2143.16 - Political Theory and History of Ideas

Course number
Political Theory and History of Ideas
Secondary education or equivalent qualifications.
The course will give the student an overview of, and insight into, main concepts in political thought from Plato to today.
What is the best way to organise a society? What are the advantages of a democratic system compared to a dictatorship? Plato was sceptical about both systems and Churchill thought that democracy was the worst of all political systems, except for all other political systems. The question about how to best organise society has occupied philosophers over 2500 years. We live in a world with many political systems and the question will most likely re-emerge as long people live together in a community. In this course the student will learn about the key thinkers in political thought throughout history. Some of the key thinkers explored are Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Hobbs, and Rawls (the lecturer decides on the final list).
Learning and teaching approaches
The course (30 hours in total) consists of lectures and active student participations in class.
Learning outcomes
The student shall: • Know the names of the key thinkers in political thought, when they lived, and the historical background and circumstances (context) they lived in. • Be able to explain the main ideas and main lines of reasoning in the political thinking of the studied authors. • Independently describe and analyse the importance of selected political thinkers for contemporary society.
Assessment method
Oral exam with ½ hour preparation. It is permitted to bring all course material from the course and ones own notes into the preparation hall.
Marking scale
Aproximately 800 pages.
Jens Christian Svabo Justinussen