Political Science 3300                     BASIC POLITICAL IDEAS                            Dr. Arnold Leder

The online version of this syllabus can be accessed @ http://www.arnoldleder.com/3300.htm.
Password protected materials for this course can be viewed @ http://www.arnoldleder.com/readings/index.htmlScroll to the section on "Political Ideas".  Password and user name for access will be provided to students in the course.
For links to web syllabi for other courses taught by Dr. Leder see: http://www.arnoldleder.com/
For a list of undergraduate courses in Political Science by group, see: http://www.polisci.txstate.edu/courses/undergrad-courses.html.

Department Of Political Science/Texas State University http://www.polisci.txstate.edu/
UAC/Undergraduate Academic Center 355; Telephone number:  (512) 245-2143; Fax number: (512) 245-7815
Liberal Arts Computer Lab: UAC/Undergraduate Academic Center 440; Website: http://www.polisci.txstate.edu/resources/computer-lab.html

Discourse in Democracy
Calendar of Events
The Discourse Board

Students pursuing a BPA (Public Administration), please see the program learning outcomes listed immediately below the B.A. in Political Science Program Learning Outcomes.

Course Title:
Dr. Leder's Office: UAC 363

Office Hours: TBA & by appointment.
Texas State University Academic Schedule
Texas State University Final Exam Schedule

Selected Web Resources For Texas State University
Texas State University Library
Locating Periodicals @ Texas State University Library

Course Related Web Resources
The History Guide: Thucydides

Edmund Burke Page

Additional links for materials on the Web are provided in each section of this syllabus.


Course Description & Purpose:
This course is an introduction to fundamental ideas of the Western political tradition  It includes consideration of: democracy; political leadership; morality and politics; realism, power, and the State; and community.  These ideas will be considered through analysis of some portions or all of the politically significant classics written by Thucydides (with some discussion of classical Greek civilization), Niccolò Machiavelli (viewed from different perspectives), and Edmund Burke

The spirit of free inquiry which informs this course will be examined, in part, through a brief consideration of the life and a small segment of the work of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, the 17th century New Spain/Mexican nun referred to by many scholars as one of the great poets of the Spanish language.  Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was famous in her own day in both New Spain/Mexico and Old Spain for her fierce defense of intellectual freedom, the uninhibited pursuit of knowledge, and the right of women engaged in intellectual pursuit to be heard.  In our own day, her work has received renewed attention.

Contributions of modern thinkers and others who have examined these ideas will also be studied.  These authors include the well known contemporary political thinkers Kwame Appiah (Ghana/the ethics of identity and observations on multiculturalism), Hanna Pitkin (American/author of the classic study of Machiavelli from the perspective of gender), and Amartya Sen (India/Nobel Prize in Economics - his observations on multiculturalism and "the clash of civilizations").

Students will also read Mariano Azuela's classic novel of the Mexican Revolution.  Other thinkers whose views will be considered are Harriet Taylor [Mill] (British/pioneering feminist) and Mary Wollstonecraft (British/intellectual dispute with Edmund Burke on the neglect of women in his writings)

In addition to the materials described above, where appropriate, recommended works are noted in this syllabus.

The purpose of this course is to familarize students with a variety of views and perspectives on critical issues in the Western political tradition.  

1. Three (3) unexcused absences are permitted.  Students with four (4) unexcused absences will have their course grade lowered by one letter grade.  Students who have five (5) unexcused absences will have their course grade lowered by two letter grades.  No absences beyond five (5) for any reason are permitted.  Any student who has more than five absences is likely to fail the course and, therefore, should withdraw from the course.
2. The instructor for the course is not responsible for bringing students who have missed class "up-to-date" on missed material.  Each student has the responsibility to remain current with respect to class material.

Exams and Grading There will be two or more exams during the semester, one or more of which will be essay.  In addition, there will be an essay exam for the final exam.  No make-up exams will be given.  Grades will be determined by student performance on exams.

Academic Honesty Statement @ Texas State University  Please see: http://www.txstate.edu/effective/upps/upps-07-10-01.html.
For an excerpt from this statement see the end of this syllabus.
Note On Course & Syllabus Materials: Students may find books, articles, links, websites, and other materials provided in this syllabus useful and of interest. Their listing in this syllabus, including those which are required and recommended, does not necessarily indicate endorsement of or agreement with any views or positions on any issues found in these materials, websites, or on other sites to which they may provide links.


*Edmund Burke,           Reflections on the Revolution in France
(Society & Tradition)      [1790]  (Penguin Edition)

Niccolò Machiavelli,      The Prince (New American Library or Mentor - With Introduction by Christian Gauss)
(Power)                          (Completed in 1513/Published in 1532)

*Thucydides                 The Peloponnesian War
(Morality & Power)        [5th century, B.C.E/First English Translation in 1550]
                                     (Penguin Classics, Warner Translation - With Introduction by M. I. Finley)
Note: A study guide for the Finley Introduction to Thucydides (pp. 9-32), The Peloponnesian War is accessible directly @ http://www.arnoldleder.com/readings/Finley.htm or @ http://www.arnoldleder.com/readings/index.htmlScroll to the section on "Political Ideas" and click on the "Finley Study Guide" link.  The Finley Study Guide is located in a password protected area.  Password and user name for access will be provided to students in the course.

- Mariano Azuela, The Underdogs: A Novel Of The Mexican Revolution (Modern Library Classics 2002Edition - paperback)
[Original Spanish publication as Los de abajo in 1915 and little noticed until 1924]

*Only selected parts of these books are required reading.  Students should purchase the editions of these books listed on this syllabus and no others.  All of these editions are available in paperback.

Additional readings for the course are listed in each section of this syllabus.  These additional readings are accessible online.



I. Intellectual Inquiry
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz [1648-1695]

II. Empiricist & Moralist: Thucydides
Classical Greece [5th & 4th centuries, B.C.E.]
Women in Ancient Athens
Joan Breton Connelly

Community In Ancient Athens
Josiah Ober

Thucydides [c. 460-400 B.C.E.]
Marshall Sahlins
Mariano Azuela

III. Realism, Power, & the State: Machiavelli
Leo Strauss
J.G.A. Pocock
Hanna Fenichel Pitkin

IV. Community & Order: Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke [1730-1797]
Mary Wollstonecraft

V.Community Perspectives
Harriet Taylor [Mill]
Kwame Appiah
Anne Phillips
Robert D. Putnam

VI. Amartya Sen; Kwame Appiah; Culture & Politics
Amartya Sen
Kwame Appiah
Fouad Ajami

Recommended Materials
Monica Ali
Sukhev Sandhu and other authors.
The Brick Lane Debate



I.   Intellectual Inquiry
1. Identifying Classics

"A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read."

Mark_Twain (1835-1910) http://www.quotationsbook.com/quotes/4828/view

This famous remark of Mark Twain comes from an address he gave in 1900.  For the passage in which Twain made this remark and the complete address, see:
Mark Twain, "Disappearance of Literature"
Address at the dinner of the Nineteenth Century Club, at Sherry's, New York, November 20, 1900.

An excerpt from Mark Twain's address:
"Professor Winchester also said something about there being no modern epics like 'Paradise Lost.' I guess he’s right. He talked as if he was pretty familiar with that piece of literary work, and nobody would suppose that he never had read it. I don’t believe any of you have ever read 'Paradise Lost', and you don’t want to. That’s something that you just want to take on trust. It’s a classic, just as Professor Winchester says, and it meets his definition of a classic—something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read." (boldface added)


Discussing the continuing value of the classics, Jonathan Rose, in his article, The Classics in the Slums/City Journal/Autumn 2004, refers to the observation of Stephen_Greenblatt on the experience of reading [the classics]:
"Stephen Greenblatt actually writes quite eloquently about the magic of reading [the classics]—that silent moment, constantly renewed, in which we feel that someone—often someone long vanished into dust, someone who could not conceivably have known our names or conjured up our existence or spoken our language—is sending us a message." (Greenblatt's words are in italics with boldface added.) 

Rachel Donadio/Revisiting the Canon Wars/NYT Sunday Book Review, September 16, 2007
"Today it’s generally agreed that the multiculturalists won the canon wars. Reading lists were broadened to include more works by women and minority writers, and most scholars consider that a positive development. Yet 20 years later, there’s a more complicated sense of the costs and benefits of those transformations. Here, the lines aren’t drawn between right and left in the traditional political sense, but between those who defend the idea of a distinct body of knowledge and texts that students should master and those who focus more on modes of inquiry and interpretation. ... many ... issues ... raised still resonate — especially when it comes to the place of the humanities on campus and in the culture. Debates over what an educated person should know go back to the 19th century in America, when teaching any literature beyond the Greek and Roman classics was still controversial."

Cristina Nehring/Books Make You A Boring Person/NYT Book Review/June27, 2004

"We all know people who have read everything and have nothing to say."

Jonathan Rose/The Classics in the Slums/City Journal/Autumn 2004
"Everywhere we look, in a diversity of cultures and historical periods, we find 'common' readers tackling remarkably challenging literature."

Victor Davis Hanson/Raw, Relevant History (Teaching Thucydides & Student Reaction)/NYT/April 18, 1998
"Thucydides offers students of all races and classes the reassurance that we are all more alike than we think. And in so doing, he offers wisdom about the present, but relief from it as well.

In central California, students have the strange idea that Thucydides wrote his history from what he saw and did, rather than from what he read, that he became a historian only because he could no longer be a warrior -- that he was a man more like themselves than like their professors."
For more on Victor Davis Hanson, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Davis_Hanson 

Caleb Crain/Twilight of the Books: What will life be like if people stop reading?/ The New Yorker, December 24, 2007
"Complex scripts like Sumerian and Egyptian were written only by scribal élites. A major breakthrough occurred around 750 B.C.E., when the Greeks, borrowing characters from a Semitic language, perhaps Phoenician, developed a writing system that had just twenty-four letters. There had been scripts with a limited number of characters before, as there had been consonants and even occasionally vowels, but the Greek alphabet was the first whose letters recorded every significant sound element in a spoken language in a one-to-one correspondence, give or take a few diphthongs. In ancient Greek, if you knew how to pronounce a word, you knew how to spell it, and you could sound out almost any word you saw, even if you’d never heard it before. Children learned to read and write Greek in about three years, somewhat faster than modern children learn English, whose alphabet is more ambiguous. The ease democratized literacy; the ability to read and write spread to citizens who didn’t specialize in it. The classicist Eric A. Havelock believed that the alphabet changed the character of the Greek consciousness.”  (boldface added)

For a non-Western view of the idea of a "classic", see:
Edward Rothstein/Centuries of Fleeting Moments, Timeless on the Page/NYT/October 21, 2006
"We think we know books, and the imposing entrance of the New York Public Library reminds us of their weighty and solemn importance. In the great traditions of the West, the book is a foundation upon which mighty edifices of knowledge are constructed. But if you pass through the lobby to the library’s main exhibition hall and gallery, something else is revealed.

Though the cases of carefully displayed books will at first look familiar, soon enough expectations dissolve into astonishment. The exhibition here — 'Ehon: The Artist and the Book in Japan' — revels in an alternate tradition of literacy. The show is exquisite and enchanting, and, like every fine exhibition, seems to open up a new world to our gaze.  (boldface added)

'Ehon' means, roughly, “illustrated book,” but here the illustrations are not (for the most part) meant for children. Nor are they meant to be accessories to the text, making abstract language visually concrete. Many of these books are also not meant to be bound collections of free-standing artworks. In fact, instead of providing narrative tales or examining accumulated knowledge like the great texts of the Western traditions, most do something very different.

They aspire not to disclose the timeless, but to discern the transient, to clasp the texture of experience — a passing moment, an instant’s glimpse, ..." (boldface added)

2. Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz [1648-1695]
Passion for Learning & A Woman's Right to a Life of the Mind, Intellectual Freedom, A Public Voice for Women.

Admonishment [of Sor Juana] The Letter of Sor Philothea de la Cruz/November 25, 1690-Puebla de los Angeles
Sor Philothea was the psuedonym of the Bishop of Puebla.  In his letter to Sor Juana in which he urges her to turn to religious pursuits and abandon her studies and writings,
he assumed the name of a nun.

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, "The Poet's Answer To The Most Illustrious Sor Filotea De La Cruz", March 01, 1691-Mexico City
Sor Juana's famous "Reply" in which she defends her right as a woman and as an intellectual to pursue knowledge and engage in free inquiry.  Expressed in the religious discourse of the day, Sor Juana displays her erudition and amidst references to scholars of the past, secular and religious, including observations on the law of ancient Athens and the work of Machiavelli, she responds (with defiance and sarcasm) to the contention that philosophical thought is the business of men and that women properly belong in the kitchen: "But in truth, my Lady [the assumed gender of the bishop who has admonished her], what can we know, save philosophies of the kitchen?  ... one can philosophize quite well while preparing supper.  I often say when I make these little observations, 'Had Aristotle cooked, he would have written a great deal more'. " 
(boldface added)

I, The Worst of All (Yo, la Peor de Todas) 1995 [Spanish with English Subtitles - 1hr. 47 min.]

A verse from one of Sor Juana's poems in which she laments her persecution for improvement of her mind:

I have no love of riches or finance,
and thus do I most happily, I find,
expend finances to enrich my mind
and not mind expend upon finance.

Interested students may wish to look at the comprehensive study of Sor Juana by Octavio_Paz.
Octavio Paz of Mexico, internationally recognized author and scholar, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1990.
Octavio Paz/Sor Juana: Or, the Traps of Faith (Harvard University Press 1988)
Octavio Paz on Sor Juana: "... if knowledge seems unachievable, one must somehow outwit fate and dare to try.
   ... Hers [Sor Juana's] is an intellectual and lucid hero who wants to learn even at the risk of falling." (Octavio Paz, Sor Juana 1988, p. 384.)
[Note: Paz's use of the word "falling" rather than "failing" is meant to convey the imagery in Sor Juana's work.]

IIEmpiricist & Moralist: Thucydides [c. 460-400 B.C.E.]
1.   Classical Greece [5th & 4th centuries, B.C.E.]
The Greek Character and Weltanschauung, The Polis, Sparta, Fifth Century Athens: Politics, Participation, & Democracy - Diversity & Cohesion.
Recommended: For background on the ancient Greek city states, read the Introduction (9 pages - pdf) to:
The Greek City States: A Source Book (Cambridge University Press-2nd edition 2007) by P. J. Rhodes.
Tony Perrottet/Beware of Greeks Bearing Placards/NYT April 12, 2008
When it comes to Olympic protests, the demonstrators in London, Paris and San Francisco are a pretty wimpy bunch, at least compared to the ancient Greeks.

a. Women in Ancient Athens


Aspasia of Miletus @  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAg8kjStrUU

Recommended - See: Joan Breton Connelly, Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece (Princeton University Press 2007)

Full Text of Chapter One - Joan Breton Connelly/Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece (Recommended)

Excerpts from Chapter One of Joan Connelly, Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece: (Recommended)
"First, let us track developments on the question of the 'invisibility' of women. Over the past thirty years, it has become a broadly accepted commonplace that Athenian women held wholly second-class status as silent and submissive figures restricted to the confines of the household where they obediently tended to domestic chores and child rearing. This has largely been based on the reading of certain well-known and privileged texts, including those from Xenophon, Plato, and Thucydides (boldface added), ...
Primed with the expectation of seeing women in wholly subordinate positions, readers may be surprised to find inscriptions attesting to the financial compensation of women for their service, the erection of portrait statues in their honor, and their agency in enforcing sanctuary laws. We may never have suspected the broad network of women who passed jealously guarded priesthoods through their family lines generation upon generation, or the benefactions that they proudly lavished on the sanctuaries they served. Epigraphic evidence thus gives insight into realities unattested in literary texts and focuses on the micrology of the lived experience. It reminds us of the dangers of privileging texts written largely by, for, and about men living in and around Athens during just a few hundred years’ time. Above all, inscriptions provide us with the names of historical women who actually held office, ...
... one can also consider the force of the material evidence brought forward in this book and recognize a world in which women realized genuine accomplishment through their agency within the system. Greek priesthood was a religious, social, political, and economic business and women were indispensable in making this business a success.
... priestesses used social, cultural, and symbolic capital to propel their agency and to work as effective players within the micropolitics of the Greek city."

For a very informative, and, at points critical, review essay on Joan Breton Connelly, Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece, see: Peter Green, "The Women and the Gods", The New York Review of Books, June 28, 2007, Vol. LIV, No. 11, pp. 32-35.
This article can be viewed @ http://www.arnoldleder.com/readings/index.htmlScroll to the section on "Political Ideas" and look for "Peter Green: The Women and the Gods".  This location is password protected.  Password and user name for access will be provided to students in the course.

Peter Green, even as he notes Connelly's insights and scholarly accomplishment with regard to the role of women in ancient Athens, suggests that Connelly is "sometimes overeager to have them (literary sources) support her central thesis".  Green also states: "As Connelly is well aware, and reminds the reader at intervals, the overall account she presents flies in the face of much traditional scholarship (and not a little ancient evidence) regarding the status of women in classical Greek—and, above all, Athenian—society."

"The problems are many, and come from various quarters. How far in fact were women in classical Athens secluded, let alone silent, and was their status exceptional or the norm in the Greek world? Were the so-called "sacred laws" respecting sacerdotal matters something distinct from, or an integral part of, the whole body of legal precedent governing the city-state? Do the remarkably independent-minded women ... who inhabit Greek drama have a basis in reality, or are they simply the fantasies of their male creators? Were women in fact admitted as spectators to the plays in which such figures appeared? To what extent did temple service extend a woman's domestic situation into the public domain? Do modern theories of gender oppression distort rather than clarify a Greek woman's motives in assuming a priesthood? Perhaps most important of all, how far has our sense of the ritual, the functions, even the terminology of Greek religion been affected by Judeo-Christian monotheistic assumptions, not least in the matter of goddesses and their cults?  ...
Financially and legally, a free Athenian woman was neither autonomous nor regarded as legally competent: that is, capable of managing her own own affairs or making her own decisions. All financial deals involving more than the cost of a sack of barley were denied her. She spent her entire life under the control of a kyrios ('master,' 'possessor'), usually her father or husband.

There were other restrictions, but these were the main ones, and the important thing is to determine how far, and in what way, the findings of Connelly and those scholars who share her beliefs modify the overall picture. To begin with, it is clear that Athens was extremely patriarchal even by contemporary standards: in Sparta, Thessaly, Boeotia, and many of the Greek cities of Asia Minor, women enjoyed considerably more freedom, in particular as regards property rights. Secondly, and predictably, Athenian women showed considerable ingenuity at manipulating the rules from behind the scenes: the banker Pasion's widow Archippe exploited the gray areas in estate and citizenship laws with dazzling acumen. Their modestly silent seclusion, too, has certainly been exaggerated: not all the gossiping housewives in the marketplace were slaves or aliens, and it is virtually certain that women attended theatrical performances: no ancient source denies this, and several strongly suggest it.

But the limitations undoubtedly existed; as Roger Just, in a sympathetic study, concedes, 'Athenian political life excluded women from the secular offices and honours of the state.' Many of Connelly's examples thus deal with exceptions to the rule, with women—mostly cult-related—who by wealth and family influence bent the old rules to their advantage rather than creating new ones. Her true achievement, however, is to have demonstrated, beyond all reasonable doubt, how fully religion permeated the structure of ancient Greek society, that of Athens included, and how intimately, from birth to death, as acolytes or priestesses, in a system of belief where praxis, or ritual, largely absorbed ethos, or explicit religious ideas, women sustained, and were in turn sustained by, a powerful and cohesive religious awareness coterminous with the concept of the oikos. The political world of the demos might ignore or downplay it (Kinder, Küche, Kirche again), but without its collusive binding force the world of the city-state could never have survived."

For a less critical review of Connelly's book, see: Steve Coates/Keepers of the Faith: A scholar finds that in ancient Greece, religion meant power for women/NYT Book Review, Sunday, July 1, 2007, p. 17.  Note the references to Thucydides and Pericles, the traditional scholarly view of the position of women in ancient Athens, and the professional divide between classicists and archaelogists. 
The Coates NYT review can also be accessed through the Texas State University library @ Locating Periodicals @ Texas State University LibraryA valid Texas State University student ID and user name are required. The Coates review can also be viewed @ http://www.arnoldleder.com/readings/index.htmlScroll to the section on "Political Ideas" and look for "Coates: Keepers of the Faith".  This location is password protected.  Password and user name for access will be provided to students in the course.

From the NYT review by Steve Coates:
"These aspects of Connelly’s well-documented, meticulously assembled portrait may not seem that remarkable on the surface, but they largely contradict what has long been the most broadly accepted vision of the women of ancient Greece, particularly Athens, as dependent, cloistered, invisible and mute, relegated almost exclusively to housekeeping and child rearing — a view that at its most extreme maintains that the names of respectable Athenian women were not spoken aloud in public or that women were essentially housebound.  (boldface added)
Connelly traces the tenacity of this idea to several sources, including the paradoxically convergent ideologies of Victorian gentlemen scholars and 20th-century feminists and a modern tendency to discount the real-world force of religion, a notion now under powerful empirical adjustment. But another cause is a professional divide between classicists and archaeologists. In their consideration of a woman’s place, classicists emphasize certain well-known texts, the most notorious being Thucydides’ rendition of Pericles’ great oration over the first Athenian dead of the Peloponnesian War, which had this terse advice for their widows: 'If I must say anything on the subject of female excellence, ... greatest will be her glory who is least talked of among men, whether in praise or in criticism.' "  (boldface added)

Listen to a Joan Breton Connelly lecture: "Visual Space/Ritual Space and the Agency of the Greek Priestess"/Spencer Trask Lecture Series Princeton University - February 8, 2007 (59 minute lecture preceded by 10 minute introduction) @ http://coblitz.codeen.org/www.princeton.edu/newmedia/podcast/20070208connelly.mp3

"The visual culture of ancient Greece has left a record rich with information on the active role of women in the organization and functioning of cult. Connelly draws upon images from vase painting, portrait sculpture, votive reliefs, and funerary monuments to bring to life the movement of women within ritual space. Considering this material in the context of what we know from texts and inscriptions, she argues a wider visibility for women across the polis landscape than has previously been acknowledged. Connelly investigates the ways in which portrait statues and architectural sculpture, including karyatids and figured column drums, may reflect the ritual circulation of women in procession and dance across the sacred temenos. We may thus envision the living sanctuary and the relationships of topography, image, and ritual action within this space."

Holland Cotter/The Glory That Was Greece From a Female Perspective/NYT December 19, 2008 with slideshow.
"The main misconception is the notion that women had a universally mute and passive role in Athenian society. It is true that they lived with restrictions modern Westerners would find intolerable. Technically they were not citizens. In terms of civil rights, their status differed little from that of slaves. Marriages were arranged; girls were expected to have children in their midteens. Yet, the show argues, the assumption that women lived in a state of purdah, completely removed from public life, is contradicted by the depictions of them in art."

Community & Cohesion in Ancient Athens
Recommended - See: Josiah Ober/Athenian Legacies: Essays on the Politics of Going On Together (Princeton University Press 2005)
and Josiah Ober/Learning From Athens: Success by design/Boston Review March-April 2006 (Recommended)
"And while Athens was less diverse culturally than a modern nation, it was in some ways more diverse socially and intellectually. ... the common notion that the Greek polis was a simple and homogeneous community, capable of engaging easily in solidaristic politics, is a travesty in the case of Athens—and seriously misrepresents the politics of most major Greek poleis."

Full Text of Chapter 1 - Josiah Ober/Athenian Legacies: Essays on the Politics of Going On Together (Recommended)

Excerpts from Chapter 1 -
Josiah Ober, Athenian Legacies: Essays on the Politics of Going On Together: (Recommended)
"At the heart of each of these essays is the attempt to solve a mystery. How did the Athenians manage to go on together as an internally diverse and democratically governed community, one that sought (if never altogether successfully) to promote conditions of justice, in the face of so many circumstances that made going on so very difficult? ...  Why did so many Athenians choose to subordinate their individual and sectarian group interests in favor of working to maintain a community, even though that meant living and working with persons and groups who were very different from themselves?
...  we have no warrant for simply assuming, a priori, that Athens was in fact more culturally homogeneous than a modern nation-state.  If going on together is intrinsically valuable, then we should also value the processes by which the Athenians achieved that choice worthy end and did so without resorting to forms of homogeneity that denied the value of personal freedom and without confusing equality with sameness.
The Athenians chose to go on together, chose it as something of value, in the face of experienced difference and periodic conflict. That choice was not foreordained: In the course of classical Greek history many poleis degenerated into a sustained civil strife that ran roughshod over written law and social convention, and ultimately extinguished the possibility of a sustained civic community: Thucydides (boldface added) sketches a famously harrowing portrait of the dissolution of the once-great polis of Corcyra, and notes grimly that this was only one example of a pattern of collapse that affected many communities.
While determined to find and celebrate commonalities among Athenians ... , the polis also frankly acknowledged that the umbrella term 'Athenian' covered a highly diverse range of social identities. Although it is certainly true that the polis publicly promoted an ideology of 'proper Athenianness' (e.g., in the 'All Athens' Panathenaic Festival) and periodically presented its members with an idealized conception of the Athenian past (e.g., in the ritualized funeral orations over the war dead), it is also clear that these expressions of ideological coherence were countered by frank acknowledgments of diversity and conflict--notably in Athenian drama, legal process, and religious ritual. The Athenians were historically familiar with internecine strife ... . Yet time and again they managed to pull themselves out of the degenerative cycle of retributive violence that shattered Corcyra and so many other classical Greek poleis. They did so, not by retreating from the challenges of change and difference into a fantasy of sameness and changelessness, but by finding democratic means by which to meet political challenges.
... At the heart of the tensions that defined Athenian political life, and thus the lives and moral-political psychologies of individual Athenians, was the contrast between an outwards-looking 'centrifugal' push toward social diversity and an inwards-looking 'centripetal' pull towards political coherence.
... The acceptance of the tragic inevitability of conflict, loss, and the incompleteness of all political solutions is one of the two legs upon which an Athens-inspired democratic theory must stand. Its other leg is a historically justified optimism about the potential of a diverse community of citizens, of men and women who have constructed appropriately democratic souls for themselves, to choose to go on together in the face of that tragic acceptance."

Web Site Of Interest:
TheAncient City Of Athens: Images

2.   Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War

General Background of the War [431-404 B.C.E.]
Themes: democracy under pressure; leadership & demagoguery; democracy and empire; passion and daring; discipline and caution; freedom; "human nature" or psychological factors; justice; power; necessity, chance, pity; statesmanship; virtue; honor; morality; "the Good".

Readings: Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War.
Read Introduction by M. I. Finley, pp 9-32. Read through all of Book I, and read with special care Thucydides own "Introduction", pp. 35-49; "The Dispute over Corcyra", pp. 53-67; "The Debate at Sparta and Declaration of War", pp. 72-87; and "The Spartan Ultimatum and Pericles Reply", pp. 118-123.
Note: A study guide for the Finley Introduction to Thucydides (pp. 9-32), The Peloponnesian War
is accessible directly @ http://www.arnoldleder.com/readings/Finley.htm or @ http://www.arnoldleder.com/readings/index.htmlScroll to the section on "Political Ideas" and click on the "Finley Study Guide" link.  The Finley Study Guide is located in a password protected area.  Password and user name for access will be provided to students in the course.

In Book II, read with special care "Pericles Funeral Oration", pp. 143-151; "The Plague", pp. 151-156; "The Policy of Pericles", pp. 156-164.

Videos & Image:

Thucydides, The Never-Ending War/View this video @
See also

The Mytilenean Debate video @

Image of the ancient Greek trireme  @ http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/04/01/science/01classic.xlarge1.jpg

The Melian Dialogue video @


The continuing relevance of Thucydides' classic is illustrated in this article:
Simon Stow, "Pericles at Gettysburg and Ground Zero: Tragedy, Patriotism,, and Public Mourning", American Political Science Review, May 2007, Vol. 101, No. 2, pp. 195-208.
Texas State University permalink.  A valid Texas State University User Name and password are required for access.
In  his article, "Simon Stow operates in the long standing tradition of using political theory to enrich our understanding of important contemporary events".  ("Notes from the Editor",  American Political Science Review, May 2007, Vol. 101, No. 2, p. v.) [boldface added]
Stow offers observations on Pericles' famous Funeral Oration and Thucydides' two models of public mourning.  "Each [model] generates a particular patriotic perspective: one unquestioning and partial; the other balanced and theoretical".  The author maintains that Lincoln's 1863 Gettysburg Address corresponds to the latter model while the September 2002 commemoration for those who perished at the World Trade Center corresponds to the former.
Note: At the end of his article, after a disclaimer, Stow refers to the suggestions of others concerning what might have been said at the September 2002 commemoration. Some readers may find these particular suggestions unpersuasive and even objectionable.

Simon Stow's article can also be viewed @ http://www.arnoldleder.com/readings/index.htmlScroll to the section on "Political Ideas" and look for "Stow: Pericles at Gettysburg and Ground Zero".  This location is password protected.  Password and user name for access will be provided to students in the course.

For an analysis and comparsion of Pericles' Funeral Oraton, The Mytilenean Debate (and the figures of Cleon and Diodotus), Civil War in Corcyra, and The Melian Dialogue in terms of reason, language, and power as they reflect the changing character of Athens, see: Robert Zaretsky/It's Still All Greek to Us: on the Timelessness of Thucydides/The Virginia Quarterly Review Winter 1992, Vol. 68, No. 1.
Note: The author's stated belief (in an aside placed in parentheses) that "parallels between Cleon's reasoning and the neo-conservatism of the 1970's are disquieting" may be viewed by some readers as meretricious.

For an analysis of Pericles' Funeral Oration and related issues such as Athenian imperialism, see also:
Steven Forde, "Thucydides On the Causes Of Athenian Imperialism", American Political Science Review, June 1986, Vol. 80, No. 2, pp. 433-448.
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In Book III, read with special care, "The Mytilenean Debate", pp. 212-224; "The End of Plataea", pp. 223-236; and "Civil War in Corcyra", pp. 236-245. In Book V, read "The Melian Dialogue", pp. 400-408. In Book VI, read "Launching of the Sicilian Expedition", pp. 414-429. In Book VII, read "Fortification of Decelea", pp. 488-496.

For differing interpretations of Thucydides' account of The Melian Dialogue and his views on power, hubris, weakness, security, tyranny, self interest, and related issues, see:
Richard Ned Lebow, "The Paranoia of the Powerful: Thucydides on World War III", PS, Winter 1984, Vol. XVII, No. 1, pp. 10-17.
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See also:
"An Exchange on The Paranoia of the Powerful: Thucydides on World War III", PS, Summer 1984, Vol. XVII, No. 3, pp. 585-596. 
This exchange includes: William T. Bluhm, "Hybris and Aggression: A Critique of Lebow's Paranoia of the Powerful and an Alternative Theory", pp. 585-591.
Richard Ned Lebow, "Thucydides and Aggression: A Reply to Professor Bluhm", pp. 591-594.
Barry S. Strauss, "Thucydides on the Insecurity of Tyranny: A Comment on Professors Lebow and Bluhm", pp. 594-596.
William T. Bluhm, "Thucydides on the Insecurity of Tyranny: A Comment on Professors Lebow and Bluhm: A Response", p. 596.
These materials can be accessed @ http://www.jstor.org.libproxy.txstate.edu/stable/i217321.  Scroll down to the articles listed immediately above.
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See also: W. Liebeschutz, "The Structure and Function of the Melian Dialogue", The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 88 (1968), pp. 73-77.
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Roundtable Discussion On Thucydides, including observations on the relevance of Thucydides to America's contemporary role in the world and Iraq, with Victor Davis Hanson,
author of A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, Kimberly Kagan, author of The Eye of Command, and Robert Strassler, author of The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War, on Public Radio International.  Listen to the entire discussion (60 minutes) @ http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/ros/open_source_070104.mp3.  This roundtable was originally broadcast on December 26, 2006 and was recorded on January 04, 2007.  For a useful collection of comments, links to authors and portions of Thucydides' classic that provide background for this roundtable, see: Thucydides: Ur-Historian of the Ur-War.

Daniel Mendelsohn/Theatres Of War: Why The Battles Over Ancient Athens Still Rage/The New Yorker/January 12, 2004
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Walter Russell Mead, "Is Fear The Father Of Us All?", The American Interest,  February 14, 2011 @ http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/02/14/is-fear-the-father-of-us-all/

Victor Davis Hanson, "Why is Everyone Suddenly Quoting Thucydides?", July 26, 2017, @ https://amgreatness.com/2017/07/26/everyone-suddenly-quoting-thucydides/,

Guy Gugliotta/The Ancient (Greek) Mechanics and How They Thought/NYT April 1, 2008
LAW OF THE LEVER On triremes, the midships oarsmen were the most effective.
Image of the ancient Greek trireme

Web Sites Of Interest:

3.  A Critique of Thucydides by Marshall Sahlins: Explanation Based On Universal Human Motivations or Particularities of Separate Cultures?
Marshall Sahlins/Apologies to Thucydides: Understanding History as Culture and Vice Versa (University of Chicago Press 2004)

For an excerpt from Sahlins' book in which he challenges Thucydides' approach to history, see: Baseball is Society, Played as a Game

For more on Marshall Sahlins, see:

For more on the question of explanation based on universal human motivations and an analysis of Thucydides' view of the "unique Athenian character" stemming from "an unprecedented liberation of certain impulses of human nature", see:
Steven Forde, "Thucydides On the Causes Of Athenian Imperialism", American Political Science Review, June 1986, Vol. 80, No. 2, pp. 433-448.
"Thucydides' investigation of Athenian imperialism is in part an investigation into whether imperialism as such is based on universal human compulsions, and hence cannot simply be condemned.  It is generally recognized that for Thucydides, Athenian imperialism is connected to the Athenian national character, but it has not been widely appreciated that Thucydides provides a detailed account of the foundations of the Athenian character in human nature itself.  That account revolves around what he calls 'daring' and the human impulse of eros. The erotic and daring character of the Athenians is connected by Thucydides both to the unique democracy of the city and to its unique experience in the Persian Wars.  The unique Athenian character stems from an unprecedented liberation of certain impulses of human nature.  This produces Athenian imperialism and dynamism, but also destroys the city in time."  (boldface added)

Note:  Steven Forde's article is also referred to above in regard to Pericles' Funeral Oration and Athenian imperialism.
Steven Forde, "Thucydides On the Causes Of Athenian Imperialism", American Political Science Review, June 1986, Vol. 80, No. 2, pp. 433-448.
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This article is accessible @ Locating Periodicals @ Texas State University LibraryA valid Texas State University student ID and user name are required.

4.  Mariano Azuela: The Morality of Power
Mariano Azuela, The Underdogs: A Novel Of The Mexican Revolution
"What qualifies a work as a literary classic is its ability to survive rereadings, and The Underdogs does. ... [it is] required reading in Mexican schools today and is celebrated as the apex of the tradition known as 'novela de la revolución mexicana'."
- from
Ilán Stavans' Introduction to Mariano Azuela, The Underdogs (2002 Modern Library Classics Edition), p. x.

Web Sites Of Interest:
wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariano Azuela

III.  Realism, Power, & the State: Machiavelli [1469-1527]
Four Views of Machiavelli:
1.   The Conventional Wisdom: The Purpose of Politics, Realism & Morality, Human Nature, Democracy & the Support of the People , & Fortuna.
For a discussion of the origins of the term "conventional wisdom", see: Daniel Ben-Ami/The midwife of miserabilism/spiked-online.com/Issue no. 9 January 2008.
"When John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Affluent Society was first published 50 years ago, it was meant as a polemic against the spirit of the times. Back in 1958, with America in the middle of the boom that followed the Second World War, the orthodox view was that economic growth was good. That was why Galbraith, then an economics professor at Harvard, coined the term ‘conventional wisdom’ to describe the mainstream view that he intended to attack".  (boldface added)

2.   Leo Strauss [1899-1973]/Thoughts On Machiavelli (1958) - A call for a careful, close reading of Machiavelli.
3.   J. G. A. Pocock/The Machiavellian Moment (1976)  - Preparing the way for a democratic republic.
For more on J. G. A. Pocock, see:
4.    Hanna Fenichel Pitkin/Fortune Is a Woman: Gender and Politics in the Thought of Niccolò Machiavelli (University of Chicago 1984)/1999 Edition With a New Afterword
"Fortune is a woman, and if you want to keep her under, you've got to knock her around some."--Niccolò Machiavelli

"Machiavelli's writings never transcended the conventional misogyny of his time.  Like other men of Renaissance Florence, he had virtually no experience of women as citizens or peers ..." (Pitkin, Fortune Is a Woman, p. 305.)

"Men who deny the humanity of women are bound to misunderstand their own." 
(Pitkin, Fortune Is a Woman, p. 306.)

"... Machiavelli's best teaching is threatened wherever his imagery evokes misogynist fears ..." 
(Pitkin, Fortune Is a Woman, p. 316.)

"Hanna Pitkin's provocative and enduring study of Machiavelli was the first to systematically place gender at the center of its exploration of his political thought. In this edition, Pitkin adds a new afterword, in which she discusses the book's critical reception and situates the book's arguments in the context of recent interpretations of Machiavelli's thought."  The University of Chicago Press description of the 1999 edition of this book.

Excerpts from Hanna Pitkin, Fortune Is a Woman: Gender and Politics in the Thought of Machiavelli (1999 edition)

Readings: Machiavelli, The Prince
Return to Course Contents

IV.  Community & Order: Edmund Burke [1730-1797]
1. Edmund Burke: The Sanctity of Tradition, Convention/Prescription, Community, Society as a "Contract" & "Partnership", History & Experience, Revolution, Arbitrary Power, Change & Conservatism, Restraints & Rights, Inequality, Representation & "the Unfeeling Heart". Compromise, Established Institutions & Religion, Complexity of Man, Vice & Imperfection, " Discoveries in Morality", Prudence, Circumspection & Caution, "Naked Reason", "Antagonist" as "Helper", Intuition & Reason, "Good Order".

Readings: Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France.
(Read through entire book for background but emphasize only those sections discussed in class.)

Web Sites Of Interest: 
Edmund Burke Page

2. Mary Wollstonecraft [1759-1797]: Criticism of Burke - The Equality of Women; Progress for the Poor; Reason and Emotions.

"It would be an endless task to trace the variety of meannesses, cares, and sorrows, into which women are plunged by the prevailing opinion, that they were created rather to feel than reason, and that all the power they obtain, must be obtained by their charms and weakness.
Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft/A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792)
Rachel Evans/The Rationality and Femininity of Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen/Journal of International Women's Studies, Vol. 7, No. 3, March 2006 (Scroll to second article.)  Direct access to this article @ Rachel Evans/The Rationality and Femininity of Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen (pdf)
Rachel Evans examines "the subordination of women by a construction of femininity which did not allow them to be [regarded as] rational thinking subjects."  In their writings, Mary Wollstonecraft and Jane Austen enabled women to position themselves as rational thinking beings.

Web Sites Of Interest: 

Individual & Group Perspectives
1.  Harriet Taylor [Mill] [1807-1858]: The Emancipation of Women
Harriet Taylor [Mill], "The Enfranchisement of Women" (1851)
For additional information and sources on Harriet Taylor [Mill], see: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/harriet-mill/#2.1

"As the study of the mind of others is the only way in which effectually to improve our own, the endeavour to approximate as nearly as possible towards a complete knowledge of, and sympathy with another mind  is the  spring and the food of all fineness of heart and mind."  Harriet Taylor,  [An Early Essay On Toleration - precise date & title of the essay are not known.]

See also: Jo Ellen Jacobs/The second scribe (the case for Harriet Taylor as the co-author of On Liberty)/tpm the philosophers' magazine June 23, 2009, Issue 46
"Who wrote On Liberty? Nearly everyone with a college education could tell you – well – should be able to tell you that the author is John Stuart Mill. But not so fast…
Scholars have debated the role of Harriet Taylor Mill in the composition of On Liberty almost continuously since the text appeared. Some commentators say she didn’t have anything to do with it, others that she did – and that explains why the book is not very good. Only a very few of us argue that her contribution was both significant and positive. A contemporary Mill scholar, Alan Ryan, suggests that “it would be more foolish to exaggerate Harriet’s role than to deny it.” Perhaps I am an exaggerating fool. I’ve been called worse."

2. Kwame Appiah: The Ethics Of Community & Individuality
First chapter of Kwame Appiah/The Ethics of Identity (Princeton University Press 2004)
The first chapter of Kwme Appiah's The Ethics of Identity, "The Ethics of Individuality" is accessible online @ http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/chapters/s7806.html
Who Is Kwame Anthony Appiah?/William McPheron - Background Information on Kwame Appiah/Stanford University Presidential Lectures on the Humanities/November, 2004.
"Kwame Anthony Appiah is our postmodern Socrates. He asks what it means to be African and African-American, but his answers immediately raise issues that encompass us all. ...  Race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, religion, nationhood, and the multiculturalism such categories promote—each of these he scrutinizes, finding some to be empirically unsound, many conceptually incoherent, and all ethically ambivalent."  See excerpts from several of Appiah's works.
See also Kwame Appiah's website @ http://www.appiah.net/

For more on Kwame Appiah, see:

Equality & Culture
Anne Phillips, Multiculturalism without Culture (Princeton University Press 2007)
Read the Introduction to Anne Phillip's book

"My object, however, is a multiculturalism without culture: a multiculturalism that dispenses with the reified notions of culture that feed those stereotypes to which so many feminists have objected, yet retains enough robustness to address inequalities between cultural groups; a multiculturalism in which the language of cultural difference no longer gives hostages to fortune or sustenance to racists, but also no longer paralyses normative judgment.

 ... I query what I see as one of the biggest problems with culture: the tendency to represent individuals from minority or non-Western groups as driven by their culture and compelled by cultural dictates to behave in particular ways. Culture is now widely employed in a discourse that denies human agency, defining individuals through their culture, and treating culture as the explanation for virtually everything they say or do. This sometimes features as part of the case for multicultural policies or concessions, but it more commonly appears in punitive policies designed to stamp out what have been deemed inappropriate or unacceptable practices. ...
... I argue that a more careful understanding of culture provides a better basis for multicultural policy than the overly homogenised version that currently figures in the arguments of supporters and critics alike. A defensible multiculturalism will put human agency much more at its centre; it will dispense with strong notions of culture.

I focus on areas of contestation where a sensitivity to cultural traditions has been employed to deny women their rights or principles of gender equality have been used as a reason to ban cultural practices, and I draw on a growing feminist literature that sees the deconstruction of culture as the way forward in addressing tensions between gender equality and cultural diversity. My own approach is closest to those who have noted the selective way culture is employed to explain behaviour in non-Western societies or among individuals from racialised minority groups, and the implied contrast with rational, autonomous (Western) individuals, whose actions are presumed to reflect moral judgments, and who can be held individually responsible for those actions and beliefs. This binary approach to cultural difference is neither helpful nor convincing. The basic contention throughout is that multiculturalism can be made compatible with the pursuit of gender equality and women’s rights so long as it dispenses with an essentialist understanding of culture. I have somewhat polemically described my project as a multiculturalism without culture."

Listen to Anne Phillips:
Should members of a minority group be left to lead their lives as they see fit, even where their values differ from those of the majority? Anne Phillips, author of a recent book on multiculturalism, addresses the difficult question of how people from different cultures can live together without conflict.
Direct download: PhillipsMulti.MP3  July 03, 2007 (about 20 minutes)

In 1992, Anne Phillips was co-winner of the American Political Science Association's Victoria Schuck Award for Best Book on Women and Politics published in 1991 (awarded for Engendering Democracy (Penn State University Press 1991).  (boldface added)

The "Diversity Paradox": Recent scholarly findings and criticisms:
The findings of the well known Harvard University political scientist, Robert D. Putnam, in his recent study of diversity and its consequences in the U.S. have evoked much discussion and criticism.  For an overview of Robert D. Putnam's recent study and the views of his critics on the question of diversity, see:
Michael Jonas/The Downside of Diversity/International Herald Tribune August 05, 2007

"It has become increasingly popular to speak of racial and ethnic diversity as a civic strength. From multicultural festivals to pronouncements from political leaders, the message is the same: our differences make us stronger.

But a massive new study, based on detailed interviews of nearly 30,000 people across America, has concluded just the opposite. Harvard political scientist Robert D. Putnam -- famous for Bowling Alone, his 2000 book on declining civic engagement -- has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.

The image of civic lassitude dragging down more diverse communities is at odds with the vigor often associated with urban centers, where ethnic diversity is greatest. It turns out there is a flip side to the discomfort diversity can cause. If ethnic diversity, at least in the short run, is a liability for social connectedness, a parallel line of emerging research suggests it can be a big asset when it comes to driving productivity and innovation. In high-skill workplace settings, says Scott Page, the University of Michigan political scientist, the different ways of thinking among people from different cultures can be a boon. 

'Because they see the world and think about the world differently than you, that's challenging,' says Page, author of The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies. But by hanging out with people different than you, you're likely to get more insights. Diverse teams tend to be more productive.'   

In other words, those in more diverse communities may do more bowling alone, but the creative tensions unleashed by those differences in the workplace may vault those same places to the cutting edge of the economy and of creative culture.

Page calls it the 'diversity paradox.' He thinks the contrasting positive and negative effects of diversity can coexist in communities, but 'there's got to be a limit.' If civic engagement falls off too far, he says, it's easy to imagine the positive effects of diversity beginning to wane as well. 'That's what's unsettling about his findings, Page says of Putnam's new work."  (boldface added)

See Robert D. Putnam's published article:
Robert D. Putnam/E. Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century-The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture/Scandinavian Political Studies 30 Issue 2, pp. 137-174, June 2007 (Scroll to bottom of page and click on html full text or pdf full text for the full text of Putnam's article.)

Abstract: Ethnic diversity is increasing in most advanced countries, driven mostly by sharp increases in immigration. In the long run immigration and diversity are likely to have important cultural, economic, fiscal, and developmental benefits. In the short run, however, immigration and ethnic diversity tend to reduce social solidarity and social capital. New evidence from the US suggests that in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods residents of all races tend to ‘hunker down’. Trust (even of one's own race) is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer. In the long run, however, successful immigrant societies have overcome such fragmentation by creating new, cross-cutting forms of social solidarity and more encompassing identities. Illustrations of becoming comfortable with diversity are drawn from the US military, religious institutions, and earlier waves of American immigration.

On the question of altruism and ethnic groups, see:
"Parochial Altruism" '... the notion that people might prefer to help strangers from their own ethnic group over strangers from a different group ...'
Olivia Judson, "The Selfless Gene", Atlantic Monthly, October, 2007, Vol. 300, No. 3, pp. 90-98.
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For an informative consideration of the question of identity politics and the deaf community with implications for understanding the larger issue of identity, see:
.  Lennard J. Davis is the author of the highly acclaimed memoir, My Sense of Silence: Memoirs of a Childhood with Deafness (University of Illinois Press 2002), in which he describes his experiences as a hearing child with deaf parents.
Lennard J. Davis/Deafness and the Riddle of Identity/Chronicle of Higher Education-The Chronicle Review, Vol. 53, Issue 19, p. B6/ January 12, 2007.
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"... it might be useful to examine what deaf identity might be and how that identity fits in with current notions of other identities based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and so on. Even with all the recent hoopla about deaf issues, most people probably aren't paying a lot of attention to what goes on within the deaf community. But the discussions there can point the way to a new and better understanding of identity in our postmodern world. " - from Lennard J. Davis, "Deafness and the Riddle of Identity".

VI. Amartya Sen; Kwame Appiah: Examining "The Clash of Civilizations".

Amartya Sen,
"The Uses And Abuses Of Multiculturalism", The New Republic, February 27, 2006 @ http://www.pierretristam.com/Bobst/library/wf-58.htm

This essay may also be accessed through the Texas State University library @ Locating Periodicals @ Texas State University Library
A valid Texas State University student ID and user name are required.
This essay is also posted in pdf @
http://www.arnoldleder.com/readings/index.htmlScroll to the section labeled "Political Ideas" and look for the author and title of this article.  This location is password protected.  Password and user name for access will be provided to students in the course.

Amartya Sen/What Clash of Civilizations?/slate.com/March 29 2006
This essay is adapted from Amartya Sen's book Identity and Violence (Norton 2006).

For more on Amartya Sen see:

For a critical review of Sen's book and his ideas concerning identity, see:
Fouad Ajami/Enemies, a Love Story: A Nobel laureate argues that civilizations are not clashing/Washington Post/Sunday April 2, 2006 BW 07

For more on Fouad Ajami, see:

Kwame Appiah
Kwame Appiah/Whose Culture Is It?/The New York Review of Books February 9, 2006 Vol. 53 No. 2. pdf.
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Native American Political Thought
For an informative essay on cultural perspectives and the political and philosophical thought of Native American political thinkers, see:
Elizabeth Archuleta, "American Indian Thought: Philosophical Essays", American Indian Quarterly, Winter/Spring 2005, Vol. 29, Issue 1/2.
Section: Book Reviews - A review essay on Anne Waters (ed.) American Indian Thought: Philosophica Essays (2003)
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For a discussion of major shortcomings in popular perceptions of Native American peoples, see:
Akim D. Reinhardt, “Defining the Native”, American Indian Quarterly, Summer/Fall 2005, Vol. 29, Issue 3/4.
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Dressed in their finest traditional garb -- and chatting on cell phones -- the procession of Native Americans is one of the most fascinating and touching events of the Indian Museum's opening day," asserted an anonymous copywriter in a lead-in to a Washington Post article on September 22, 2004. (n1).  "This single sentence captured some of the major shortcomings in the popular American perception of Native peoples.  One is a static and ahistorical view of Indigenous cultures, an approach that seeks to trap Native peoples in atavistic poses and then certify such atavism as the exclusively authentic representation of the Indigenous.  Another prevalent misperception is an appeal to the supposedly exotic aspects of Native peoples and societies, particularly the casting of Native peoples as noble and tragic figures in the melodrama of American history."

Culture Death & Creative Response: The Crow of the Western U.S.
Charles Taylor, "A Different Kind of Courage", The New York Review of Books, April 26, 2007, Vol. 54, No. 7, pp. 4-8.  Charles Taylor's review essay is on the book Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation (Harvard University Press 2007) by Jonathan Lear.
"Radical Hope is first of all an analysis of what is involved when a culture dies. This has been the fate of many aboriginal peoples in the last couple of centuries. Jonathan Lear takes as the main subject of his study the Crow tribe of the western US, who were more or less pressured to give up their hunting way of life and enter a reservation near the end of the nineteenth century. (boldface added)
... 'When the buffalo went away the hearts of my people fell to the ground, and they could not lift them up again. After this nothing happened.' Lear concentrates on those last four words. What can they mean? ... (boldface added)
... This background [on the Crow] allows Lear to give a real sense of what is lost when a culture disappears.
... A culture's disappearing means that a people's situation is so changed that the actions that had crucial significance are no longer possible in that radical sense. It is not just that you may be forbidden to try them and may be severely punished for attempting to do so; but worse, you can no longer even try them. You can't draw lines or die while trying to defend them. You find yourself in a circumstance where, as Lear puts it, 'the very acts themselves have ceased to make sense.'
... We find it hard to grasp the full, devastating impact of this kind of culture death because of the differentiated and loosely articulated way of life that seems normal to us.
... Living in a society for which this degree of integration is almost unimaginable, we have great difficulty grasping the full horror of the situation in which the Crow found themselves. That is why we are generally untroubled when we (or "progress," or "globalization") impose it on people. On the contrary, we make a virtue of the kind of "flexibility" that enables people to change jobs, professions, skills.
... Lear sees the avoidance of despair as the indispensable condition in which a community can respond creatively to the plight of culture death. And it is only this kind of creative response from within—one that draws on the community's resources and traditions to come up with a new understanding of the ends of life—that can avoid the spiral of apathy and social decay which is the lot of so many such societies.  (boldface added)
... What do I take away from this short, illuminating book? My own version of radical hope, applied to very different circumstances. Like the version Lear attributes to the Crow, this starts with a devastating realization: that the emergence of a world civilization, highly unified economically, politically, and in communications, has exacted, and will go on exacting, a tremendous human cost in the death or near death of cultures. And this will be made worse because those who dominate modern civilization have trouble grasping what the costs involve." (boldface added)

Recommended Additional Materials
Monica Ali,
Brick Lane (2003)
Monica Ali/Brick Lane (Scribner  2003)
A highly praised novel about the experiences of a Bangladeshi Muslim immigrant family and a young Bangladeshi woman in modern London.  As Booklist notes: "[Monica] Ali is extraordinary at capturing the female immigrant experience through her character's innocence."

For more on Monica Ali, see:

Sukhdev Sandhu, "Come hungry, leave edgy" - a review essay of Monica Ali, Brick Lane (2003), London Review of Books, October 9, 2003, Vol. 25, No. 19.
This review essay can be accessed onine @
This essay is also posted @ http://www.arnoldleder.com/readings/index.htmlScroll to the section labeled "Readings On Islam" and look for the author and title of this article.  This location is password protected.  Password and user name for access will be provided to students in the course.

In this critical review of Monica Ali's novel Brick Lane, Sukhev Sandhu, whose own book, London Calling: How Black and Asian Writers Imagined a City (Harper Perennial 2004), is on immigrant writers in London, provides a rich and informative history of the area of London in which the actual street, Brick Lane, is located.  He describes the lives of earlier immigrant communities, including Irish immigrants and French Huguenot immigrants in the 1700's, Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe in the late 1800's following pogroms in Russia, earlier Bengali arrivals, and he also notes the gentrification of the area now taking place that will likely displace many in the Bangladeshi community.  This informative review essay does not require a reading of the novel Brick Lane.  See Steven Barfield's review essay for an informative consideration of Sandhu's book and other works by Black and Asian writers in London.  The city of London has an historic and diverse Black community.

Both Monica Ali's novel, Brick Lane, and Sukhdev Sandhu's essay provide valuable insights into a minority community's experiences in an increasingly multicultural city of London and an increasingly multicultural British society.

For an informative survey on the works of immigrant background writers elsewhere in Europe, see:
Ingeborg Kongslien/Migrant or multicultural literature in the Nordic countries/eurozine.com/March 08, 2006
"Authors with immigrant backgrounds have been writing and publishing in the Nordic countries for the last three decades. Dealing with themes of migration and exile, biculturalism and bilingualism, and acculturation and identity formation, they have introduced new fields of reference into the Nordic literatures and have challenged and expanded the national literary canons. An overview of the range of "migrant literature" in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark."

The Brick Lane Debate

The novel Brick Lane has it detractors who charge that London's Bangladeshis who live in the Brick Lane area are not accurately portrayed in the novel.  The filming of the novel has brought this concern to public attention.  The debate illustrates the various dimensions and issues that are sometimes involved in the larger question of multiculturalism.  The heated debate that has developed is described by Alan Cowell/In London, a New East-West Skirmish/NYT/August 05, 2006. 

In his article Alan Cowell notes:

"In some ways, the debate has revived a much wider discussion in Europe about whether free speech may be limited by the sensitivities of people who feel affronted by it.  Should old Western societies, in other words, rewrite their definitions of liberty to accommodate the sensitivities of others?

At its most extreme and violent, the dispute flared this year in the Islamic protests against the publication in Denmark of cartoons lampooning the prophet Muhammad. The same question drove protests in the English city of Birmingham in December 2004, when 'Behzti', a play by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, the British-born daughter of Sikh immigrants, was canceled after Sikhs said it insulted their faith.  One month earlier, Theo van Gogh, an outspoken Dutch filmmaker, was shot dead in the Netherlands by a man the police described as a Muslim extremist.  And, of course, the broader issue of faith-versus-freedom found its modern wellspring in the fatwa declared against Mr. Rushdie by Ayatollah Ruhollah_Khomeini in 1989 because of his novel 'Satanic Verses'.

But this latest dispute, said Abdus Salique, the local business leader who marshaled support against the filming of 'Brick Lane', is different, related not to religion but to a sense among the area’s Bengali residents and traders that the years of effort that made their neighborhood an icon of east London were now in jeopardy.  The book, and the film of it, Mr. Salique said, sully the identity of those Bengalis from the Sylhet region of Bangladesh who made Brick Lane part of the London tourist circuit and center of Bangladeshi culture."

The debate over Brick Lane has included exchanges between prominent literary figures such as Salman Rushdie and Germaine Greer.

For a British perspective on the controversy and the exchange between Rushdie and Greer, see: Paul Lewis/Brick Lane protests force film company to beat retreat/The Guardian/ July 27, 2006

See also: The Limits of Tolerance - A Panel Discussion/PEN Club's International Festival of Literature/N.Y. April 28, 2006
Panelists: Pascal Bruckner, Necla Kelek, Richard Rodriguez; moderated by Kwame Anthony Appiah
"In distinctive American and European variants, multiculturalism is embattled from left and right as never before, even as both continents absorb unprecedented numbers of immigrants. Can the Enlightenment ideal of tolerance survive the pressures of profound cultural differences aggravated by religious extremism? A diverse group of American and European observers look at multiculturalism today." (Description of the panel as a forthcoming event.)

"On Friday, April 28, 2006, signandsight.com co-hosted a panel discussion at the New York Public Library as part of 'World Voices', the PEN Club's International Festival of Literature. The discussion on 'The Limits of Tolerance, moderated by author Kwame Anthony Appiah, provided the background for an engaging exchange between Turkish German sociologist Necla Kelek, French philosopher Pascal Bruckner and Mexican-American essayist Richard Rodriguez

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B.A. in Political Science - Learning Outcomes:
1.    Students will demonstrate the ability to ask relevant questions pertaining to Political Science.
2.    Students will demonstrate the ability to recognize and evaluate assumptions and implications.
3.    Students will demonstrate the ability to examine and evaluate different sides of an issue.
4.    Students will demonstrate the ability to state and defend a thesis that is clear, direct, logical, and substantive in the area of Political Science.
5.    Students will demonstrate the ability to find and use a variety of appropriately cited sources.
6.    Students will demonstrate substantive knowledge of concepts and facts relevant to Political Science.

For students in Public Administration:
1.    Students will demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills.
2.    Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in writing.
3.    Students will demonstrate effective oral communication skills.
4.    Students will demonstrate a fundamental understanding of key public administration and management concepts related to their internship experience or applied research project.
5.    Students will demonstrate an understanding of ethical issues in public administration.

Academic Honesty Statement

Learning and teaching take place best in an atmosphere of intellectual freedom and openness. All members of the academic community are responsible for supporting freedom and openness through rigorous personal standards of honesty and fairness. Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty undermine the very purpose of the university and diminish the value of an education.
Academic Offenses
Students who have committed academic dishonesty, which includes cheating on an examination or other academic work to be submitted, plagiarism, collusion, or abuse of resource materials, are subject to disciplinary action.
a. Academic work means the preparation of an essay, thesis, report, problem assignments, or other projects which are to be submitted for purposes of grade determination.
b. Cheating means:
1. Copying from another students test paper, laboratory report, other report or computer files, data listing, and/or programs.
2. Using materials during a test unauthorized by person giving test.
3. Collaborating, without authorization, with another person during an examination or in preparing academic work.
4. Knowingly, and without authorization, using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting, soliciting, copying, or possessing, in whole or part, the content of an unaministered test.
5. Substituting for another studentor permitting another person to substitute for oneself in taking an exam or preparing academic work.
6. Bribing another person to obtain an unadministered test or information about an unadministered test.
c. Plagiarism means the appropriation of another's work and the unacknowledged incorporation of that work in ones own written work offered for credit.
d. Collusion means the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing written work offered for credit.
e. Abuse of resource materials means the mutilation, destruction, concealment, theft or alteration of materials provided to assist students in the mastery of course materials.
Penalties for Academic Dishonesty
Students who have committeed academic dishonesty may be subject to:
a. Academic penalty including one or more of the following when not inconsistent:
1. A requirement to perform additional academic work not required of other students in the course;
2. Required to withdraw from the course with a grade of F.
3. A reduction to any level grade in the course, or on the exam or other academic work affected by the academic dishonesty.
b. Disciplinary penalty including any penalty which may be imposed in a student disciplinary hearing pursuant to this Code of Conduct.

This statement is taken from  the Texas State University Student Handbook. The complete statement, including student rights, can be accessed @