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Justice, the State, and the Individual

Program(s): Immersion

This course is currently at capacity during the Extended and Rolling deadlines. If you select this course as a first choice on your application, please apply for second options that fulfills your interests.

*Taught Online for Summer 2021*  This course will introduce you to some of the most important issues in political thought. What should we think about the nature of justice, and the relationship between justice, morality, law, and social conventions? How do, should, and could individuals and their political communities relate to each other? What is the basis, if any, for the legitimacy of political authority? What are possible approaches to the resolution of political and social conflicts, and what are the relative merits of those approaches? Does it make sense to see political life as a means to individual human happiness? To get at these issues we will read some of the most important works of political thought, philosophy, theology, and drama produced in the period before the modern age, from the ancient Athens of Plato and Aristotle; to the political theology of Augustine; to the potentially revolutionary modes of thought introduced by the Renaissance, as represented by More and Machiavelli. We will then close with one modern, Friedrich Nietzsche, and his war on the thought of—among others—Plato and Augustine.

Daily Course Expectations

  • 6 hours of daily work
  • Mix of synchronous and asynchronous work (see definitions here)
  • 1 required synchronous session per day: 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. CST

Course Considerations

Students should have demonstrated facility with critical reading and writing.

Course Overview

Current Grade / Education Level

9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade



Start Date

June 21

End Date

July 08

Class Details

Primary Instructor

David Lyons

Academic Interest

Humanities (e.g., arts, philosophy)
Examining Culture and Society
Law and Politics
Social Sciences (e.g., history, sociology)

Class Specifics

Course Code

SOSC 25304 94

Class Day(s)

Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri


Session I

Course Length

3 weeks