AP/PHIL2060 3.0 A: Social and Political Philosophy

Offered by: PHIL


Fall 2019






Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite

An introduction to philosophy focusing on problems concerning the nature of society, the nature of the state, justice and human rights, freedom and censorship, etc. Course credit exclusion: GL/PHIL 2923 3.00.

Course Website

Many courses utilize Moodle, York University's course website system. If your course is using Moodle, refer to the image below to access it.

    Additional Course Instructor/Contact Details

Esteve Morera

Office Location: S419 Ross

Phone: (416) 736-2100,  ext. 77591

Office hours: Monday 1:00-2:30

or by appointment

    Expanded Course Description

This course will focus on the conceptual foundations of Western social and political philosophy.  It will be divided into two parts, one historical and one contemporary.  In the first part, we will engage in an examination of some of the primary texts of such thinkers as Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes, Locke, Mill, and Marx.  We will pay particular attention to their views about human nature, the social contract, social justice and its foundations, and the nature and origins of inequality.   The second part of the course will be devoted to the study of some contemporary thinkers, both to develop an understanding of important criticisms of the classical texts and appreciation of crucial debates in our times. This will include liberal, socialist, and feminist thinkers, as well as some African and aboriginal thinkers.

    Required Course Text / Readings

Andrea Veltman, editor.  Social and Political Philosophy.  Classic and Contemporary Readings.  Oxford

PHIL 2060 KIT  - Available at the York Bookstore

    Weighting of Course

First Test (Oct. 9) . . . . . .   30%

Paper  (Dec. 2)  . . . . . . . .   35%

Final exam . . . . . . . . . . . .  35%

    Organization of the Course


    Course Learning Objectives

The student completing this course will,

  • Understand the origin and development of key ideas in social and political philosophy
  • Appreciate contemporary developments in contemporary social and political philosophy
  • Evaluate critically arguments related to the nature of society, justice, freedom, and equality.

Write cogently and clearly about social and political issues.

    Additional Information / Notes
Sep. 4 Introduction to the Course
  9 Plato (Veltman, pp. 3-22 and KIT 3)
  11 Aristotle (Veltman, pp. 45 -61)
  16 The Influence of Aristotle.  Natural Law and the Scientific Revolution (Aquinas KIT 4)
  18 Hobbes (Veltman, pp. 79-107)
  23 Hobbes (Continued)
  25 Locke (Veltman, pp. 111-46)
  30 Locke (Continued)
Oct. 2 Locke (Continued) Rousseau (Veltman, pp. 149-73)
  7 Rousseau (Continued)
  9 Mandatory Test


  21 Mill (Veltman, pp. 201-38)
  23 Mill (Continued)
  28 Marx and Engels (Veltman, pp. 242-63)
  30 Marx and Engels (Continued)
Nov. 4 Appiah (KIT 6)
  6 U.S. Supreme Court (KIT 5); Mills (Veltman, pp. 350-68)
  11 Rawls (Veltman, pp. 297-319)
  13 Rawls (Continued); Hospers  (Veltman, pp. 321-33)
  18 Pateman (Veltman, pp. 335-46); Okin (Veltman, pp. 401-28); Madam Justice Wilson (KIT 7)
  20 Young (KIT 8)
  25 Gyekye (KIT 9); Bold and Long (KIT 10)
  27 Pudendorf (KIT 11); McIntyre (KIT 12); Nielsen (KIT 13)
Dec. 2 Review

Paper Due





    Relevant Links / Resources