Foundations of Political Philosophy
Explore the differences between ancient and modern political philosophy, with a focus on texts by Aristotle and Machiavelli.
Young people with ambitions often want to lead politically successful lives that are also morally serious lives. Is this possible? Can we both do well and be good? Or do the demands of political life, the needs of the community, and the dilemmas of leadership, make ordinary morality impossible for those who seek power and influence?
In this opening week to the Hertog Political Studies Program, led by Professors Benjamin and Jenna Storey, students will engage with these questions through a close reading of Plato’s Gorgias. They will reflect on the ethical dilemmas implied by the pursuit of power, in politics and other realms, and on how we should conduct ourselves in a world in which the demands of justice and the demands of political necessity often seem to conflict.
Images: Emanuel Benner, Hercules between Virtue and Vice, oil on canvas | Jean-Baptiste Regnault, Socrates Tears Alcibiades from the Embrace of Sensual Pleasure, oil on canvas, 1791
Jenna Silber Storey is Assistant Professor in Politics and International Affairs at Furman University. Her research and writing is focused on the relation of politics and theology in the work of Carl Schmitt and Pierre Manent.
Jenna Silber Storey is Assistant Professor in Politics and International Affairs at Furman University. She is also Managing Director of the Tocqueville Program at Furman, an association of students interested in cultivating the ability to reflect on contemporary issues with a perspective informed by the study of the history of political thought.
Her work has appeared in edited volumes as well as The Boston Globe, The New Atlantis, The Weekly Standard, and The Claremont Review of Books. She has published work on Carl Schmitt and Pierre Manent, and has recently completed the manuscript of a co-authored book with Benjamin Storey entitled The Pursuit of Happiness: Four French Thinkers on Our Restless Quest for Contentment.
Dr. Storey received her PhD from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, where she was a John M. Olin Junior Fellow, and her B.A. from the University Professors Program at Boston University, where she also worked as Executive Assistant to the Superintendent for the Boston University-Chelsea Schools Partnership.
Benjamin Storey is Associate Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Furman University. His interests focus on the history of political philosophy. He is currently completing a book entitled The Restless Age: Four French Thinkers on the Quest for Self-Understanding in an Unsettled Modernity.
Benjamin Storey is Associate Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Furman University. At Furman, he is Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Tocqueville Program, which aims to revivify traditional liberal education in a modern context.
His publications have appeared in First Things, The New Atlantis, The Weekly Standard, The Claremont Review of Books, Doublethink Quarterly, The Journal of Politics, The Review of Politics, Perspectives on Political Science, and Society. He is currently completing a book entitled The Restless Age: Four French Thinkers on the Quest for Self-Understanding in an Unsettled Modernity.
In 2016-2017, he was a Visiting Fellow at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is the winner of Furman’s 2016 Meritorious Teaching Award, and of the 2011 “American Scholar” Award given by Furman’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.
He received his MA and PhD from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, and his BA in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Robert C. Bartlett is the Behrakis Professor of Hellenic Political Studies at Boston College. His principal area of research is classical political philosophy, with particular attention to the thinkers of ancient Hellas, including Thucydides, Plato, and Aristotle. He is the co-translator of a new edition of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.
Vickie Sullivan is a Professor of Political Science at Tufts University who teaches and studies political thought and philosophy. She has published extensively on Machiavelli, including the monograph Machiavelli’s Three Romes: Religion, Human Liberty, and Politics Reformed.
Jakub J. Grygiel
Jakub Grygiel is an Associate Professor at the Catholic University of America. From 2017–18, he was a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State. His most recent book is Return of the Barbarians: Confronting Non-State Actors from Ancient Rome to the Present.
Laurence Cooper is Professor of Political Science at Carleton College. Most of his research has addressed the question of human flourishing—what it is, how we can know what it is, what it requires from education and politics, and the risks that arise from misunderstanding it.
Bryan Garsten is Professor of Political Science at Yale University. He writes on questions about political rhetoric and deliberation, the meaning of representative government, the relationship of politics and religion, and the place of emotions in political life.
Darren Staloff is Professor of History at the City College of New York and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Professor Staloff has published numerous papers and reviews on the subject of early American history.
James W. Ceaser
James W. Ceaser is Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1976, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He has written several books on American politics and political thought, including Presidential Selection and Liberal Democracy and Political Science.
Diana J. Schaub is Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Maryland and a member of the Hoover Institution’s task force on The Virtues of a Free Society. From 2004 to 2009 she was a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics.
Richard M. Reinsch II
Richard M. Reinsch II is the founding editor of Liberty Fund’s online journal Law and Liberty and the host of LibertyLawTalk. He writes frequently for such publications as National Affairs, Modern Age, National Review Online, The Weekly Standard, and The University Bookman, among other publications.
Ryan P. Hanley
Ryan Patrick Hanley is the Mellon Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Marquette University. His research in the history of political philosophy focuses on the Enlightenment. He is the author of Love’s Enlightenment: Rethinking Charity in Modernity and Adam Smith and the Character of Virtue.
Gregory Weiner is associate professor of Political Science, founding director of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Center for Scholarship and Statesmanship, and Provost at Assumption College. He is the author of American Burke: The Uncommon Liberalism of Daniel Patrick Moynihan.