Schedule of Classes Course Description

Medgar Evers College
Course Prefix: PHIL                                     Course Number: 211                                    
Course Title: Political Philosophy
Subject: Philosophy
Minimum Credits: 3.0                                     Maximum Credits: 3.0                                     Hours per week: 3.0


This course is a comprehensive introduction to the major topics in political theory. Political theory is concerned with the fundamental questions of public life. It explores the philosophical traditions that have formed questions such as: What is the nature of political authority? What should be the relationship between individuals and states? What are the obligations and responsibility that citizens owe to one another? What are the limits of freedom? When may government act against the will of a citizen? What characterizes a good government? What is the purpose of government? And so on. In answering these questions, political philosophers have tried to establish basic principles that will, for instance, justify a particular form of state, show that individuals have basic inalienable rights, or tell us how a society?s basic material resources should be shared by its members. This constitutes analyzing and interpreting a few basic concepts ? ?authority?, ?liberty?, ?freedom? and ?justice.? Theories on these basic concepts are with a remarkable diversity, and there are two reasons for this. First, methods and approached used by political philosophers reflect the general philosophical tendencies (for instance, epistemological and ethics theories) of their epoch. Second, the political philosopher?s agenda is set up by the pressing political issues of his day. In this course, thus, we will examine and compare not only political theories propounded by various philosophers but also see those theories have been applied to the pressing issues of relevant social and political surroundings.

Prerequisite: ENGL 150, PHIL 101.
Start Date:    09/26/2009                         End Date: