Key Concepts in Political Philosophy (PHIL*2280) | College of Arts

Key Concepts in Political Philosophy (PHIL*2280)

Code and section: PHIL*2280*01

Term: Fall 2021

Instructor: TBA


This course will be delivered in person as per WebAdvisor.

This course introduces students to some of the key ideas in political theory. What is the basis for political legitimacy and authority? What is the origin of justice? Is it an instrumental or intrinsic virtue? Are all humans free and equal by nature? What is the best form of government? Etc. We shall examine the views that some of the key figures in political thought have on these questions. We shall start from the earliest thinkers on the subject, such as Confucius, Aristotle and Cicero. We will then examine some medieval thinkers such as Mohammad, Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas. Finally, we shall examine some of the major contemporary trends in political thought. 

The University of Guelph resides on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon, a covenant between Indigenous nations to live peaceably on the territories of the Great Lakes region. We recognize that today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and acknowledging them reminds us of our collective responsibility to the land where we learn, live and work.