Course Plan And Assignment Schedule

PHL 235: Philosophy and the City

Note: This course plan is subject to change at the instructor's discretion. Students are expected to check this page frequently to remain abreast of any updates.

Course Organization

In this course we will approach the city through a number of different lenses. The following list of reading and video assignments is chronological in order and gives the general themes into which our assignments will fall.

Getting Started in Philosophy

  • Weeks 1-2: Course Introduction, Reading and Studying Philosophy, Argumentation Basics

The City as Philosophical Ideal

  • Week 3: Plato, Aristotle

The City as Locus of Social Thought

  • Weeks 4-6: Machiavelli, Addams, Weber, Dewey, Mumford

Cities and Citizens I: Place and Aesthetics

  • Weeks 7-9: Lefebvre, Norberg-Schulz, Movie: Urbanized

Cities and Citizens II: Place and Politics

  • Weeks 10-12: Young, West, Bickford, Movie: Detropia

The Living City and the Urban Future

  • Weeks 13-14: Jacobs, Bettencourt, Conlon, Mendieta

Specific dates and assignment details are given below in the Course Calendar. Remember to use the "Agenda" view and click on "more details" to get full text and active links.

Course Calendar

The whole term is planned out on this calendar. Click on the entry for any day to see what readings and work are assigned for that day. If you have a gmail account you can incorporate the events on this calendar into your own rather easily so that you may access them from your own computer or smartphone.


  1. In some cases the schedule must be viewed by clicking on "Agenda" at the top right box in order for all the text put down for a given day to be visible.
  2. Clicking on "more detail" at the bottom of an entry will display clickable links to readings, etc..

List of Readings and Other Media

Most of our readings will come from the course textbook, Meagher's Philosophy and the City anthology. From time to time we will also use electronically accessible journal articles and other media. Below is a listing of these items. Consult the detailed course plan (above) for specific readings and assignments. Note that access to the journal articles comes via our library. Thus, if you have trouble accessing the articles the first place you should go for help is the reference desk at the library. Please be aware that computer problems of any kind will not excuse anyone from the responsibility to do the work of the class. Please plan ahead.



Detropia (OPTIONAL)
Movie: Rental at YouTube via the link or watch it in the Library. Also available on Netflix.

Movie:Rental at Amazon via the link or watch it in the Library. Also available on Netflix.

Short Videos

Direct Link:

Direct Link:

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Luis Bettencourt "The Kind of Problem a City Is" at the Santa Fe Institute Working Papers Archive

Other Resources

Charter of the New Urbanism

"Jane Jacobs" at the Project for Public Spaces

Selected Bibliography of Resources for PHL 235


Test questions and instructions will be posted below roughly a week or so before each test.

PHL 235-01 Fall 2013 Test One

PHL 235-01 Fall 2013 Test Two

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