Summer 2021 - POL 210 D100

Introduction to Political Philosophy (3)

Class Number: 3291

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Jul 20, 2021
    2:30 PM – 4:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    POL 100 or 101W 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.


Summer Session Course

Course Description:

This course will provide students with an understanding of the historical, conceptual, and normative foundations of the contemporary study of politics. It will introduce students to several key texts in the history of western political thought and philosophy. Through a close study of these texts, students will explore different understandings of nature, justice, virtue, the good, freedom, democracy, power, authority, legitimacy, equality, rights, obligation, and other political concepts. Necessarily, this course will uncover the elitist, classist, sexist, racist, and ableist underpinnings of much of the western intellectual tradition. This course will help students think critically and write analytically about political institutions and life.

Course Organization:

The course is organized into Canvas Modules. There are two modules per week. Each module contains lecture materials, including narrated PowerPoint lectures. Lecture materials are to work through asynchronously. In addition, there will be two synchronous tutorials via zoom each week of about 50 minutes (Tues. and Thurs., either 4:30-5:20 or 5:30-6:20). In addition, there will be optional drop-in Zoom study sessions (Tues. and Thurs., 2:30-4:20). Students are welcome to use this time to work (mostly silently) together on Zoom. It may be a nice way to reduce social isolation. Please note that this is a Summer Session, which takes place at twice the speed of a regular semester.


  • Participation 20%
  • Mid-Term Test 25%
  • Short Audio Narration 20%
  • Mini Reflection Essays 35%



Plato, Republic, trans. C.D.C. Reeve (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 2004). G.M.A. Grube Translation is also fine, as is the Reeve and Grube translation!

PRINT ISBN-13: 9780872207363
PRINT ISBN-10: 0872207366
E-ISBN: 9781603840132

Aristotle, Politics, trans. C.D.C. Reeve (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1998). 

PRINT ISBN-13: 9780872203884
PRINT ISBN-10: 0872203883
E-ISBN: 9781603842402

Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, eds. Quentin Skinner and Russell Price (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). Oxford Classics is fine too!

PRINT ISBN-13: 9780199535699
PRINT ISBN-10: 0199535698
E-ISBN: 9780191604584

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ed. C.B. Macpherson (London: Penguin Books, 1985). 

PRINT ISBN-13: 9780140431957
PRINT ISBN-10: 0140431950

John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, ed. C.B. Macpherson (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1980).

PRINT ISBN-13: 9780915144860
PRINT ISBN-10: 0915144867
E-ISBN: 9781603845373

In addition, there will be a selection of readings and other materials by Charles Mills, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Susan Moller Okin, Sojourner Truth, and Audrey Lorde, which will be available in Canvas.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

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

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges 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. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112).