Political Philosophy

John Hittinger, Ph.D.

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Political Philosophy is now available for free at CatholicThinkers.org


Political Philosophy involves the study of the basic concepts of political philosophy from a Thomistic point of view. Building upon the political philosophy of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, twentieth century Thomists Jacques Maritain and Yves R. Simon fashioned a timely and compelling philosophical exploration of political life and a defense of liberal democracy. This course explores the basic texts of Aristotle and Aquinas and examines two important books: Philosophy of Democratic Government (1951) by Yves R. Simon and Man and the State (1951) by Jacques Maritain. Topics to be studied include the nature and purpose of political association, the origin of obligation, the nature of power and authority, the relationship of law and liberty, the role of property and the nature of justice, political equality, and human rights, the relation of Church and state, and the moral political dimensions of war and international relations.

12 30-minute Lectures
  1. Man is Social and Political by Nature
  2. The "Pre-political" and the Problem of Rule
  3. The Citizen and the Regime
  4. Typology of Regimes
  5. Democracy and the Mixed Regime
  6. Tyranny, Totalitarianism and Structural Pluralism
  7. Natural Law and the Roots of Authority
  8. Justice and Rights
  9. Education and Politics
  10. Church and State
  11. Politics, Realism and Power
  12. War, Peace and the Problem of World Government
Study Materials