NOTE: You can enroll in a course using the Paypal method even if you do not have a Paypal account. The Paypal method accepts regular credit cards.
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 will explore in this course.
The course will be based on readings from the great political philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. We’ll 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’ll look at what critics of the libertarian viewpoint have said as well.
The video lectures are online. Lectures will be Thursday evenings, 8:15-9:45 pm Eastern Time. They will be recorded and made available for enrolled students to download.
All readings will be free and online. A full hyper-linked syllabus with readings for each weekly topic will be available for all students.
Grades and Certificates
The final grade will depend on quizzes. Taking the course for a grade is optional. This course is worth 3 credits in our own internal system. Feel free to ask your school to accept Mises Academy credits. You will receive a digital Certificate of Completion for this course if you take it for a grade, and a Certificate of Participation if you take it on a paid-audit basis.
If you drop the course during its first week (7 calendar days), you will receive a full refund, minus a $25 processing fee. If you drop the course during its second week, you will receive a half refund. No refunds will be granted following the second week.
Students who take the course will be introduced to some of the classics of political philosophy. Although the historical background of each book discussed will be covered, stress will be on the analysis of key arguments. Do the political thinkers deal with the same questions and give different answers to them, or do the questions they address themselves differ? This is another issue we will discuss in the course.
The course starts in June and consists of six lectures, each followed by questions and discussion, An optional weekly quiz will be offered to those who wish to take the course for credit.