Murray Dry

Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science

 ON LEAVE ACADEMIC YEAR - Available by email for advising -
 on leave academic year



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

PSCI0101 - Intro to Political Philosophy      

Introduction to Political Philosophy
What is politics? What is the purpose of politics? Is there a best regime? Is it attainable? What is justice? What is the good life? How is each related to political life? Is there a science of politics? In this course, we will raise these and other fundamental questions through a study of major ancient and modern works of political philosophy. Authors may include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Constant, Tocqueville, Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche. 4 hrs. lect./disc. (Political Theory) EUR PHL SOC

Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2017

More Information »

PSCI0102 - American Political Regime      

The American Political Regime
This is a course in American political and constitutional thought. The theme, taken from de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, is the problem of freedom. The first half covers the American founding up through the Civil War and the "refounding." This includes de Tocqueville, Madison's Notes on the Debates in the Federal Convention, the Federalist-Anti-Federalist ratification debate, Supreme Court decisions (Marbury, McCulloch), writings of Jefferson, Calhoun, and Lincoln. The second half considers basic problems in American politics, such as race, gender, foreign policy, and education. Readings include a novel, de Tocqueville, and Supreme Court decisions (Brown, Frontiero, Roe, Casey, Grutter, Lawrence). 4 hrs. lect./disc. (American Politics)/ AMR NOR SOC

Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016

More Information »

PSCI0288 - Love and Friendship      

Love and Friendship in Literature and Philosophy
Love and friendship are important topics for understanding the best human life and its relationship to the best regime. We will study Plato’s Phaedrus and Symposium; Aristotle’s Ethics; essays on friendship by Montagne and Bacon; Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra and another play; Rousseau’s Emile; a Jane Austen novel, and Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. We will also watch two movies: The Philadelphia Story and Anna Karenina. (Not open to students who have taken FYSE 1030) (Political Theory)/ EUR LIT PHL

Winter 2015

More Information »

PSCI0305 - American Constitutional Law      

American Constitutional Law: The Federal System
This course examines the development of American constitutionalism through study of Supreme Court decisions. Every major topic but the bill of rights (see PSCI 0306) is covered. Using the Sullivan and Gunther Constitutional Law casebook, we begin with judicial review and then study the development of legal doctrines surrounding the commerce clause, the due process and equal protection clauses of the fourteenth amendment, and the separation of powers. Recent cases focus on affirmative action and federal protection of civil rights. Interpretive books and essays are considered, as time permits. A mock court exercise is anticipated. (Juniors and seniors with PSCI 0102 or PSCI 0104 or PSCI 0306) 3 hrs. lect./disc. (American Politics)/ AMR NOR

Fall 2013, Fall 2015, Fall 2017

More Information »

PSCI0306 - American Constitutional Law      

American Constitutional Law: The First Amendment
This course focuses on the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the first amendment freedoms of speech, press, and religion. After starting with the philosophic foundations of these first amendment freedoms (Mill, Locke), students will read the major Supreme Court decisions concerning these rights. Class assignments in the form of oral arguments and briefs and/or options will enable students to take the part of lawyers and judges. (Sophomores, juniors and seniors with PSCI 0102 or 0104 or 0205 or 0206 or 0305 or waiver) 3 hrs. lect./disc. (American Politics)/ AMR NOR PHL

Fall 2014

More Information »

PSCI0317 - Ancient & Med. Pol. Philosophy      

Ancient and Medieval Political Philosophy
We will study some classic works in ancient and medieval political philosophy: Plato (Laws, RepublicApology, Republic, Gorgias, Protagoras, Meno); Aristotle (Ethics, Politics, Rhetoric); Cicero (Republic, Laws), Maimonides (Guide to the Perplexed), Aquinas (Summa Theologica, Summa Contra Gentiles), Alfarabi (The Political Regime). (PSCI 0101 or PSCI 0107 or by waiver) 4 hrs. lect./disc. (Political Theory)/ PHL SOC

Fall 2013, Spring 2016

More Information »

PSCI0318 - Modern Political Philosophy      

Modern Political Philosophy
In this course. we will study: Machiavelli (Prince, Discourses); Bacon
(Advancement of Learning); Hobbes (Leviathan); Locke (Second Treatise);
Spinoza (Theological-Political Treatise); Montesquieu (Spirit of the Laws);
Rousseau (Social Contract); Burke (Reflections); Kant (Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, Perpetual Peace); Hegel (Introduction to Philosophy of History); Marx (Communist Manifesto, German Ideology, Capital); Nietzsche
(Beyond Good and Evil); Heidegger (Question Concerning Technology).
We will examine modernity's rejection of ancient thought, its later replacement of nature by history as the standard for right, and its subsequent rejection of any standard of right. Other topics include religion, freedom ofspeech, and the separation of powers. (PSCI 0101 or PSCI 0107 or PSCI 0317, or PSCI 0333, or waiver) 4.5 hrs. lect./disc. (Political Theory)/ EUR PHL SOC

Spring 2013, Spring 2015

More Information »

PSCI0444 - Race, Sex, & the Constitution      

Race, Sex, and the Constitution
In this course we will examine how courts in America have framed and decided cases involving sex and race. We will consider issues such as sex discrimination, birth control and abortion, and sexual orientation, as well as the Court's doctrine concerning heightened levels of scrutiny for suspect classifications and fundamental rights. Course readings will consist of Supreme Court decisions, relevant state supreme court and lower federal court decisions on same sex marriage, and scholarly commentary. We will examine both the legitimacy and the efficacy of judicial power in these areas. Seniors needing to fulfill a political science seminar requirement may arrange with the instructor to do so. (PSCI 0102) 3 hrs. sem./disc. (American Politics)/ AMR NOR SOC

Spring 2014

More Information »

PSCI0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Projects
A program of independent work designed to meet the individual needs of advanced students. (Approval required)

Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2018

More Information »

PSCI0700 - Honors Thesis      

Honors Thesis
(Approval required)

Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2018

More Information »

Curriculum Vitae



Research Interests

American Constitutional Law
Political Philosophy
American Political Thought
Freeedom of Speech and Religious Liberty
The Separation of Powers
The American Founding

Work in Progress

Same Sex Marriage and the Constitution (book)