Modern political philosophy: ideas and ideologies in the 21st century
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HP030
Duration: 12 sessions (over 12 weeks)
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.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
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, or HP133 Germain idealism from Kant to Hegel: the beginnings of continental philosophy, both starting in April 2022.
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.