University of Pittsburgh, Summer 1997
Philosophy 0330: Political Philosophy
Ben Eggleston

Political Philosophy

Syllabus and assignments:

Study notes:

To see the study notes for a particular author, click on the corresponding link below.

The study notes include

  • background information about the authors and reading assignments
  • study questions
  • suggestions for further reading
  • outlines of topics to be covered in class

The study questions are intended to draw attention to some of the main ideas expressed in the works to which they refer. They are given in the order in which their answers may be found while reading these works, so they may be considered as you read the works, as well as after you have finished. All of the questions that will be asked on the quizzes will be available as study questions at least 5 days before being asked.


How should people live together in society? Is democracy really the best form of government? Can a society “legislate morality”? What do individuals owe their government? What does their government owe them? We will consider these and related questions through an introductory survey of works by major political philosophers such as Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Mill, and Marx. We will also explore ramifications for issues such as freedom of speech, religious liberty, affirmative action, economic inequality, criminal punishment, civil disobedience, and revolution.