Power! It is something that most of us strive for, but few of us obtain. Why do we desire power? Why is it that for most of us, power is allusive or unobtainable? If you had power, what would you do with it? In order to address these questions, it is first necessary to ask: What is power? How is power acquired? How is power maintained?
In this course we will examine the answers to these questions provided by some of the central figures in the history of political theory. In so doing, we will investigate underlying issues concerning the relation between ethics and politics, the notion of good government, the qualities of leaders, the rationality for the use of violence, the importance of property, and the relation between power and truth. Students will be asked to employ the theories and concepts studied in the course in analyzing contemporary social and political issues. Students who have taken PHIL 450 Power: 701 cannot take this course.