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Political Theory Institute

“The beliefs which we have the most warrant for have no safeguard, but a standing invitation to the whole world to prove them unfounded." – John Stuart Mill

Welcome to PTI

The mission of the Political Theory Institute (PTI) is to encourage the serious study of the great questions of political theory and to bring the insights of political theorists to bear on current issues and events.
Mission Statement



What's New at PTI

student protesting

Research ·

Free Speech: How Far Can We Go?

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Political Theory Institute lecture

Undergraduate Essay Contest

The Political Theory Institute is now accepting submissions for its 2017 Undergraduate Essay Contest.

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Fall 2017 Lectures

  • Friday, December 1
    Kerwin, Room 301, 5:30-7:00 PM
    Prof. Ryan Hanley, "Adam Smith: From Love to Sympathy"

  • Friday, November 3
    Hughes Formal Lounge, 5:30-7:00 PM
    Prof. Robert Bartlett, "On Getting Lucky: Political Philosophy and the Problem of Chance"

  • Tuesday, October 24
    Kerwin, Room 301, 5:30-7:00 PM
    Prof. Christopher Lynch, "Machiavelli's Philosophical Denigration of Philosophy"

Jacob T. Levy, Of Sanctuaries and Safe Spaces

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Event Videos

  • The Role of Art in Democracy

  • Annual Conference 2014

  • Debate on Economic Inequality