Uniwersytet Warszawski - Centralny System Uwierzytelniania
Strona główna

History of Political Ideas 2100-ERASMUS-HPID
Konwersatorium (KON) Semestr zimowy 2022/23

Informacje o zajęciach (wspólne dla wszystkich grup)

Liczba godzin: 30
Limit miejsc: (brak limitu)
Zaliczenie: Zaliczenie na ocenę
Literatura: (tylko po angielsku)


Assorted Primary Texts – selected fragments of:

Plato’s “Republic”

Aristotle’s “Politics”

St Augustine’s “City of God”

St. Thomas’ “Treatise on Law”, selections of “Summa”

More’s “Utopia”

Machiavelli’s “Prince

Hobbes’ “Leviathan”

Rousseau’s “Social Contract”

Kant’s “Perpetual Peace”

Locke’s “Two Treatises on Government”

J.S. Mill’s “On Liberty” and “Utilitarianism”

Burke’s “Reflections on the Revolution in France”

Marx’s & Engel’s “Communist Manifesto”

Nietzsche’s “Genealogy of Morals” and “Twilight of Idols”

Supplementary reading:

* J.S.McClelland, “A History of Western Political Thought” (selected chapters),

* I. Adams, R. W. Dyson, Fifty Major Political Thinkers, Routledge, New York 2003, (selected fragments),

* Socrates (by Debra Nails) and Plato's Ethics and Politics in The Republic (by Eric Brown), at: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://plato.stanford.edu/contents.html

* E. B. Portis, Reconstructing the Classics. Political Theory from Plato to Marx (chapters: St. Augustine and the Politics of Sin, St. Thomas Aquinas and the Politics of Salvation), Chatham House Publishers, Chatham, NJ 1998, pp. 49-63, 65-81.

* Isaiah Berlin, The Question of Machiavelli, “The New York Review of Books”, volume 17, number 7 · November 4, 1971 (or on-line at: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/10391).

* E. B. Portis, Reconstructing the Classics. Political Theory from Plato to Marx (chapter: Rousseau and the Politics of Citizenship), pp. 135-150.

* Kant's Social and Political Philosophy (by Frederick Rauscher), at:

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant-social-political/

* E. B. Portis, Reconstructing the Classics. Political Theory from Plato to Marx (chapter 10, Mill and the Politics of Character), pp. 153-167.

* Edmund Burke (by Ian Harris), at: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/burke

* Donald F. Busky, Communism in History and Theory: From Utopian Socialism to the Fall of the Soviet Union, (chapter 3: Utopian Socialism in the Nineteenth Century) pp. 67-83.

All texts will be submitted to participants in the digital format.

The list may be slightly altered - though not extended - during the course.

Metody i kryteria oceniania: (tylko po angielsku)


1. Attendance - 2 absences are allowed without consequences. In case of a greater number of absences, an additional assignment paper may be required.

2. Active participation.

3. Mid-term examination - in the form of an in-class essay, held in late November or early December 2021).

4. Final written in-class examination, held on January 25th, 2022.


The information above is based on the optimistic assumption that we will proceed in an in-person, in-class manner throughout the semester. However, considering the dynamic character of the pandemic situation, all participants need to be ready to switch into an online mode, if that is officially required. In that case, we will have oral exams online - either both, or just one, depending on circumstances.

Zakres tematów: (tylko po angielsku)

Topics (classes):

1. Ancient political thought – Greek beginnings

- The concept of polis, Athenian democracy

- Sophists and Socrates (relativism vs. rationalism & ethical intellectualism)

- Plato (theory of ideas, ideal state, critique of democracy)

- Aristotle (origins of the state, the best political order, Plato and Aristotle - similarities and differences)

2. Political dimension of Christian Thought

- Early Christianity, its understanding of power and social order

- St. Augustine

- St. Thomas Aquinas (comparison with St. Augustine)

3. Early Modern Political Thought

- Thomas More (utopianism, anti-utopias)

- Niccolò Machiavelli (various interpretations, “Prince” and “Discourses” – are these works consistent?, Renaissance republicanism)

- Thomas Hobbes (human nature, the state of nature, social contract, understanding of authority)

4. Enlightenment

- Jean-Jacques Rousseau (the state of nature, critique of civilization & progress, social contract, general will vs. the will of all, understanding of freedom)

- Immanuel Kant (liberal motifs)

5. Liberal thought (aristocratic and classical period)

- John Locke (the state of nature, social contract and vision of authority – in comparison with Hobbes)

- John Stuart Mill (utilitarian justification of the liberal order)

6. Two faces of early conservatism

- Joseph de Maistre (French Revolution, the problem of change, human nature, critique of rationalism)

- Edmund Burke (in comparison with de Maistre)

7. Socialism and communism

- Karl Marx (“scientific” vs. “utopian” socialism, theory of history and socio-economic development, justification of revolution)

8. Political aspects of F. Nietzsche’s philosophy (critique of Christianity, liberalism and democracy, question of nihilism, death of God, Übermensch, Nietzsche and fascism)

Metody dydaktyczne: (tylko po angielsku)


Grupy zajęciowe

zobacz na planie zajęć

Grupa Termin(y) Prowadzący Miejsca Liczba osób w grupie / limit miejsc Akcje
1 każdy wtorek, 16:45 - 18:15, sala 3
Sławomir Józefowicz 25/20 szczegóły
2 każdy wtorek, 16:45 - 18:15, sala 3
Sławomir Józefowicz 3/10 szczegóły
Wszystkie zajęcia odbywają się w budynku:
Budynek dydaktyczny - Krakowskie Przedmieście 3
Opisy przedmiotów w USOS i USOSweb są chronione prawem autorskim.
Właścicielem praw autorskich jest Uniwersytet Warszawski.
ul. Banacha 2
02-097 Warszawa
tel: +48 22 55 44 214 https://www.mimuw.edu.pl/
kontakt deklaracja dostępności USOSweb (2023-02-28)