Fall 2021 - POL 210 D100

Introduction to Political Philosophy (3)

Class Number: 3875

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    RCB 8100, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    POL 100 or permission of department.



An examination of concepts presented by the major political thinkers of the western world. The course surveys those ideas which remain at the root of our political institutions, practices and ideals against a background of the periods in which they were expressed. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.


Basic ideas of political philosophy are analyzed in this course by following the development of citizenship a vital element of democracy. Should the duties and rights of citizens be minimized to achieve greater individual freedom? How would a more inclusive definition of citizenship considering the experiences contributions of women influence democracy? What obligations do citizens have to future generations and other inhabitants of planet Earth? On what ethical framework should the judgements and actions of citizens be based? Discussion will be in light of the writings of eminent political thinkers, such as Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Machiavelli, Rousseau, and Wollstonecraft.


  • Three quizzes in lecture 30%
  • Attendance and Participation in tutorial 10%
  • Short paper 15%
  • Term paper 30%
  • Asynchronous contributions to the online discussion board 15%



All books available through Vital Source as E-books.

Plato, Republic  (Hackett Publishing 2004) ISBN: 9780872207363

Thomas Hobbes, The Leviathan (Hackett Publishing 1994) ISBN: 9780872201774

John Locke, Second Treatise of Government (Cambridge University Press 1988) ISBN: 9780521354486

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Social Contract (Dover 2003) ISBN: 9780486426921

Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (Dover 1996)

Karl Marx, Selected Writings (Cambridge University Press 1994) ISBN: 9780521349949 

Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince  (Hackett Publishing 1995) ISBN: 9780872203167

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.