Ph-471 Introduction to Political Philosophy

Ph-471 Introduction to Political Philosophy


The course consists in a critical introduction to modern political philosophy. After an introductory lecture on the differences between ancient and modern political philosophy, we focus on the works of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Hegel. We give emphasis on the internal cohesion of each theory as well as on the historical context in which it appeared. The objective of the course is to familiarize the students with certain fundamental issues raised and treated by modern political philosophy (the state of nature and natural right, the social contract, the general will, sovereignty, legitimate power, right of resistance etc.) as well as with the differences between the theories of these philosophers.

The course is organized as follows:

  • Introductory remarks on political philosophy (1st week)
  • Machiavelli (2nd-3rd w.): the Machiavellian innovation / the Prince and the problem of power / ethics and politics / the conflict between the people and the Grandees as a condition of liberty
  • Social contract theories – introductory remarks (4th)
  • Hobbes (4th-6th w.): elements of Hobbes’ anthropology / the state of nature as a state of war / natural right and the laws of nature / the social contract / the rights of the Sovereign and the liberties of the subjects
  • Locke (7th-8th-9th w.): Locke’s critique of Filmer in the First Treatise of Government / the state of nature / the right of property / the social contract / the limits of the legislative power and the right to resistance
  • -J. Rousseau (9th-10th-11th w.): elements of Rousseau’s anthropology / the pre-political state and the pseudo-contract in the Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality among Men / Rousseau’s critique of previous theories of political power / the social contract / general will and the will of all / freedom, equality and property / Rousseau’s critique of representation
  • Hegel (12th-13th w.): Hegel’s critique of social contract theories / family – civil society – State / the logic of the civil society and the necessity of the State


Social Sciences

Academic Unit:

Social Anthropology and History

Level of studies:


Course code:



Independent teaching activities


Weekly teaching hours




Course type:

Prerequisite courses:


Language of instruction and examinations:



Is the course offered to erasmus students:


Course website (URL):


Τρόπος Παράδοσης:

Πρόσωπο με πρόσωπο

Χρήση Τεχνολογιών, Πληροφορίας & Επικοινωνιών:

Παρουσιάσεις σε Power Point, προβολή σύντομων βίντεο μέσω διαδικτύου, επικοινωνία μέσω eclass

Οργάνωση Διδασκαλίας: 

Δραστηριότητα Φόρτος Εργασίας Εξαμήνου
Σύνολο Μαθήματος 140
Διαλέξεις 40
Ασκήσεις στην τάξη 15
Εκπαιδευτική εκδρομή 10
Αυτόνομη μελέτη στην διάρκεια του εξαμήνου 45
Μελέτη προετοιμασίας για τις εξετάσεις 30

Αξιολόγηση Φοιτητών:

Η αξιολόγηση των φοιτητών/ριών γίνεται μέσω εξετάσεων με ερωτήσεις ανάπτυξης και αποκλειστικά στην ελληνική γλώσσα. Τα κριτήρια είναι προσβάσιμα για τους φοιτητές/ριες στην ηλεκτρονική πλατφόρμα του μαθήματος (e-class).