Welcome to the Political Theory class here at the Wikiversity School of Political Science. Here students will learn the science of politics from its theoretical foundations and how they are applied to the mechanisms of government. The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a broad introduction to major topics in political theory. The course focuses largely on a fundamental question of political philosophy: “What should government be like?” We will touch on a number of key topics in political philosophy, and on the specific theories of key political philosophers.
Unit 1: The Base of Politcal Theory
- What is Poltical Theory? Explain in detail.
- Normative vs. Descriptive Theory
- Normative and Descriptive Variants
- Realism, Classic and Modern Liberalism, and Critical Theories
- This crosses several categories. There are ideologies, like Liberalism, Conservativism, etc, then modes of analysis like critical theory, and then epistemological standpoints like Realism.
- Metaphysical vs. Dialectic Thought
- Dialectical thought is metaphysical
Unit 2: Thinking About Politics
- Who is Plato?
- Who is Aristotle?
- Who is Locke?
Unit 3: Contract Theory
- What is a social contract?
- Who is Hobbes?
- Locke vs. Rousseau
- Who is Priestley?
- Who is Rawls?
- Discuss the possibility of an existent modern social contract.
Unit 4: Theorists and Their Theories
- St. Augustine
- St. Thomas and Thomism
- Nicholas of Cusa
- The Carolingians
- The Scholastics
Reformation and Renaissance
- St. Thomas More
- Adam Smith
Age of Revolutions
- John Stuart Mill
- Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels
- Bakunin vs Proudon
This class will be instructed through reading materials, discussion and formal lecture. Please be aware that this class will require that you attend periodic live on-line voice lectures. After these lectures, students will be allowed to vocally debate and ask questions. These lectures will be once a week, and instructions on how and when to attend these lectures will be e-mailed to you upon enrollment.
There will be 4 writing component projects that will be considered exams through out the semester. This will require students to critically think about the various elements of their unit of study.
Final Exam will be comprehensive and consist of Multiple Choice, True/False and Matching.
Lecture exams = 80% Final exam = 20%
Grade scale: 90-100 = A; 80-89 = B; 70-79 = C; 60-69 = D; below 60 = F
Students are required to attend the once a week live online lecture. Most of the information needed to fulfill the exams will be discussed in these lecutres. Students will be allowed to miss 1 lecture session, thereafter the student will be dropped from this class. The professor of this course gives the effort to teach for free, students must give the effort to attend.
Professor Office Hours
If the student is having problems with grasping the material, he/she may request office time with the professor. This will help facilitate better learning methods for students that are having problems absorbing the extensive information on the subject. Students must not hesitate contacting the professor if help is needed. Contact Gh0st (email:firstname.lastname@example.org) -Instructor of this class.
(If you have enrolled, please put your name here.)