USESEP002 History of Political Thought

Faculty of Public Policies in Opava
Winter 2012
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 4 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Guaranteed by
Mgr. Petr Slováček, Ph.D.
Institute of Central European Studies – Faculty of Public Policies in Opava
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The aim of the course is to present principal political-philosophical concepts and opinions through the history of philosophical thinking to students. The attention will be paid to theoretical introduction and preparation of students on independent work with resource texts and their interpretation. With regard to the scope of the topic, the most primary concepts will be mentioned only. However, these concepts are so influential in the history of political thinking that the elementary comprehension and introduction of their principles and fundamentals will enable the students to understand view on development of political thinking and political philosophy in particular. For better availability, the topic will be taught according to historic periods though it requires following the development of separate issues, however it guarantees better availability for students.
  • 1.Pre-socratics and Socrates - step out the myth and issue of the relation fysis and nomoi, Socrates´ discussion with Sophists
    2.Plato and Aristotle - relation to Socrates´ legacy, concept of polis, Plato municipality and his possible position in history of political thinking towards discontinuation of the society (Popper´s critics)
    3. Political thinking in Rome - Cicero
    4.Christianity and its influence - Aurelius Augustine and his concept of earthly municipality
    5. Thomas Aquinas - Christian tradition and re-founded Aristotle, natural law
    6.Decline of medieval order - some elementary motives of political thinking of the 14th century, nominalistic impact on concept of ordo, return to Bible
    7.Utopian projects and Machiavelli - Bacon, Campanella et al.
    8. Modern political philosophy - question of the origin of the state, legitimacy of power, freedom as political principle
    9. Political philosophy in Germany - Kant and Hegel
    10. The 19th century - positivism, Marxism, liberalism
    11. Totalitarianism and its philosophical presumptions - H. Arendt´s and K. R. Popper´s criticism
    12. Some main questions of political philosophy of the 20th century - discussion of liberalism and communitarism, problems of democracy
    required literature
  • D. Miller. Political Philosophy. Oxford University Press, 2003. info
  • ARENDTOVÁ, H. Původ totalitarismu I-III. Praha: Oikoymenh, 1996. info
  • K. R. Popper. Otevřená společnost a její nepřátelé. Oikoymenh, 1994. info
    recommended literature
  • R. E. Goodin, P. Pettit (eds.). A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy II. Blackwell, 2007. info
  • Brett A., Tully J. Rethinking the Foundation of Modern Political Thought. Cambridge, 2006. info
  • Fiala A. The Philosopher´s Voice. SUNY Press, 2002. info
  • Coleman j. History of Political Thought I. Blackwell, 2000. info
  • Coleman j. History of Political Thought II. Blackwell, 2000. info
  • R. E. Goodin, P. Pettit (eds.). Contemporary Political Philosophy, An Anthology. Blackwell, 1997. info
  • L. Strauss. What Is Political Philosophy? The Journal of Politics 19, 1957. info
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
The course can also be completed outside the examination period.
Teacher's information
oral examination
The course is also listed under the following terms Winter 2013, Winter 2014, Winter 2015, Winter 2016, Summer 2017, Winter 2017, Summer 2018, Winter 2018, Summer 2019.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Winter 2012, recent)
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