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Pursuing the Common Good in the Age of Trump

  • Harvard Center for Government and International Studies 1737 Cambridge St Cambridge, MA 02138 United States (map)

What is the common good? Does the university help it prosper? Why is authority problematic? This five-day intensive seminar will examine the roots of our current political system, looking at authority, dogma, meaning, and the common good. It aims for its students to learn the ideas and perspectives behind our modern liberal society in preparation for the American university landscape, one where the knowledge of where your beliefs come from is as important as the beliefs themselves. We will read and/or discuss selections of ancient, modern and contemporary writers including:

  • Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, and the Old/New Testaments

  • Francis Fukuyama, George Grant, and Mark Lilla

  • Alasdair MacIntyre, Martin Seligman, Colin Gunton, and Michael J. Sandel

  • John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Bernard Mandeville, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Adam Smith

  • David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and the Federalist Papers