Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Political Philosophy

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This Unit offers an introduction to:

(a) the history of political thought, by presenting some of the most influential political thinkers from antiquity to modernity; and
(b) key concepts in political theory, by discussing some of the major themes in political philosophy.

Each session will introduce students to the key ideas of one of the major figures in this history of political thought, which will then be used as a springboard for discussing a central theme in political theory. The philosophers introduced in this Unit include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Hegel, Marx, Rawls and Nozick. The Unit will also explore various theories of Justice, the State, Government, Law, Power and Authority, Sovereignty, Democracy, Liberty, Equality and Solidarity, These themes, together with other transversal themes which will emerge in the course of the lectures, bring into focus the philosophical underpinnings of present-day political discourse and practice.

The aim of this unit is to introduce students to the major figures in the history of political thought and key themes in political theory.

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- develop insights into the historical foundations of political philosophy;
- understand political theories within their historical, social and cultural context;
- compare and contrast different political theories;
- identify conceptual frameworks and key political positions such as liberalism, socialism, collectivism and communitarianism.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- engage meaningfully with the political works of major philosophers;
- assess critically political discourse and practice;
- conduct basic research on various political theorists and theories;
- contribute more effectively to the development of political discourse and practice at various levels.

Reading List:

-Heywood, A., Political Theory: an Introduction. 3rd edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
-White, M.J., Political Philosophy: A Historical Introduction. 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford U.P., 2012.
-Primary texts, reference material, secondary literature and other resources indicated and provided by the lecturer through VLE.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Jean-Paul De Lucca

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.