Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Social Philosophy Course


Martin Luther King, Jr. was a visiting professor at Morehouse College in the early 1960’s.* While there, he taught a senior seminar in social and political philosophy. What was on the syllabus?

Here’s his outline for the first semester of the course, from the King Center:

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s outline for his social philosophy seminar at Morehouse College

He includes material from Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes,  Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Bentham, and Mill.

Here is an exam given in the course:

An exam from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s social philosophy seminar at Morehouse College

Thanks to various readers and tweeters for bringing this to my attention.

Readers may be interested in the forthcoming collection, To Shape a New World: Essays on the Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, edited by Tommie Shelby and Brandon Terry (Harvard). Shelby and Terry discussed the book and King’s political philosophy on WBUR’s “Radio Boston” yesterday.

(*Morehouse says the course took place in 1960; the King Center says 1961-62. The exam’s date of January 25, 1962, suggests the course began in Fall 1961.)

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