PS 342

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PS 342, also known as Modern Theorists, is a course on the theoretical foundations of modern political science offered at Knox. It counts for 1 credit. The course is taught by Lane Sunderland.

Course Description[edit]

Official Course Description[edit]

"Machiavelli to Marx. The political writings of Machiavelli, Locke, Rousseau, and Marx are emphasized. The course treats the foundations of modern political theory and analyzes their strengths, shortcomings, and relationship to contemporary political life."[1]

Credits and Prerequisites[edit]

The course is worth one credit. This course satisfies the History and Social Sciences Foundation Requirement, and counts toward satisfying the Writing Comtepency Requirement. Either this course or PS 341 are required to complete a major in Political Science. The prerequisite is sophomore standing.


  • Locke, John, Macpherson, C.B. (ed.). (1980). "The Second Treatise of Government." ISBN 978-0915144860.
  • Hobbes, Thomas and Schneider, Herbert Wallace (ed.). (1958). "Leviathan Parts One and Two." ISBN 978-0024077509.
  • Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, and Masters, Roger (ed.), and Masters, Judith (trans.). (1969). "The First and Second Discourses." ISBN 978-0312694401.
  • Machiavelli, Niccolo, and de Alvarez, Leo P. (trans.). (1989). "The Prince." ISBN 978-0881334449.
  • Strauss, Leo and Cropsey, Joseph (eds.). (1987). "History of Political Philosophy." ISBN 978-0226777108.

Course Format[edit]

The course requires more or less substantial reading, with a combination of class discussion and lecture. Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke, Burke, Marx, de Tocqueville, Grotius, Montesquieu, J.S. Mill, and Nietzsche are discussed. There is a midterm and a partially cumulative final (covering only the major philosophers discussed before the midterm), both in essay format with several prompts from which to choose. A term paper of approximately 12 pages is also assigned, with a student-defined prompt of general nature (for instance, "Is Machiavelli as bad as he seems?").

Course Schedule[edit]

This course is typically offered every Winter Term. However, due to Lane Sunderland's leave for the early part of the 2007-2008 school year, the course will not be offered for that year. The course is traditionally offered during 3rd period, on a MWF schedule.


Not offered


Term Section Days Period Location Instructor
Winter 2007 1 MWF 3 GDH 105 Lane Sunderland


Term Section Days Period Location Instructor
Winter 2006 1 MWF 3 GDH 105 Lane Sunderland


Term Section Days Period Location Instructor
Winter 2005 1 MWF 3 GDH 105 Lane Sunderland