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TRN199H: Classical Social & Political Thought

TRN199H: Classical Social and Political Thought from the 18th Century Enlightenment to the 20th Century

Course Description

This course introduces students to the most influential debates in social and political thought from the eighteenth-century Enlightenment through the early twentieth century. We examine the ideals and aspirations of the Enlightenment period and direct our attention to the twin upheavals of the French and Industrial Revolutions that led to profound shifts in politics, economics, society, and culture. We follow the ensuing intellectual and political debates on the meaning, significance, and future prospects of these profound shifts and highlight and explore the most articulate conservative and Romantic reactions along with the most perceptive and radical responses. By encountering, considering, and clarifying the most influential debates of the time, this course aims to help students understand better this crucial historical period that largely set the boundaries of our current political discussions, debates, and affiliations.

2023-2024 Course Instructor

David Carvounas


Lecturer on the history of political thought at the University of Toronto and Glendon College. Interests include the history of political thought, theories of democracy, political ethics, modernity and temporality, globalism and the rise of post-globalist politics.

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