30331 - POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 23
There are infinite ways to structure a course on political philosophy. The material for this one is loosely organized around the notion of the boundaries of states and political communities in general. We interrogate each author we read on what kind of boundaries and political communities are implicit in their theories, and ask ourselves whether those boundaries are justified and if so, on what basis.
We address the usual questions that have kept political thinkers busy for the past two and a half millennia:
- How free should human beings be?
- How equal?
- What kind of freedom and equality are worth having?
- How powerful should states be, and what form should they take?
- When and how might we want to resist them?
- Who should rule?
- What is democracy?
- What is good, and what might not be good, about democracy?
- What is justice?
- Define the fundamental concepts in political philosophy, identifying their historical development and the main debates surrounding them.
- Know the relationships among authors and the differences in their approaches.
- Understand relevant connections between the texts studied and contemporary political events.
- Defend their opinion on political issues on the basis of the material studied.
- Intervene with competence in political debates about the concepts studied, identifying the normative implications of the different political choices.
- Use basic political science concepts and language and interpret political events in light of the main political theories.
- Evaluate the distinctive contribution of political philosophy to political science.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Online lectures
- Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
- Individual assignments
- Group assignments
- Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)
Students have the option of earning extra credit for engagement by working on papers to be written individually or as a group on a topic of their choice that are covered in class. There are frequent group activities to facilitate exchange of opinions on the topic of the course and to develop connections with current events.
Should an online transition prove necessary, classes will be held synchronously and guest speakers may be invited
|Continuous assessment||Partial exams||General exam|
There will be 4-5 questions in the exam mostly aimed at ascertaining knowledge of the material, and 2 aimed at reflecting on connections.
The individual assignment has the goal of assessing analytical abilities, position taking, and ability to make connections with current events.
Participation aims at developing the ability to give reasons and justifying one's position on an issue.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, A Discourse on the Origins of Inequality, Hackett Publishing Company
Nicolò Machiavelli, The Prince, Cambridge University Press
Astra Taylor, What is Democracy? Zeitgeist Films, 2018
Other materials will be provided on electronic reserve at the library by early February.