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PHIL 201 Introduction to Political Philosophy • 5 Cr.


Examines the values and assumptions underlying governments and political systems. Students discuss philosophical issues behind international conflicts and cooperation in the present world. Same as POLS 201. Either PHIL 201 or POLS 201 may be taken for credit, not both.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Use critical thinking by demonstrating in written form various knowledge claims and their validity or lack of it.
  • Analyze the methods by which various knowledge claims are arrived at and judged.
  • Define "political philosophy."
  • Identify the basic formative elements of political philosophies.
  • Analyze and conclude the type of knowledge claims political philosophies posit.
  • Identify in written essay the major pre-socratic philosophers.
  • Explain the various ideas of the pre-Socratic philosophers (e.g., being, becoming).
  • Identify the philosophers of the Socratic school.
  • Explain in writing how Plato arrived at the neccessity of rule by the philosopher King.
  • Explain in writing why Aristotle concluded "Politea" is the best form of government.
  • Compare Plato and Aristotle's proposal for best governent, come to a reasoned decision about them.
  • Explain in writing what is Stoic Philosophy.
  • Explain the theory of Natural Law and how a Theory of Government is arrived at.
  • Analyze the inner logic of Stocism and come to a conclusion about it.
  • Explain and analyze the following philosophical positions posited by philosophy listed as to what is best form of government and why: St. Augustine, St. Thomas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Burke, Hume, Bentham, De Tocqueville, Mill, Hegel, Marx and Lenin, and the fascism and nazism of Mussolini and Hitler.

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Bellevue College
3000 Landerholm Circle SE Bellevue, WA 98007-6484 U.S.A.
Work: (425) 564-1000