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Course 2023-2024 a.y.

30331 - POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

BIG
Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English



Go to class group/s: 23

BIG (6 credits - II sem. - OB  |  SPS/01)
Course Director:
GIUNIA VALERIA GATTA

Classes: 23 (II sem.)
Instructors:
Class 23: GIUNIA VALERIA GATTA


Synchronous Blended: Lezioni erogate in modalità sincrona in aula (max 1 ora per credito online sincrona)

Suggested background knowledge

Students without any background in philosophy may find it useful to have a preliminary look at a political philosophy handbook


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

Political philosophy gives you the opportunity to 1. find some historical ground for many of the topics you will be studying during these three years and hopefully 2. to uncover not only how politics work, but also why it works that way.

CONTENT SUMMARY

There are infinite ways to structure a course on political philosophy. The material for this one is loosely organized around the ideas of obedience and disobedience. We will interrogate each author we will read on whether they lean more towards stability or change, and why. In particular, we will aim at understanding what balance of the two is optimal for citizens in a democracy. Of course, as we follow this running theme, we will also address the usual questions that have kept political thinkers busy for the past two and a half millennia: What does it mean to be free? What does it mean to be equal? What kind of freedom and equality are worth having? What is the nature of state power, and what is the form of government that best exercises it or distributes it? When and how might we want to resist that power? What is democracy? What is good, and what might not be good, about democracy? What is justice?


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...

Know the evolution of leading political science theories

Use basic political science concepts and language and interpret political events in light of the main political theories

 

Read closely: Actively and thoughtfully read and respond to diverse scholarly perspectives in political theory

APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...

 

students will develop the ability to effectively communicate with their audience, both face‐to‐face and in public, work in groups and

develop negotiation and leadership skills.


Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
DETAILS

Students will have the option to contribute individually to the course by way of a presentation of a paper, according to the schedule posted in the syllabus.

Short group assignments will take place periodically to assess understanding of the basic concepts


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •   x x
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  • x    
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    There will be a partial exam in March (50% of the final grade) and second partial at the end of the course (50% of the final grade). Alternatively, students may take just the general exam at the end of the course.

     

    The exams assess understanding of course materials, including lectures, readings and classroom activities. They will involve short answers to questions relative to content and essays to evaluate both the understanding of broader questions and analytical capabilities in the context of course material.

     

     


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    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? 2018 documentary https://zeitgeistfilms.com/film/whatisdemocracy

     

    Other readings indicated in the course schedule, which will be posted/distributed the week before class

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