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Lyceum Program

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Lyceum Fellows Curriculum

Lyceum Fellows take six courses that fulfill the requirements for a minor in Political and Legal Theory. Five of the six courses can be used to fulfill major requirements for Political Science (B.A.).

Mandatory Courses

The following four courses (the "Lyceum Core") are mandatory for all Fellows.

Introduction to Political Theory

An introduction to the major themes and thinkers in the Western tradition of political philosophy through texts that raise foundational questions of politics: Who should rule? What is justice? What is virtue, and how can it be achieved by laws and institutions? Readings include works by Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Locke, the American founders and Nietzsche.

American Political Thought

A study of the great reservoir of political and social thought handed down by Americans who have directed their attention to the meaning of our experiment in self-government. Readings include the Puritans, the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, and 20th-century Progressives, Liberals and Conservatives.

American Constitutional Law: Rights and Liberties

Lyceum Fellows explore our constitutional rights and liberties through the careful study of landmark Supreme Court decisions. In particular, students will consider the Court's incorporation of the Bill of Rights as applying to the states and its treatment of questions pertaining to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, equal protection, racial discrimination and privacy and personhood rights.

Political Theory of Capitalism

Lyceum Fellows weigh the arguments concerning the social and political arrangements that correlate with the private ownership of the means of production. Students will consider questions of wealth and luxury, private property, commerce and commercial society, and the challenges of socialism. Readings may include works by Locke, Hume, Smith, Tocqueville, Marx, Mises, Hayek and Rand.

Elective Courses

Fellows take two additional ("elective") courses from the following list.

Ancient Political Thought

A study of some of the great political authors of Greek and Roman antiquity, such as Thucydides, Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, Polybius, Cicero and Plutarch, along with some of the institutions and traditions of ancient Sparta, Athens and Rome.

Modern Political Thought

Lyceum Fellows study the roots of modern politics in the political philosophy of seminal English and French Enlightenment thinkers, each of whom offered a searching analysis of modern life and institutions. Readings include Hobbes's Leviathan, Locke's Two Treatises of Government, Montesquieu's Spirit of the Laws, Rousseau's Discourse on Inequality and Social Contract and Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France.

Political Thought of the American Founding

A study of the political thought of America's founding statesmen and the political principles animating its founding documents. Students will become familiar with the argument between the American colonists and English imperial officials culminating in the Declaration of Independence, the development of constitutionalism in the new American states and the great debates over the framing of the federal Constitution.

Selected Topics in Political Theory

A focused study of a particular period or subject in the history of political philosophy. Recent offerings of POSC 4500 have included Conservatism, Democracy and the Elites, Roman and Medieval Political Thought and Enlightenment Political Thought.

Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism
Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism | 285 Chandler L. Burns Hall, Clemson, SC 29634