FC 5303: Virtue: Personal and Civic

Course Department
Credits 3
Course ID
Course Component
American political life, in attempting to separate religion from politics, has, at times, tried to separate politics from ethics and the development of virtue. The first part of this course will argue that such a separation, however well intentioned, cannot sustain effective civic life, and in fact runs the risk of falling into authoritarianism. In the classical and medieval periods—and in the formation of the United States of America—certain personal virtues have been thought to be foundational for a healthy society. This course will consider how those virtues still constitute that foundation. It will show how various political theories are based in suppositions about human nature, and examine those suppositions critically.