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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.

Political thinkers from a wide range of times, places, and social groups are brought into dialogue with present-day political theory. We ask about (1) how to achieve political order, (2) how to achieve justice, (3) how to achieve cooperation, and (4) how to change the world.

Paper title Political Philosophy - Basic Problems
Paper code POLS101
Subject Politics
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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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.

Dr David Jenkins at

Teaching staff

Dr David Jenkins


The Broadview Anthology of Social and Political Thought, vol. 1: From Plato to Nietzsche.

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.

Students who successfully complete this paper 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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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A2 Wednesday 13:00-13:50 29-30, 32-34, 36-40
A3 Wednesday 14:00-14:50 29-30, 32-34, 36-40
A4 Thursday 12:00-12:50 29-30, 32-34, 36-40
A6 Thursday 11:00-11:50 29-30, 32-34, 36-40