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   Course Title    Political Philosophy
Lecturer    Zurab Tchiaberashvili
Institution    Tbilisi State University
Country    Georgia


Objectives of the course

The course aims to explore a sense of the central problems of political philosophy and to give students the most important answers on these problems.

The course is devoted to elucidation the following problems:

  • Major concepts: "freedom", "equality", "order", "property", "justice"
  • Distribution of rights and liberties (What rights and liberties should people enjoy?)
  • Distribution of material goods (On what basis should people possess property?)
  • Distribution of political power (Who should hold this power and on what basis?)
  • Interconnected nature of economic and political freedom (What should the relation be between political power and economic success? How do institutional structures, which support competitive markets, also tend to support individual liberty?)
  • Interrelation "Liberalism" and "Democracy": do they always go well together or make to each other some problems during the building of democratic society?
  • Balance between autonomy and authority (Individualism and anti-individualism)

The course is taught on the 4th year of BA degree.

Syllabus (16 week - 32 hours)

Week 1st

Introduction: A Task of Political Philosophy – 2 hours

- Wolff J., "Introduction" in An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 1-6

- K. Janda, J. Berry, J, Goldman, "Freedom, Order or Equality?" Section 1 in The Challenge of Democracy (3rd Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992), pp. 3-33

Week 2nd and 3rd

The Origin of State – 1 hour

The Nature of State – 1 hour

Forms of Government – 1 hour

Seminar – 1hour

- Wolff J., "The State of Nature" in An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 6-36

- Wolff J., "Justifying the State" in An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 37-67

- Wolff J., "Who Should Rule?" in An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 68-114

Thomas Hobbes, Of the Natural Condition of Mankind, as Concerning Their Felicity, and Misery – Document 1.3 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

John Locke, Of the Ends of Political Society and Government – Document 1.5 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

John Locke On the Theory of Consent – Document 2.5 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

John Locke On the Legislative Power – Document 3.4 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

J-J. Rousseau On the Civil State – Document 1.7 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

J-J. Rousseau, "On Governance", Chapter 3 in Social Contract (CIPDD, Tbilisi, 1997 - in Georgian), pp. 58-100

Thomas Paine On Society and Government – Document 1.8 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

John Stuart Mill, Considerations on Representative Government – Document 10.6 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

Week 4th

The Origins and the Nature of Rights – 1 hour

Liberty – 1 hour

- Wolff J., "The Place of Liberty?" in An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 115-147

Thomas Hobbes On Liberty – Document 5.3 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

John Locke On Rights in the State of Nature – Document 4.5 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

David Hume, Treatise of Humane Nature – Document 6.4 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man – Document 4.7 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

Jeremy Benthan On Natural Rights – Document 4.8 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty – Document 5.7 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

Isaiah Berlin, "Two Concepts of Liberty" in Contemporary Political Philosophy, Anthology compiled by Janos Kis, "Tsis Nami", Tbilisi, 1997 (translated into Georgian by support Open Society–Georgia Foundation)

Week 5th and 6th

The State and the Economy – 1 hour

Property – 1 hour

Justice – 1 hour

Seminar – 1 hour

- Wolff J., "The Distribution of Property" in An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 147-195

Thomas Hobbes On Covenants – Document 6.3 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

John Locke On the Origins of Property – Document 7.5 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

J-J. Rousseau On the Orogins of Property – Document 7.6 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations – Document 11.1 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

John Stuart Mill On the meanings of Justice – Document 6.6 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

Herbert Spenser, The Man versus the State – Document 11.5 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

Week 7th

Theory of Justice – 2 hours

- Wolff J., "The Distribution of Property" in An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 147-195

- Lessnoff M. H., "John Rawls: Liberal Justice" in Political Philosophers of the XX Century, Blackwell, 1999

J. Rawls, Basic Liberties and Their Priorities in Contemporary Political Philosophy, Anthology compiled by Janos Kis, "Tsis Nami", Tbilisi, 1997 (in Georgian – translated by support Open Society–Georgia Foundation)

John Rawls On Two Principles of Justice – Document 6.9 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

R. Nozick, Distributive Justice in Contemporary Political Philosophy, Anthology compiled by Janos Kis, "Tsis Nami", Tbilisi, 1997 (in Georgian – translated by support Open Society–Georgia Foundation)

Robert Nozick, Anarcy, State and Utopia – Document 6.10 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

Robert Nozick, The Entitlement Theory of Justice in Anarcy, State and Utopia (Cited from The Libertarian Reader, Ed. David Boaz, The Free Press, 1997)

H. J. Berman, Individualistic and Communitarian Theories of Justice: Historical Approach, Part X in Faith and Order: The Reconciliation of Law and Religion, Ad Marginem, Moscow, 1999 (in Russian)

Week 8h and 9th

Ideological Trends in Politics – 1 hour

Totalitarianism – 1 hour

Libertarianism – 1 hour

Anarchism – 1 hour

F. Hayek, Origin of Freedom, Property and Justice, Chapter 2 in Fatal Conceit – Errors of Socialism, "Vepkistkaosani", Tbilisi, 1999 (translated into Georgian by support Open Society–Georgia Foundation)

Heywood A., "Anarchism" in Political Ideologies, An Introduction, Macmillan, 1998

Lessnoff M. H., "Robert Nozick: The Minimal State" in Political Philosophers of the XX Century, Blackwell, 1999

Thomas Paine, "Of the Origin and Design of Government" in Common Sense (Cited from The Libertarian Reader, Ed. David Boaz, The Free Press, 1997)

John Stuart Mill, "Objections to Government Interference" in On Liberty (Cited from The Libertarian Reader, Ed. David Boaz, The Free Press, 1997)

Week 10th and 11th

Ideological Trends in Economy – 1 hour

Socialism – 1 hour

Capitalism – 1 hour

Laissez Faire – 1 hour

L. von Mises, Liberal Economic Policy, Chapter 2 in Liberalism in The Classical Tradition, Cobden Press, 1985

John Locke, "Of Property and Government" in Second Treatise of Government (Cited from The Libertarian Reader, Ed. David Boaz, The Free Press, 1997)

David Hume, "Justice and Property" in A Treatise of Human Nature (Cited from The Libertarian Reader, Ed. David Boaz, The Free Press, 1997)

Friedrich von Hayek, The Road of Serfdom – Document 11.13 from Stirk P. M. R. & Weigall D., An Introduction to Political Ideas, Pinter, 1995

Lessnoff M. H., "Friedrich Hayek: The Theory of Spontaneous Order" in Political Philosophers of the XX Century, Blackwell, 1999

Heywood A., "Socialism" in Political Ideologies, An Introduction, Macmillan, 1998

Democracy and Economy, Series of Brochures "Modern Democracy – main Theories and Concepts", #4, CSS, 1999 (in Georgian)

Week 12th and 13th

Summary of previous material – 2 hours

Political Philosophy in 20th Century – 1 hour

Seminar – 1 hour

Isaiah Berlin, "Political Ideas in 20th Century" in Four Essays on Liberty, Oxford, 1969

Heywood A., "Introduction: Understanding Ideology" in Political Ideologies, An Introduction, Macmillan, 1998

Week 14th and 15th

The Majoritarian and Pluralist Models of Democracy – 1 hour

Democracy as Value System and Democracy as Political system – 1 hour

Liberalism vs. Democracy – 1 hour

Seminar – 1 hour

K. Janda, J. Berry, J, Goldman, Majoritarian or Pluralist Democracy, Section 2 in The Challenge of Democracy, 3rd Edition, 1992

A. Sen, Democracy as Universal Value in Society & Politics, #3, CIPDD, Tbilisi 2000 (in Georgian)

Democracy: Ideal and Reality, Series of Brochures "Modern Democracy – main Theories and Concepts", #1, CSS, 1999 (in Georgian)

Modern Democracy: Values and Ideals, Series of Brochures "Modern Democracy – main Theories and Concepts", #3, CSS, 1999 (in Georgian)

Civil Society, Series of Brochures "Modern Democracy – main Theories and Concepts", #6, CSS, 1999 (in Georgian)

Farid Zakaria, "The Rise of nonliberal Democracy" in Society & Politics, #3, CIPDD, Tbilisi 2000 (in Georgian)

Week 16th

Democracy in Globalization Era – 1 hour

Conclusions – 1 hour

L. von Mises, "Liberal Foreign Policy" in Liberalism in The Classical Tradition, Cobden Press, 1985

Heywood A., "Nationalism" in Political Ideologies, An Introduction, Macmillan, 1998

A. MacIntyre, "Is Patriotism Virtue or Not?" in Contemporary Political Philosophy, Anthology compiled by Janos Kis, "Tsis Nami", Tbilisi, 1997 (in Georgian – translated by support Open Society–Georgia Foundation)



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