Shimer College

Western Political Tradition Course in Chicago

The search for the “good life” through politics has been a human quest since antiquity. Social Sciences 2 course concerns political judgment and the values which underpin it.

One’s education as a citizen of the state is the foundation of the classical formulation of a liberal arts education. The central objective of this course is the education of such citizens, those who participate through public judgment in shaping the political world. Such an education requires an understanding of the founding documents of the American political system as well as other seminal works of Western thought. 

Heads up, St. Thomas AquinasHeads up, St. Thomas Aquinas

Reading List

  • Plato, Republic
  • Aristotle, Politics
  • St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
  • Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
  • Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
  • John Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Social Contract
  • The United States Declaration of Independence
  • The United States Constitution
  • The Federalist Papers
  • Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, The Sprit of the Laws
  • Mary Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Women