Power and Politics
The Great and the Good
July 5–11, 2020 | Annapolis, MD
In Plato’s Republic, Socrates argues that the best ruler must be a philosopher, who is devoted, above all, to the pursuit of knowledge. In the lengthy conversation that makes up this book, Socrates’ interlocutors need convincing of his approach to politics. So what is the primary responsibility of a leader? And what role do citizens play? What virtues are most needed for each? And what vices are most destructive? We’ll see these questions pursued further with Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Nietzsche, who each offered distinct and penetrating analyses of the relation between morality and politics. Through Plutarch’s biographies, we’ll get to consider some real-life examples of ancient leaders, which will plunge us into the nitty-gritty, everyday realities of power and politics.
Classes and Readings
Machiavelli, The Prince
Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals
Plutarch, Parallel Lives: Lycurgus and Numa, Life of Alexander, Life of Caesar
Croquet, Swing Dancing, Painting/Drawing
Visits to the Supreme Court of the United States and Annapolis State House
June 28–July 4, 2020The Soul of the Sciences: Thinking, Counting, Seeing
July 5–11, 2020Power and Politics: The Great and the Good
July 12–18, 2020Courage and the Soul: Exploring Human Virtue
July 19–25, 2020Art and Nature: Intersection of Imagination & Ingenuity
July 26–August 1, 2020The American Experiment: Foundations of Democracy
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.