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Lifelong Learning: Center City Philadelphia

Lifelong Learning at Swarthmore: Center City Philadelphia

During the spring 2019 semester all On-Campus and Center City courses will meet four times instead of the usual eight. Tuition will reflect this change. Tuition is $275 per course and we will apply a discount of $50 per course if you sign up for all three (even if one is canceled), and/or if you have never taken a LLS course. 

Spring 2019 Course: Freedom, Democracy, Equality (LLS 187PHL)

Meets Mondays, 6:45–9:15 p.m.
April 29, May 6, 13, 20
3000 Two Logan Square (18th & Arch), Pepper Hamilton LLP

When we speak of American democracy, we are actually referring to a complicated combination of majority rule, freedom, equality, tolerance, and other things.  These are not so compatible with each other as it might seem, nor are they unequivocally good. This has been highlighted by the rise of regimes, including in the U.S., that seem to separate them and deemphasize some.  

This raises difficult questions—e.g., if freedom and majority rule conflict, which is to be given more importance?  In this course we will consider what all these different aspects of democracy are, how they are related, what makes them valuable, and why we should or should not believe in them.  Classical Greek sources as well as modern ones will be used, and we will attempt to shed some light on contemporary political issues.


Richard Schuldenfrei is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Swarthmore, where for forty years he taught political philosophy, ethics, and philosophy of social science. In addition to political philosophy, he has published articles on meaning and on philosophy of psychology.