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PHIL 4427 The State of Nature and the Nature of the State (Fall: 3 )

Course Description

This course examines the thought-device of the "state of nature" -- a situation in which human beings live without a political sovereign. We will consider how this concept has been understood in the history of philosophy and social theory, by thinkers such as Aristotle, Hobbes, Rousseau and Freud. We will also explore the treatment of "nature" and the "state of nature" in works of film and literature, including Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness and the films of Terence Malik. Throughout the course, we will focus on how the "state of nature" has been used to explain, justify, or criticize "the nature of the state" -- i.e. human life within political community under a sovereign authority.

Schedule: Periodically

Instructor(s): Micah E. Lott

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:


Last Updated: 24-Jun-17