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Module descriptions

7AAN2081 Political Philosophy

THIS MODULE IS RUNNING IN 2017-18          

Credit value: 20
Module tutor: Prof David Owens


  • Summative assessment: one 4,000-word essay (100%)
  • Formative assessment: one 2,000-3,000 word essay


  • Summative assessment: one 4,000-word essay (100%)
  • Formative assessment: one 2,000-3,000 word essay

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

Teaching pattern: one one-hour weekly lecture and one one-hour weekly seminar over ten weeks.
Pre-requisites: none
Sample syllabus: Please see the Past syllabi section below for an indication of the syllabus for this module.

This module will introduce the political philosophies of Hobbes, Locke and Hume and explore their implications for contemporary philosophy

Further information

Module aims

To communicate an understanding of central ideas in the thought of past political philosophers.

To relate the work of such thinkers to contemporary debates in political philosophy.

To equip students to read critically and reflect upon central texts in political philosophy, as well as introductory and secondary material.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, the students will be able to demonstrate intellectual, transferable and practicable skills and in particular will be able to exhibit:

  • a capacity for political argument.
  • a knowledge of the political doctrines of Hobbes, Locke and Hume.
  • an understanding of the nature of some central problems in political philosophy.
Past syllabi

7AAN2081 module syllabus 2012-13 (pdf)
7AAN2081 module syllabus 2013-14 (pdf)
7AAN2081 module syllabus 2014-15 (pdf)
7AAN2081 module syllabus 2015-16 (pdf)

Please note that module syllabus and topics covered may vary from year to year.

More detailed information on the current year’s module (including the syllabus for that year) can be accessed on KEATS by all students and staff. 

Core reading

Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan, Chapters 13-20.

John Locke: Second Treatise on Government

David Hume: Treatise on Human Nature: Book 3, Part 2.

Blank spaceThe modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.
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