SOCIABILITY AND POLITICAL SOCIETY: TOPICS IN EARLY
MODERN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY

Winter Term 1996
Edward J. Hundert
Laszlo Kontler
Department of History
CENTRAL EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY



Course Description

What drives men into society? What threats to social harmony are involved in human nature, and how are they to be counterbalanced? What institutions, if any, are needed to ensure the well-being of the citizen, and what, if anything, should set limits to their authority? Such and related questions exercised the minds of some important theorists who are generally considered to have contributed to the rise of a "science" of society and politics between 1500 and 1800. The course will introduce students to the topics and methods of early modern intellectual history through examining these thinkers' attitudes to key concepts in social, moral and political thought (rights and obligations, vice and virtue, liberty and slavery, justice, authority etc.) in the context of their contemporary social and intellectual environment.

Students are encouraged to introduce comparative viewpoints from their own national intellectual histories.

Books to be used as background material for several topics:
Quentin Skinner, The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, 2 vols. (Cambridge, 1978)
John Plamenatz, Man and Society, vol. 1. (London, 1962)
J. H. Burns (ed.), The Cambridge History of Political Thought 1450-1700 (Cambridge, 1991)
Anthony Pagden (ed.), The Languages of political Theory in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 1987)


Seminar 1 (some methodological problems)
John Dunn, "The identity of the history of ideas", in Peter Laslett, W. G. Runciman, Quentin Skinner (ed.), Philosophy, Politics and Society ( Oxford, 1972)
Anthony Pagden, "Introduction", in The Languages of Political Theory...
Melvin Richter, "Reconstructing the history of political languages: Pocock, Skinner and the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe", History and Theory 1990/1
Gordon J. Schochet, "Why should history matter", in J.G.A. Pocock, G.J. Schochet, L.G. Schwoerer (ed.), The Varieties of British Political Thought 1500-1800 (Cambridge, 1993)

Seminar 2 (Machiavelli: the virtue of citizens and of princes)
Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince and Discourses on Titus Livius (ch. 1-3)
J.G.A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment. Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition (Princeton, 1975), ch. III and VI.
Quentin Skinner, Machiavelli (Oxford, 1981)

Seminar 3 (Utopia: the best state of the commonwealth?)
Thomas More, Utopia
Frank &;Fritzie Manuel, Utopian Thought in the Western World (Oxford, 1979), pp. 104-134.
J.C. Davis, Utopia and the Ideal Society. A Study of English Utopian Writing 1500-1700 (Cambridge, 1981), ch. 1-2.

Seminar 4 (the problem of confessional diversity and Bodin's theory of sovereignty)
Luther and Calvin on Secular Authority (Cambridge, 1991)
Jean Bodin, On Sovereignty (Cambridge, 1992)
Burns (ed.), The Cambridge History ..., relevant chapters

Seminar 5 (the revival of natural law: the Thomists and Grotius)
Hugo Grotius, Of the Law of War and Peace, Book I. ch. 1-4.
Skinner, Foundations ... vol II. ch. 5.
Richard Tuck, Philosophy and Government 1572-1651 (Cambridge, 1993), pp. 154-201.

Seminar 6 (natural law II: Hobbes)
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Books I-II, esp. ch. 13-21.
Richard Tuck, Hobbes (Oxford, 1989)
Tom Sorell, Hobbes (Routledge, 1986), I, VIII-X.

Seminar 7 (Locke: liberty and property)
John Locke, Two Treatises of Civil Government, Second Treatise, Ch. 1.-9, 11, 18-19
Peter Laslett, "Introduction" to the above, ch. 5.
John Dunn, Locke (Oxford, 1984)
Richard Ashcraft, Revolutionary Politics and Locke's Two Treatises of Government (Princeton, 1986), ch. 5, 7.
James Tully, An Approach to Political Philosophy: Locke in Contexts (Cambridge, 1993), ch. 1.

Seminar 8
Pierre Nicole, "Of Charity and Self-Love", in Moral Essays
Pierre Bayle, "First Clarification", in Dictionary
Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees I. pp. 1-16, 39-57, 100-102, 107-130, 192-198, 323-369; II. 125-147.
A. O. Lovejoy, Reflections on Human Nature, pp. 129-193.
Dale Van Kley, "Perre Nicole, Jansenism and the Morality of Self Interest', in Alan Kors Led. ), Anticipations of the Enlightenment, pp. 69-85.
E. J. Hundert, The Enlightenment's Fable, pt. 1-2.

Seminar 9
Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws, Books 1-5, 7-8, 11, 14, 19-21
Melvin Richter, The Political Theory of Montesquieu, "Introduction"
Raymond Aron, Main Currents in Sociological Thought, I. pp. 17-63.
Albert Hirschman, The Passions and the Interests

Seminar 10
Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality ,Letters from Voltaire and Mr. Philopolis and Rousseau's Replies
Adam Smith, "Letters the Editors of the Edinburgh Review" (1757)
Judith Shklar, Men and Citizens, pp. 33-57, 103-126.
N. O. Keohane, "'The Masterpiece of Policy in our Century': Rousseau on the Morality of the Enlightenment", Political Theory 6, 4 (1978), pp. 457-484.

Seminar 11
David Hume, Treatise of Human Nature, Book II, pt. II, vii, x, xii; pt. III, i-iii; Book III, pt. I; pt. II, i-viii; pt. III.
David Hume, Essays:
"Of the Rise and Progress of the Arts and Sciences"
"Of Commerce"
"Of Refinement in the Arts"
Duncan Forbes: "Skeptical Whiggism, Commerce and History"', in A.S. Skinner, T. Wilson (ed.), Essays on Adam Smith
-------- "Natural Law and the Scottish Enlightenment", in R.H. Campbell, A.S. Skinner (ed.), The Origins and Nature of the Scottish Enlightenment, pp. 186-205.
John Robertson, "The Scottish Enlightenment and the Limits of the Civic Tradition", in I. Hont, M. Ignatieff (ed.), Wealth and Virtue, pp. 137-178.

Seminar 12
Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Book II, ii, pp. 455-174; III, i-iv, pp. 203268; IV-V, pp. 297-346; VI, i-ii, pp. 348-386, and iii, pp. 387-428; VII, i-iii, pp. 429516.
Nicholas Phillipson, "Adam Smith as a Civic Moralist", in Wealth and Virtue, pp. 1792022
John Dunn, "From Applied Theology to Social Analysis: The Break Between John Locke and the Scottish Enlightenment", in Wealth and Virtue, pp. 119-135.
I. Hont and M. Ignatieff, "Needs and Justice in the Wealth of Nations", in Wealth and Virtue, pp. 1-44.
E.J. Hundert, "Adam Smith and Bernard Mandeville"



CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Modified: May, 1996

Hun_SocPolSo.W96Hist.v3

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