Fridays, November 3 - December 1, 2017
Zephyr Institute

What is Liberalism?

A four-part seminar led by Dr. Molly Oshatz on the origins of the liberal tradition in political philosophy

Time & Location

Fridays, November 3 - December 1, 2017
Zephyr Institute
560 College Ave, Palo Alto, CA, 94306


The Origins of the Liberal Tradition in Political Philosophy


What are the underlying assumptions behind competing political claims in our modern contentious political culture? In this seminar, we will look at the emergence of the liberal political tradition and its fundamental departure from the classical political tradition. With readings from Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, and Locke, this seminar will return to first principles and perhaps gain new clarity about the political confusion of our day.    



Friday, Nov. 3:

Plato, Republic

Book 2, 357a-369a  (Glaucon’s Challenge, Socrates’ Proposed Method)

Book 4, 432b-445e (Justice in the State and in the Individual)

Book 7, 514a-521c (The Allegory of the Cave)

Book 8, 559d-569c (Plato’s Critique of Democracy)

Friday, Nov. 10:

Aristotle, Politics

Book 1, chapters 1-6 (What is the State?, Slavery)

Book 3, chapters 6-13 (Types of Government)

Book 7, chapter 1 (Virtue and the State)


Friday, Nov. 17: 

Hobbes, Leviathan, selections


Friday, December 1: 

Locke, Second Treatise of Government 

chapter 2

chapter 5, paragraphs 25-37 and 46-51

chapter 9

chapter 11

chapter 19, paragraphs 224-6.

Rawls, A Theory of Justice

Chapter 1, section 3, "The Main Idea of the Theory of Justice."




Senior Fellow & Director of High School Programs, Center for the Study of First Principles

Share this Event

  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • Twitter - Grey Circle
  • YouTube

Zephyr Institute, Inc.

560 College Ave

Palo Alto, CA 94306, USA

(650) 667-1160 |

© 2014-2019 by Zephyr Institute, Inc. 

All Rights Reserved