PHIL 2017 Western Political Philosophy

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101912

Coordinator Diego Bubbio Opens in new window

Description The major social and political philosophy of the West, from the 5th century BC Greece till the 18th century will be examined. The development of ideas of citizenship, subjectivity, freedom, equality and the democratic state will be explored. The influence of Christianity will also be a major theme. Authors will include: Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, More, Hobbes, Locke, Vico, Rousseau.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Philosophy

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Equivalent Subjects LGYB 0228 - The Western Philosophical Tradition PHIL 2013 - The Western Philosophical Tradition


Successful completion of 40 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. explain the major social and political theory of the West from 5th century BC Greece until the 18th century
  2. critically analyse primary texts which exemplify this theoretical tradition
  3. identify the theories that underpin the intellectual developments of the 19th and 20th centuries

Subject Content

- Ancient Greece. The development of philosophical thought; the place of the state in the philosophical systems; the relation between citizen and state; the lack of individualism; the exclusion of women, slaves and non-Greeks. Plato and Aristotle will be
- Medieval to 16th century. The intertwining of society and state within the religious order; the Catholic church-state; Augustine to St Thomas. The Renaissance secularisation; humanist interpretations of the Renaissance; notions of the individual in art
- 17th and 18th centuries. The influence of the scientific revolution. Hobbes and Locke; the idea of the social contract; the rise of individualism in social thought; the justification of bourgeois property rights; early Enlightenment formulations. Descar
- Rethinking The Philosophical tradition: Hegel.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Research Essay 2,000 words 55 N Individual
Research Exercise 1,000 words 35 N Individual
Tutorial exercises 5-10 minutes 10 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • A book of primary readings prepared by the subject coordinator.

Teaching Periods

Spring (2024)

Bankstown City


Subject Contact Diego Bubbio Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Diego Bubbio Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window