Classical Political Ideas And Why They are Still Useful

Module titleClassical Political Ideas And Why They are Still Useful
Module codePOC1017
Academic year2018/9
Credits15
Module staff

Dr Joanie Willett (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

11

0

0

Number students taking module (anticipated)

30

Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module introduces you to the practice and tradition of political theorising in the West, from the Greeks to the early Roman period. You will also be introduced to a tradition of textual interpretation and commentary connected with this, and some of the major interpretations offered.

Module aims - intentions of the module

-       To introduce you to the practice and tradition of political theorising in the West from the Greeks to the early Roman period through the study of selected texts by major thinkers.

-       To introduce you to a tradition of textual interpretation and commentary connected with this tradition and some of the major interpretations offered.

-       To equip you to critically assess such interpretations against the texts themselves.

-       To understand the significance and contributions of the major cultural components of classical antiquity.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. demonstrate knowledge of the major political theories of the Western tradition between Socrates and Cicero in oral and written contributions.
  • 2. understand, summarise and interpret complex and abstract arguments in politics.
  • 3. summarise and precis a political theory.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. identify and discuss the major concepts deployed in a theory and their argumentative articulation.
  • 5. engage in both sympathetic interpretation and reasoned criticism of such theories, and to evaluate different interpretations in the light of appropriate evidence.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. evaluate ideas, arguments and texts.
  • 7. complete assessed essays and formative seminar presentations.
  • 8. develop and assess communication skills through seminar participation and peer evaluation.
  • 9. demonstrate critical analytical skills.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

11 weekly lectures of 1.5 hours, and 11 weekly 1 hour seminars.


Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Socrates on knowledge, virtue and Athenian democracy
  • Plato’s conception of justice Plato’s theory of Forms Plato’s Ideal State
  • Aristotle and the state as a product of nature
  • Aristotle on citizenship and constitutions
  • Epicurus’s and the Stoics’ critique of Greek political theory
  • Cicero and the roman reception of Greek thought

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
27.5122.50

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching16.511 x 1.5 hour lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1111 x 1 hour seminars are based on lecture topics. Every student will be expected to present a tutorial paper during the year.
Guided Independent Study122.5Independent study, including preparation for lectures and seminars, reading set texts and secondary material, and preparation for assessments.

Assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay1000 words2-4, 9Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
10000

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay502000 words1-7, 9Written feedback
Take-home textual analysis essay501500 words1-7, 9Written feedback
0
0
0
0

Re-assessment

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay 2000 words1-7, 9August/September reassessment period
Take-home textual analysis essayEssay 1500 words1-7, 9August/September reassessment period

Resources

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Socrates: The Apology Plato: Republic Aristotle: The Politics

Cicero: On the Commonwealth, On Duties

Inwood, B. (1997). Hellenistic Philosophy: Introductory Readings. Indiana: Hackett Publishing Company,

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE – http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

History, Political, Thought

Credit value15
Module ECTS

7.5

Module pre-requisites

None

Module co-requisites

None

NQF level (module)

4

Available as distance learning?

No

Origin date

1/10/2008

Last revision date

24/07/2014