The Third International after Lenin

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Marxism Syllabus

Marxism Syllabus, Spring, 2004

Marxism Syllabus

PHIL 4157/5157 MARXISM

January 12th-April 23rd, 2004

Last Class Date: April 20th, 2004

Mondays, 05:30-08:15PM


Instructor: Scott Koterbay, Ph.D.

Office: Department of Art, Ball Hall, Room 208

Phone: 232-7920 (Home phone- don't call unless emergency)

Hours: By appointment (easily acquired- just ask)

E-mail: (please note that papers will not be accepted through e-mail, since I can't write on the return copy)

Please also note that some of the information in this syllabus is subject to minor changes. You will receive ample notification of any changes should that be necessary.

The purpose of this course is to provide both an in-depth sense of familiarity with the ideas of Karl Marx as well as to engage with some of the development of his ideas and their application into certain political and philosophical issues. This is going to be a difficult course, requiring not only an extensive and strenuous engagement with the required texts but also the responsibility of utilising secondary literature not only in terms of understanding Marx's ideas but also their context.

Textbooks: all of these texts are required reading. Please purchase them immediately, and begin working your way through them. They are listed in the order in which they will be discussed.

    • Marx, Karl, Early Writings, Penguin Classics, ISBN: 0140445749
    • Marx, Karl, The Communist Manifesto, Penguin Classic, ISBN: 0140447571
    • Marx, Karl, Capital, Volume 1, Penguin Classics, ISBN: 0140445684
    • Marx, Karl, Capital, Volume 3, Penguin Classics, ISBN: 0140445706
    • Lukács, Georg, History and Class Consciousness, MIT Press 1972, ISBN: 0262620
    • Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich, State and Revolution, Classics, ISBN: 014018435X
    • Tse-Tung, Mao, Four Essays on Philosophy, University Press of the Pacific, ISBN: 0898751810

Course material will be supplemented also by additional reading, made available through the instructor, to be photocopied by all students.

The course will consist of lectures by the instructor on the selected reading material, followed by presentations by the students. The lectures will consist of a general summary of the ideas in the text within an historical context, followed by a critical analysis of certain specific features of the text; the presentations by the students will be narrowly focused presentations of specific features, with the intention of supplementing the reading material and the lectures. At the end of every class, there will be a discussion of the ideas, a lively debate, in which all students are expected to participate.

The grades for the class will consist of the presentations and written work. Each student will make two presentations and write two papers. As stated, the presentations will be based on the reading, but narrowly focused on specific ideas contained in the texts. The papers will consist of at least 3000 words, utilise not only the primary texts but also a range of secondary material, and be of two types: 1) a general analysis of the philosophical ideas contained in one text (not one of those for which a presentation has been made); 2) an analysis of the applicability of the ideas contained in a fourth text, specifically in relation to either political or philosophical implementation.

The due date of the presentations are as listed in the schedule of the class below, and must be accompanied by written notes to be handed in after the presentation. Each presentation will be graded on a scale of 1-100. The first papers are due on February 27th (just before spring break) and the second papers are due on April 23rd (on the last day of classes). They will be graded on a scale of 1-100. Finally, a participation grade will be given for each student, also graded on a scale of 1-100. Final grades will be determined by the total of your marks, and recorded as follows. Grading will be as follows:

100-93=A 89-87=B+ 79-77=C+ 69-67=D+
92-90=A- 86-83=B 76-73=C 66-60=D
82-80=B- 72-70=C- 59-0=F

Attendance is required at all of the lectures. You will be given three "skips", but anything else missed will result in points taken off of your final mark. One day = five points off of the final grade. For example, if you miss a fourth day, then you will go down half of a grade. I will be adhering to this closely. Of course, if you have a good reason (pre-arranged, sick, etc.) and have been contributing to the class, then I will happily overlook it.

If any student has any difficulties or documented disabilities which they feel would interfere with their performance in any part of the class, please feel free to contact me so that we can discuss them. I am more than willing to make any necessary concessions. I am also very willing to meet with students outside of class in order to go over material. In fact, I look forward to this and will arrange at least two nights to review material (I do not review material in class, because of time restriction) for each of the tests and encourage you to attend.

Please note that, should you be encountering any difficulties in class, it would do you good to contact me about them quickly. I am very willing to assist people with the material in the class, to answer questions, etc. I am also very sympathetic when difficulties arise, not only regarding the material of the class but other matters as well, and am willing to make reasonable concessions (to a limited degree, of course). But, if you do not make the effort to contact me, then I have very little sympathy.

Schedule of Classes
January 12th Introduction to Classes, Early Writings
19th MLK Day- No Class
26th Early Writings
February 2nd Communist Manifesto
9th Communist Manifesto
16th Capital I
23rd Capital I
8th Capital III
15th Capital III
22nd Lukács
29th Lukács
April 5th Lenin
12th Mao
19th Applications

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