Modern political philosophy: ideas and ideologies in the 21st century

Course Dates: 14/01/20 - 24/03/20
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street

What are the key philosophical ideas behind the issues and debates of today? This is an opportunity to explore in more depth the concepts and ideologies that are shaping the politics of the 21st century.


What is the course about?

This course will explore some of the key philosophical ideas behind the issues and debates of today. Starting with a critical examination of the case for classical liberalism we will then turn to look at some of the alternatives from the left and right of the political spectrum - and beyond. This will involve a consideration of radical and conservative perspectives on the state, free speech, rights and the nature of freedom and equality as values. We will be looking at some of the key contributions to the debates around the character of ‘the political’, of citizenship and of public versus private as well as the question of how power is wielded in our society, and to what ends.

What will we cover?

Topics to be discussed may include negative and positive freedom, equality, power, the state and the rights of the citizen and the stateless, justice and the claims of community and society over the individual, the Marxist critique of liberalism, libertarianism and neoliberalism, the politics of identity and class.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Demonstrate understanding of the key debates in contemporary political philosophy.
- Use and explain key concepts and theories in political philosophy, such as negative and positive freedom, rights, equality and power.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is particularly suitable for those who have followed the introductory course in political philosophy (HP110) but those new to philosophy will also be welcome and no previous knowledge will be assumed. An enthusiasm for learning as well as an open and critical mind will enhance your enjoyment and benefit from this course. On joining this course you should be able to read and comment upon extracts from a philosophical text. You should be prepared to discuss this reading in class.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Tutor presentations and seminar discussions. Suggestions for weekly reading will be provided but this work will not be compulsory.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

No, although please bring whatever you need to make notes.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You might be interested in HP010 Understanding the modern world, starting in May 2020.


Customer Reviews 1 item(s)

Write a review

Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

Really interesting class, a lot of ground covered, inspirational tutor
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 15/04/2019)
Tutor Biographies
Christopher Horner

Chris teaches, studies and writes about philosophy and many other things. He has taught adult learners for many years and is committed to the view that the subject should be taught in a lively way that stimulates and empowers students, and that relates both to history, culture and society more widely. Most importantly, students should begin to see how philosophy relates to them, and that it is something they can engage in with confidence and success. He has studied at the University of Sheffield, University of East Anglia, Goldsmiths and Roehampton Universites and has a PhD, the subject of which was Hannah Arendt and Kant’s Theory of Reflective Judgment. He is the co-uthor of the Cambridge University Press Book ‘Thinking Through Philosophy’, and has published numerous articles, mainly on philosophical issues. He has a strong interest in politics, history, literature, the visual arts and music and is a keen landscape photographer.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: HP030

Tue, eve, 14 Jan - 24 Mar '20

Duration: 11 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Full fee: £159.00
Senior fee: £159.00
Concession: £70.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.