IIT Madras – Humanities and Social Sciences

Department of Humanities & Social Sciences

Indian Institute of Technology Madras

HS2011     Foundations of Social and Political Thought

This course aims to provide an overview of the foundational texts of modern social and political thought. By reading selected passages from Machiavelli, Hobbes, Hume, Smith, Marx and Weber, in particular, the course will attempt to identify the main philosophical threads within contemporary social and political discourse.

Course Content:
Selections from the key writings of 6 major thinkers in the history of modern social and political thought. These are Machiavelli, Hobbes, Hume, Smith, Marx and Weber. In addition, the course will also consider very briefly the ideas of Spinoza, Locke, and Rousseau. The central themes that run through the course are liberty, virtue, state, civil society, empiricism, impressions and ideas, value, justice, and bureaucracy

Text Books:
Machiavelli, Niccolo (1513) The Prince —- (1517) Discourses on Livy Hobbes, Thomas (1651) Leviathan Hume, David (1690) An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding Smith, Adam (1759) The Theory of Moral Sentiments —- (1776) Wealth of Nations Marx, Karl (1845) – The German Ideology —-(1844) Philosophical and Economic Manuscripts —- (1867) Capital Weber, Max (1905) – The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism All books are available electronically through http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/ as well as other sites.

Reference Books:
Political Theory Philosophy and Social Criticism New Left Review Theory and Society.