Social Sciences 2 is a course in the Shimer College curriculum that focuses on the development of Western political thought, from Plato to the early United States.

The course's second half, dealing with the history of American political institutions, is a direct descendant of the Social Science I course in the original Hutchins curriculum at the University of Chicago. The primary text used in this component, The People Shall Judge, was edited by Robert E. Keohane, who taught the course at both the University of Chicago and Shimer.


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    Social Sciences 2 concerns political judgment and the values which underpin it. The search for the “good life” through politics has been a human quest since antiquity. One’s education as a citizen of the state is the foundation of the classical formulation of a liberal arts education. The central objective of this course is the education of such citizens, those who participate through public judgment in shaping the political world. Such an education requires an understanding of the founding documents of the American political system as well as other seminal works of Western thought.

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