PHI204: Political Philosophy


PHI204: Political Philosophy

Key details

Accredited towardsBachelor of Arts in the Liberal Arts
Unit typeCore unit
Credit points6
Indicative contact hours3 hours per week
Offered inSemester 1
Tuition feeLearn more



What role does the state play in promoting the human good? What legitimises political authority? What, if any, is the best form of government? What is justice? These are just a few of the questions we investigate in the study of political philosophy.

In this unit, we will be surveying many of the great thinkers who have contributed to the field of political philosophy, including Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, John Stuart Mill, John Rawls, and Robert Nozick. We will reflect on and critique assumptions about politics and the human good from the tradition of political liberalism that continues to shape the contemporary world. We will also rediscover insights from ancient, preliberal thought, and see if there is still much to learn from this.


Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit of study, students will be able to:

  1. Accurately describe and explain a range of ideas and systems of thought within the study of political philosophy.
  2. Skilfully evaluate a range of ideas and systems of thought within the study of political philosophy.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of the contributions of historically significant thinkers in the field of political philosophy.
  4. Conduct self-directed research into given topics of interest relevant to the course.
  5. Effectively express a coherent, extended argument in written form.
  6. Verbally summarise, discuss, and provide commentary on material from lectures and weekly readings.



Interested in other Philosophy units?

PHI101: Introduction to Philosophy
PHI102: Metaphysics
PHI202: Moral Philosophy
PHI204: Political Philosophy
PHI301: Modern Philosophy
PHI302: Social and Political Philosophy
PHI303: Philosophy of Language
PHI304: Twentieth Century Analytic Philosophy
PHI305: Intensive Study of a Text in Classical Philosophy
PHI306: Intensive Study of a Text in Modern Philosophy



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