Politics, especially democratic politics, is a collective endeavour. But is collective or shared agency a coherent philosophical idea? Is majoritarianism an attractive way of generating group commitments to action and if so why? What does solidarity require of those who aspire to work together? And what institutional contexts best support these practices?
This course will explore these and related questions, drawing on both contemporary works of political theory and material from earlier eras. Authors will include Aristotle, Charles Taylor, Philip Pettit, Michael Bratman, Seumas Miller, Scott Shapiro, Mançur Olson, Richard Tuck, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Gustave le Bon, Sigmund Freud, Jon Elster, Stéphanie Novak, Jason Frank, Philippe Urfalino, Melissa Schwartzberg, Daniela Cammack, Richard Wollheim, Philippe van Parijs, Richard Rorty, Yuram Hazony, Alastair MacIntyre, and Peter Hall.
Although this is a graduate seminar, qualified undergraduates with an interest in the material are warmly welcome to attend. Please apply by email to email@example.com so we can discuss whether the course is right for you. A writing sample and transcript may be requested.
This course was originally listed as PS216 for the Fall 2023 semester.