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Equality & Inequality: Justice & Law

July 15-21, 2018 | Annapolis, MD

What is equality? What is justice? These questions have been asked for millennia, and we will trace the debate from ancient Greece to modern America. Aristotle, in Nicomachean Ethics, examines the relationship between the good life, happiness, and equality. In the Second Discourse, Rousseau seeks the pernicious source of inequality. By reading Hamilton, Lincoln, Douglass, and Anthony, we begin to discuss how philosophical ideas of equality apply to questions of politics, race, and gender in our own country. Finally, in laboratory, we take a different approach to equality, examining Archimedes’ principles of equilibrium and the balance between bodies.

SF Summer Academy 2017 Equality And Inequality

Classes and Readings

For more information, the college urges students and parents to review expectations and policies, a campus map, and additional need-to-know details about Summer Academy.


Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, excerpts

Rousseau, Second Discourse on Inequality, excerpts

Tocqueville, Democracy in America, excerpts


Archimedes, “On the Equilibrium of Planes”



The Federalist Papers, excerpts

O’Connor, “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

Lincoln, “Young Man’s Lyceum” and the Gettysburg Address”

Douglass, “The Hypocrisy of Slavery”

Anthony, “On Women’s Right to Vote”

Example Workshops

Croquet, swing dancing, sailing, and choral singing

Example Excursions

Tour of historic Maryland State House and performance of The Tempest by the Annapolis Shakespeare Company

Summer Academy Sessions

Summer Academy in Annapolis

At the St. John’s College Summer Academy, the community formed among students is a natural extension of the friendships and ideas formed in the classroom. To this end, Summer Academy students experience life at St. John’s by taking lessons in croquet, swing dancing, sailing, and choral singing. Students’ conversations about justice, nature, and law will continue as they are taken on a tour of the Maryland State House and attend a performance of Shakespeare’s The Tempest by the Annapolis Shakespeare Company.