Political Philosophy 2023-24
School Of History, Law And Social Sciences
Module - Semester 2
This module introduces the history of political philosophy – covering Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Paine – before introducing the contemporary debates within political philosophy – including (e.g.) Rawls, Nozick, Sen, and Nussbaum. Lectures cover the nature of political authority and obligation; the role, function, and moral justification of the state; international politics; human rights; the ideal form of government; and the distribution of wealth.
-threshold -(D- to D+) Work in this band will demonstrate a cursory knowledge of the issues and arguments within both historical and contemporary political philosophy, but might show a lack of understanding, and will not demonstrate an ability to analyse or evaluate these arguments. Work in this band will fail to develop a successful argument relevant to the content of this course. -good -(C- to B+) Work in this band will demonstrate good knowledge and understanding of the issues and arguments within both historical and contemporary political philosophy, and (for the higher grades) will be able to apply that knowledge and understanding to the construction of an argument relevant to the content of this course. This argument might show some minor misunderstandings, or might not be presented with impeccable structure, but will nonetheless demonstrate the student's knowledge and understanding of the subject area, and will show that they are capable of constructing a logical and coherent argument. -excellent -(A- to A*) Work in this band will demonstrate comprehensive and very detailed understanding of historical and contemporary political philosophy, based on extensive background reading, and will demonstrate an outstanding ability to construct a logical and coherent argument relevant to the content of this course.
- To analyse, research, and construct a sustained argument applicable to the content of this course, showing some degree of originality.
- To demonstrate knowledge of, understanding of, and an ability to critically evaluate the major developments within the history of political philosophy.
- To demonstrate knowledge of, understanding of, and an ability to critically evaluate the major themes, concepts, and arguments within contemporary political philosophy.
Panel Discussion In groups of three students will discuss a political issue of interest to them in a 20 minute panel discussion. Students will meet with the course tutor in April to determine the topic of their discussion. This assignment is worth 50% of the overall module grade. Students will be assessed on their individual contribution to the panel discussion.
Essay Students will complete one essay out of a choice of six. Each essay will provide students with the opportunity to critically assess one of the political theories studied in class. The word limit for this assignment is 2500 words. This assignment is worth 40% of the final module mark.