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POLS101 Political Philosophy - Basic Problems

Selected thinkers from Plato to the present. Three problems, whether reason can justify humane ideals, whether politics is natural, individual liberty versus other goods.

The basic problems of political philosophy have occupied great minds from the ancient to contemporary worlds. Questions like: What constitutes the good life? Is politics natural? and, should (individual) liberty outrank other goods? interrelated and fundamental to the discipline of politics, they are also at the heart of social/political existence of which we are all, inescapably, a part.

Paper title Political Philosophy - Basic Problems
Paper code POLS101
Subject Politics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $868.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,656.70

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Schedule C
Arts and Music
The study of Politics at 100-level does not require any specific previous study. An interest in national and international affairs is an advantage.
Teaching staff
To be advised.
To be advised.
Course outline
View the course outline for POLS 101
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
The main purpose of the paper is to acquaint you with some of the core texts in the history of Western political thought, to help you identify ways in which they apply to your world and to facilitate the process of critical thought. You will be able to demonstrate understanding of some of the core texts in the history of western political thought and the ability to think critically - including applying key political concepts to the student's world.

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Tuesday 15:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 15:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Tuesday 16:00-16:50 30-34, 37-40
T2 Tuesday 17:00-17:50 30-34, 37-40
T3 Wednesday 13:00-13:50 30-34, 37-40
T4 Wednesday 14:00-14:50 30-34, 37-40
T5 Thursday 11:00-11:50 30-34, 37-40
T6 Thursday 12:00-12:50 30-34, 37-40