Politinių idėjų istorija (POL137)

Program code:
Teaching language:
Anglų kalba
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Course description

This course offers an introduction to the visions of key political thinkers from the ancient Greeks through the early-twentieth century. We will begin by examining the extremely influential thought of Plato and Aristotle, then turn to the radical rethinking of politics by Machiavelli and Hobbes, followed by the early modern thought of Locke and Rousseau, then two major nineteenth-century figures — J. S. Mill and Arthur Schopenhauer — and finish with the political insights of Freud.

Course goals

Through close readings of, and conscientious engagement with, the primary texts of key thinkers in the Western tradition of political thought, students will become familiar with each authors’ unique voice, style, concerns, definitions, concepts and arguments. Some select secondary literature will augment understanding of these primary texts by providing historical and scholarly context. The seminar format of the course invites informed and civil discourse amongst all students in the spirit of liberal learning.

Course results

  • Comprehend and interpret each primary text.
  • Have a basic understanding of the historical context of each thinker, and describe how it may have influenced each thinker.
  • Know the basic bibliographical information of each thinker.
  • Critically assess the validity of each thinkers’ arguments.
  • Discuss the relevance of each thinker to today’s political concerns.
  • Understand the contested and changing nature of key political concepts, such as justice, liberty, obedience, authority, and power.
  • Engage in informed and civil discourse with peers about the the meaning of each text.
  • Write insightful commentaries on each thinker and on various important political concepts.


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