2018-2019 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 24, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Philosophy, BA

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Kenneth Baynes
208 Tolley
Elizabeth Cohen
Political Science
100 Eggers Hall


See faculty listings under the programs in Philosophy  and in Political Science .

Political philosophy is reflective thought on group activity. It differs from political science in that it is a conceptual inquiry, while political science is a more empirical and practical application of that inquiry. The program enables students to pursue studies using the resources of both the philosophy department and the political science department. Students take coursework in ethics, political theory, history of political thought, law, and human nature. Some other topics of study include governmental structures and their ideal implementation, political behavior, civil liberties, the relationship between individuals and governments, and philosophy of law.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. A basic understanding of the core concepts in political philosophy (such as liberty, equality, rights, federalism, etc.)

2. An ability to identify and reconstruct political arguments, including the ability to identify premises and conclusions in political arguments

3. An ability to read and critically evaluate literature in political thought-including historical texts, editorials, and scholarly publications

4. An ability to write short expositional and critical essays in political thought

Major Requirements

The program requires a total of 30 credits.

Of these, 12 credits are selected from the following courses:

In addition, students choose two of the following four areas

In addition, students choose two of the following four areas, and take nine credits in each: (1) history of political thought; (2) law; (3) ethics and politics; and (4) human nature and political theory. Each course selection needs the approval of a political philosophy advisor. The courses listed below satisfy these area requirements. However, additional courses in philosophy or political science, such as selected topics courses, may be approved, as may certain courses in other departments such as history or sociology, as well as appropriate courses given outside of the arts and sciences. Each political philosophy student consults with the advisor about course selections each semester. The illustrative examples are:

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