About the Course
From Professor Gordon:
Libertarians believe in at most a strictly limited state. Throughout the history of political philosophy, this has not been the dominant view. Why do political thinkers think that obedience to the state is justified? What rights, if any, do people have? Do any of the thinkers lend support to libertarian themes? These are among the question we explore in this course.
The course is based on readings from the great political philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. We also consider libertarian arguments against the state, advanced by Lysander Spooner and Murray Rothbard. It will come as no surprise that I accept these libertarian arguments, but we examine what critics of the libertarian viewpoint have said as well.
All readings for this course are free, available online, and provided to students in a fully-hyperlinked syllabus.
Independent study courses are courses that were presented live in the past. These courses are now offered at a discount to anyone who wants to study independently. All courses include lecture recordings, slides, a complete hyper-linked syllabus, automatically-graded quizzes, and a discussion forum. Professors are not available for academic support for these independent study courses.
Sample Certificate of Participation