voices from new narratives. Students will interact with primary sources, including manuscripts when possible. Students will learn through assignments such as modeling early modern philosophical genres in their writing and conducting basic scientific experiments from their reading. 


We cover the origins of modern political theory, with an emphasis on works that interact with the English Civil War, American Revolution, and French Revolution. Students will learn the foundations of modern political thought, spanning from Hobbes to Marx, emphasizing intellectual debates surrounding the French revolution. Students will process and apply theory through active learning, such as developing models of government.


Since the existentialists were less concerned with abstract theorizing than fundamental aspects of living, this course aims to fulfill that spirit of existentialism. Students master existential theory, encountering them through experiential learning: virtual reality simulations, distraction free days, cultivating boredom through tedium, and so forth..


To help students reason through normative ethics, we create argument maps to consider each theory in light of criticisms from secondary literature. Students also build bridges between their major and other areas of interest by applying the theories to ethical dilemmas, considering the viability of each and testing to coherence of their ethical intuitions.

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