Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LT9008 (AF:332324 AR:186937)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
1st Term
Course year
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The course is consistent with the goals of the degree program because it introduces students to the fundamental problems and concepts of political philosophy, with particular focus on the main theoretical and hermeneutic traditions.
Upon completion of the course, the students will have developed the ability to: understand the meaning of the texts and topics discussed in class; reflect critically on both their history and relevance; recognize their implications in the contemporary world.
A good level of general education is required.
Course title: Introduction to Political Philosophy
The course will provide a general introduction to political philosophy, through the examination of the fundamental concepts and the central problems in the Western tradition (power and authority, political obligation and legitimacy, equality and liberty, property and market, justice and democracy). Students will be guided through the ideas of various classical thinkers and through the major debates of the discipline. A special focus will be dedicated to the notion of democracy and, particularly, to the main democratic theories in the Twentieth Century and in the early Twenty-first Century.

Jonathan Wolff, An Introduction to Political Philosophy, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2015 (3rd edition);
David Held, Models of Democracy, Polity, Cambridge 2006 (third edition): pp. 125-255, 290-311.
For any further information:
Leo Strauss, What is political philosophy?, in «The Journal of Politics», 19, 1957, (3), pp. 343-368;
Sheldon Wolin, Political theory as a vocation, in «American Political Science Review», 63, 1969, (4), pp. 1062-1082;
Quentin Skinner, Meaning and understanding in the history of ideas, in «History and Theory»,8, 1969, (1), pp. 3-53;
Mark Bevir, Are there perennial problems in political theory?, in «Political Studies», 42, 1994, (4), pp. 662-675;
John Rawls, Four roles of political philosophy, in Id., Justice as fairness: A restatement, Harvard University Press, Harvard 2001, pp. 1-5;
Jeffrey Edward Green, Political theory as both philosophy and history: a defense against methodological militancy, in «Annual Review Political Science», 2015, 18, pp. 425-441.
The final exam will be written and will be related to the contents discussed throughout the course and to the topics addressed within the textbook.
The textbook and the assessment methods are the same for non-attending students.
The teaching style will be traditional. Students’ participation will be encouraged.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Poverty and inequalities" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 25/06/2021