Syllabus for COCIC1102 sections 45 and 61. 4 pts.


Bob is a living legend. If you got him for CC go out right now and dance naked on the steps, cause you just got lucky. Bob is the best, it’s an amazing class, thank God (core office?) that you got him.
— Columbia student evaluation

Autumn texts:

  • Plato Republic
  • Aristotle Politics
  • Aristotle Ethics
  • Pre-Socratics Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Zeno and Democritus
  • Confucius The Analects
  • Old Testament Exodus, Deuteronomy, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
  • Epicurus The Principal Doctrines
  • Epictetus The Handbook & Nagasena Questions of King Milina
  • New Testament Matthew Romans Galatians Revelations
  • Augustine City of God
  • Qur’an “The Recitation”
  • Al-Ghazali The Rescuer from Error & Aquinas The Summa of Theology
  • Christine de Pisan The Book of the City of Ladies
  • Niccolò Machiavelli The Prince
  • Niccolò Machiavelli Discourses on Livy
  • Desiderius Erasmus In Praise of Folly
  • Martin Luther The Freedom of a Christian & John Calvin Institutes
  • The New World Bartolomé de las Casas Apologetic History of the Indies
  • René Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy
  • Thomas Hobbes Leviathan
  • John Locke Second Treatise of Government
  • Bernard Mandeville The Fable of the Bees

I completely agree with the previous review. Bob is an amazing professor and I would highly suggest taking CC with him. His class was certainly the best that I have taken at Columbia so far and most likely shall remain so.
— Columbia student evaluation

Spring texts:

  • Voltaire Candide
  • David Hume An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
  • David Hume An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau Discourse on Inequality
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau On the Social Contract
  • Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations
  • Immanuel Kant Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals
  • Revolutions American Declaration of Independence & Declaration of the Rights of Man
  • Responses Reflections on the Revolution in France
  • Mary Wollstonecraft A Vindication of the Rights of Women
  • George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Introduction to the Philosophy of History
  • Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America
  • Charles Darwin On the Origin of Species
  • John Stuart Mill Utilitarianism
  • John Stuart Mill On Liberty
  • Karl Marx and Frjedrich Engels Manifesto of the Communist Party
  • Friedrich Nietzsche On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic I & II
  • Friedrich Nietzsche On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic III
  • W.E.B. Du Bois The Souls of Black Folk.
  • Sigmund Freud Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality
  • Virginia Woolf Three Guineas
  • Mahatma Gandhi Truth is One & Frantz Fanon The Wretched of the Earth
  • Henry David Thoreau Walden & Martin Luther King Letter from a Birmingham City Jail
  • Friedrich Hayek The Road to Serfdom
  • Michel Foucault Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison
  • Thomas Kuhn The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Bob is the best professor I have ever had—he makes an active effort to get to know students and make students comfortable in the classroom, such as by organizing one on one meetings, having plenty of office hours, bringing students to faculty lunches, bringing coffee to class, giving a presentation before each discussion on the background of the philosopher and main points of the reading, giving lots of helpful comments on essays, and much more.
— Columbia student evaluation

Spring class presentations (click on images to download full presentations in PDF).

First class through midterm:

Midterm to end of the year: