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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Language and Communications Studies Department
Course Prefix and Number: PHIL 403
Course Title: *Modern Political Philosophy
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Study of major writers in political philosophy from Hobbes to the present. Cross-listed as POSC 403. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

Junior standing

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered odd Spring.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Most current editions of the following to include any appropriate anthology or collection of writings from the major authors of political philosophy:

Classics in Political Philosophy
By Porter, Jene M. Ed. (Prentice Hall)
Western Political Thought
By Nelson, Brian R. (Prentice Hall)
Political Philosophy: The Essential Texts
By Cahn, Steven (Oxford)
Classics of Moral and Political Theory
By Morgan, Michael, Ed. (Hackett)
Course Objectives
  • To introduce the subject of political philosophy and its primary authors.
  • To begin formulating personal philosophical views on the political world.
Measurable Learning Outcomes:
  • Explain the relationship between one's view of human nature and the proper political system.
  • Identify significant trends in the historical development of political thought such as equality, liberty, gender equity, justice, force and the right of revolution.
  • Explain significant contributions of the most important writers of political thought beginning with Hobbes and continuing to the present.
  • Read and comprehend original sources in political philosophy.
Topical Outline:
  • Note: PHIL 403 is a senior-level course in political philosophy. As such, students must be required to read from original texts for all philosophers discussed. Students must also be assigned an intensive writing assignment which may be either based on research, conducted outside class or in developing a personal political philosophy citing the work of other philosophers.
  • Also, all examinations for this course must contain a significant (more than 50%) essay portion in which students analyze and critique political ideas.
  • Locke - Two Treatises on Government: The Second Treatise
  • Hobbes - The Leviathan
  • Rousseau - The Social Contract
  • Marx - Manifesto of the Communist Party
  • Weber - The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
  • Rawls - Theory of Justice

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at http://www.ccis.edu/offices/library/index.asp. You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: David Roebuck Date: August 5, 2014
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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