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Reading List

Enrich your knowledge. Prepare for your comprehensive exam.

Students should be prepared to discuss the main arguments in the following writings in their written and oral comprehensive examinations. In addition to specific texts listed below, students should also be prepared to discuss all readings assigned (1) in the IPS core courses, and (2) in any other graduate courses that they have taken.

 

Reading List for Politics Ph.D. Students

  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War
  • Aristotle, Politics
  • Plutarch, Parallel Lives
    • Selections: Theseus, Romulus; Lycurgus, Numa; Alcibiades, Coriolanus; Alexander, Caesar
  • Thomas Aquinas, "Treatise on Law"
    • (Summa Theologiae, I-II, Questions 90-100, 105,108)
  • Machiavelli, The Prince
  • John Locke, Two Treatises of Government,
    • The entire Second Treatise and the following selections from the First Treatise: ch. 1, sec. 1-3; ch. 2, sec. 6-9, 14; ch. 4, sec. 21-27, 33, 39, 42, 43; ch. 5, sec. 44-47; ch. 6, sec. 53-61; ch. 9, sec. 86-100; ch. 11, sec. 106)
  • Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution of 1787
  • Virginia (1776) and Massachusetts (1780) Declarations of Rights
  • Northwest Ordinance of 1787.
  • The Federalist
    • No. 6, 9, 10, 15, 48, 49, 51, 57, 62, 70, 78.
  • Immanuel Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals
  • Karl Marx
    • The Communist Manifesto, "Contribution to a Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right: Introduction"
  • Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
    • Appropriate selections showing his approach to the topic. For example: Introduction (pp. 3-15), vol 1, pt 1, ch 2-5 (27-93), vol 1, pt 2, ch 5-6 (187-235), vol 1, pt 2, ch 9 (264-302), vol 2, pt 2, ch 1-8 (479-503), vol 2, pt 3, ch 8-12 (558-576), vol 2, pt 4, ch 1-3 and 6-8 (639-645, 661-676) (page numbers are from the Mansfield translation).
  • Abraham Lincoln
    • Speech on the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854), Speech on Dred Scott (1857), First and Second Inaugural Addresses, Address to Congress on July 4, 1861, Gettysburg Address.
  • The Lincoln-Douglas Debates, ed. Robert W. Johannsen (New York: Oxford, 1965)
    • Selections showing the views of both Lincoln and Douglas. For example, 14-36, 78-79, 86-92, 145-49, 162-63, 195-200, 206-226, 229-39, 242-44.
  • John Dewey, Liberalism and Social Action or any other writing of Dewey that shows his understanding of philosophy and politics.
  • Martin Heidegger, "The Question Concerning Technology" or any selection in which he sketches his understanding of being
  • Leo Strauss, any selections indicating his approach to political philosophy.
    • For example, What is Political Philosophy, Chapter 1, 2, 3, and 9; or, Natural Right and History, Introduction, chapters 1 and 4, and one of the modern subchapters

Select a text from the following list to prepare in depth for your comprehensive examination text question.

Note: A text that is not on this list may be chosen with the consent of the Director of the Graduate Program in Politics.

  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War
  • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
  • Aristotle, Politics
  • Plato, Republic
  • Plutarch, Lives, selections (Theseus, Romulus, Lycurgus, Numa, Publicola, Coriolanus, Marcellus, Cato, the Gracchi, Cicero, Caesar, Brutus; include Plutarch's comparisons).
  • Augustine, City of God
  • Thomas Aquinas, Treatise on Law (Summa Theologiae, I-II, Questions 90-101, 104-108).
  • Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
  • John Locke, Two Treatises of Government, all of the Second Treatise, plus the following selections from the First Treatise: ch. 1, sec. 1-3; ch. 2, sec. 6, 7, 9, 14; ch. 4, sec. 21-27, 33, 39, 42, 43; ch. 5, sec. 44-45, 47; ch. 6, sec. 53-54, 56-59, 61; ch. 9, sec. 86-100; ch. 11, sec. 106)
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau, First and Second Discourses and Social Contract.
  • Alexander Hamilton et al. The Federalist.
  • Georg W.F. Hegel, Philosophy of History.
  • Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto (Marx-Engels Reader, 469-500); Engels' Eulogy (681-82); Engels, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (683-717); "Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right: Introduction" (53-65); Theses on Feuerbach (143-45); "On the Jewish Question" (26-52); "1844 Manuscripts" (70-93); German Ideology (146-200); Address of the Central Committee (501-511); on non-violent revolution and "Critique of the Gotha Program" (522-541).
  • Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America.
  • Abraham Lincoln, Lyceum Address, Temperance Address, Speech on the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Dred Scott Speech, First and Second Inaugural Addresses, Address to Congress on July 4, 1861, Gettysburg Address. Also The Lincoln-Douglas Debates.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra or Beyond Good and Evil or Genealogy of Morals.
  • Leo Strauss, any book.

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