Social Thought Seminar (SOCTH 501)

Future Offering:

The following courses will count as SOCTH 501 (both offered Fall, 09):


SOC 502

Alan Sica

"Classical Social Theory"

Survey of social theory from Locke through Weber.


SOC 503

Alan Sica

Contemporary Social Theory. 

Survey of social theory rom 1960 through today.



Previous Offering:

Spring, 2005

Instructors:  Prof. John Christman (Philosophy and Political Science), Prof. Jeff Nealon (English)

Overview: The purpose of this course is to expose students to a selected collection of the major works of western social theory and to facilitate a systematic discussion of the nature of power in its social, political, personal, and cultural forms. 

Topics and Readings:

Wk 1  Introduction: “Power” Analyzed and Pre-Socratic

Conceptions of Reason and Power     

Wk 2  Power and Reason – Plato and Justice 

Wk 3  Power and Nature – Aristotle  
Wk 4  Politics, Sanctity, and the Self     

Wk 5  Outside Faculty Presentation (Rick Lee, DePaul University)

The Medieval Conception of Power    

Wk 6  Power, Democracy and Virtu       
Wk 7  Materialism and Modernist Politics: Hobbes and Spinoza

Wk 8  Justice and Sovereignty: Rousseau
Wk 9  Outside Faculty Presentation (Jason Read, University of Maine): Marx

Wk 10  Reason and the Genealogy of Power: Nietszche

Wk 11  Regimes of Disciplinary Power: Foucault
Wk 12  Outside Faculty Presentation (Nancy Love, PSU Political Science): Habermas and Feminism

Wk 13  Outside Faculty Presentation (John McGowan, North Carolina): Pragmatism and Power

Note: On Friday, April 15, Richard Rorty will be giving a workshop oriented toward our class. It will be during the lunch hour; exact time, place and readings TBA

Also, John McGowan, our speaker for this week’s seminar, will be giving a lecture in the English Department on Friday, April 15 at 7 p.m.

Wk 14  Gender Roles and Women’s Rights   

Wk 15    Decentralized Global Power: Hart and Negri, Deleuze