POLb1008 Traditions of Political Thought

Faculty of Social Studies
Autumn 2022
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 5 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Taught in person.
Mgr. et Mgr. Jiří Baroš, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Bc. Tereza Křepelová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Martin Basel (seminar tutor)
Mgr. Bc. Jana Kokešová, Ph.D. (seminar tutor)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. et Mgr. Jiří Baroš, Ph.D.
Department of Political Science - Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Mgr. Lucie Pospíšilová
Supplier department: Department of Political Science - Faculty of Social Studies
Thu 15. 9. 12:00–13:40 P52, Thu 22. 9. 12:00–13:40 P52, Thu 29. 9. 12:00–13:40 P52, Thu 6. 10. 12:00–13:40 P52, Thu 13. 10. 12:00–13:40 U32, Thu 20. 10. 12:00–13:40 P52, Thu 27. 10. 12:00–13:40 P52, Thu 3. 11. 12:00–13:40 P52, Thu 10. 11. 12:00–13:40 P52, Thu 24. 11. 12:00–13:40 P52, Thu 1. 12. 12:00–13:40 P52, Thu 8. 12. 12:00–13:40 P52
  • Timetable of Seminar Groups:
POLb1008/01: Wed 2. 11. 8:00–9:40 U42, Wed 30. 11. 8:00–9:40 U42, M. Basel, J. Kokešová
POLb1008/02: Wed 2. 11. 12:00–13:40 U42, Wed 30. 11. 12:00–13:40 U42, M. Basel, J. Kokešová
POLb1008/03: Thu 3. 11. 16:00–17:40 P24b, Thu 1. 12. 16:00–17:40 P24b, M. Basel, J. Kokešová
Prerequisites (in Czech)
! POL103 History of Political Ideas && ! NOW ( POL103 History of Political Ideas )
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 32 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
The course is intended to introduce students to the development of Western political thinking from the Ancient Greece to the end of the nineteenth century. Against this background, genealogy of basic political concepts (such as justice, legitimacy, democracy, or freedom) as well as core issues and corresponding debates in teh Western tradition will be presented. At the end of the course students will have acquired knowledge of the most important political philosophers and traditions of political thinking in the history of Western philosophy, and will be able to understand and explain the roots and background of contemporary thinking about politics and its lingering problems. By reading of selected primary and secondary texts, students will acquire the ability to critically evaluate main problems and concepts of the history of political ideas.
Learning outcomes
Upon completing the course, students will be able to:
describe genealogy of basic political concepts (such as justice, legitimacy, democracy, or freedom)
identify core issues and corresponding debates in the Western tradition of political thinking
explain the roots and background of contemporary thinking about politics and its lingering problems
critically evaluate main problems and concepts of the history of political ideas
analyse the persuasiveness of contemporary solutions against the background of the acquired knowledge
  • 1. Introduction. Nature and Role of Political Philosophy
  • 2. Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato
  • 3. Aristotle, Stoicism and Roman Political Thought
  • 4. Christian political thought: St. Augustine, Aquinas
  • 5. Republicanism and Political Realism at the Dawn of Modern Times: Niccolo Machiavelli
  • 6. Classical Social Contract Theory. Natural Rights and the Foundations of Liberalism (Hobbes, Locke)
  • 7. French Enlightenment: Montesquieu, Rousseau
  • 8. Scottish Enlightenment: Morality and Emotions, Liberal Political Economy (Hume, Smith)
  • 9. Self-Study Week (may be moved!)
  • 10. Enlightenment and Deontological Ethics (Kant); Freedom, Civic Society and the State (Hegel)
  • 11. Reaction to 18th Century Revolutions: Burke's Conservatism and Tocqueville's Arictocratic Liberalism
  • 12. Utilitarianism and the Split Within Liberalism: Bentham, J. S. Mill
  • 13. Liberalism as Capitalism: The Birth of the Socialist Tradition (K. Marx)
    required literature
  • Helm, Paul, „David Hume“, in: Konzervativní myslitelé, ed. Roger Scruton. Brno: CDK, 1994, s. 9–26
  • Hume, David. „O původu idejí“ a „O vzniku vlády“, in: Hume: 300 let od narození, ed. Marek Loužek. Praha: Centrum pro ekonomiku a politiku, s. 123–127, 129–132
  • Baroš, Jiří. "Suverenita u Rousseaua." In Suverenita panovníka, lidu a státu v moderní politické filosofii. Eds. Vojtěch Belling a Lukáš Kollert. Ústí nad Labem, Univerzita J. E. Purkyně, 2017, s. 52–74
  • Marx, Karel a Bedřich Engels. „Manifest komunistické strany.“ In Sebrané spisy ve dvou svazcích. Svazek I. Praha, Svoboda 1950, s. 25–47
  • Císař, Ondřej. „Platón, Aristoteles a jejich typy politických zřízení.“ In Demokracie, eds. Vít Hloušek a Lubomír Kopeček. Brno, MPU, 2003, 49–56
  • Bentham, Jeremy. „Anarchical Fallacies, being an examination of the Declaration of Rights issued during the French Revolution“, in: Jeremy Waldron (ed.), Nonsense Upon Stilts: Bentham, Burke and Marx on the Rights of Man, London: Methuen, 1987, s. 46–59
  • Kant, Immanuel. „Odpověď na otázku: co je to osvícenství?“ Filosofický časopis č. 3, 1993, s. 381–387
  • SOBEK, Tomáš. Právní rozum a morální cit : hodnotové základy právního myšlení. Vydání první. Praha: Ústav státu a práva AV ČR, v.v.i., 2016. 339 stran. ISBN 9788087439234. info
  • KRATOCHVÍL, Petr. Původ a smysl národního zájmu : analýza legitimity jednoho politického konceptu. 1. vyd. Brno: Centrum pro studium demokracie a kultury (CDK), 2010. 211 s. ISBN 9788073252069. info
  • HOBBES, Thomas. Leviathan, aneb, Látka, forma a moc státu církevního a politického. Edited by Jiří Chotaš - Zdeněk Masopust - Marina Barabas, Translated by Kare. Vydání první. Praha: Oikoymenh, 2009. 513 stran. ISBN 9788072981069. info
  • AUGUSTIN. O Boží obci knih XXII. Translated by Julie Nováková. Přetisk 1. vyd. Praha: Karolinum, 2007. 443 s. ISBN 9788024612843. info
  • Adam Smith semper vivus. Edited by Josef Šíma. Praha: Liberální institut, 2003. 48 s. ISBN 8086389197. info
  • SHAPIRO, Ian. Morální základy politiky. Translated by Milan Znoj. Vyd. 1. V Praze: Univerzita Karlova, 2003. 239 s. ISBN 8024607166. info
  • MONTESQUIEU, Charles Louis de Seconda. O duchu zákonů. Edited by Markéta Šálená, Translated by Stanislav Lyer. Dobrá Voda: Aleš Čeněk, 2003. 365 s. ISBN 80-86473-30-9. info
  • TOMÁŠ AKVINSKÝ. Tomáš Akvinský o zákonech v Teologické sumě. Translated by Karel Šprunk. Vyd. 1. Praha: Krystal OP, 2003. 143 s. ISBN 8085929597. info
  • MILL, John Stuart. O politickej slobode. Translated by Emil Višňovský. 2. vyd., Vo vyd. Kalligram 1. Bratislava: Kalligram, 2001. 175 s. ISBN 8071494054. info
  • SMITH, Adam. Pojednání o podstatě a původu bohatství národů. Praha: Liberální institut, 2001. 986 s. ISBN 8086389154. info
  • MACHIAVELLI, Niccolò. Úvahy o vládnutí a o vojenství. Translated by Josef Hajný. Vyd. 1. Praha: Argo, 2001. 343 s. ISBN 8072033913. info
  • Blackwellova encyklopedie politického myšlení. Edited by David Miller. Vyd. 2. Brno: Barrister & Principal, 2000. xiii, 581. ISBN 80-85947. info
  • TOCQUEVILLE, Alexis de. Demokracie v Americe. Translated by Vladimír Jochmann. Vyd. 2., v nakladatelství A. Praha: Academia, 2000. 624 s. ISBN 8020008292. info
  • ARISTOTELÉS. Politika. Translated by Antonín Kříž. 2. vyd. Praha: Rezek, 1998. 499 s. ISBN 80-86027-10-4. info
  • BURKE, Edmund. Úvahy o revoluci ve Francii. 1. vyd. Brno: Centrum pro studium demokracie a kultury (CDK), 1997. 278 s. ISBN 80-85959-23-2. info
  • Velké postavy politické filosofie. Edited by Jaromír Žegklitz, Translated by Roman Civín. Praha: Občanský institut, 1996. 223 s. ISBN 8090165958. info
  • SKINNER, Quentin. Machiavelli. Vyd. 1. Praha: Argo, 1995. 105 s. ISBN 8085794616. info
  • MILL, John Stuart. O slobode. Bratislava: Iris, 1995. 116 s. ISBN 80-88778-07-7. info
  • ANZENBACHER, Arno. Úvod do etiky. Translated by Karel Šprunk. 1. vyd. Praha: Zvon, 1994. 292 s. ISBN 8071131113. info
  • PLATÓN. Ústava. Translated by Radislav Hošek. Vydání první. Praha: Svoboda-Libertas, 1993. 523 stran. ISBN 8020503471. info
  • ROUSSEAU, Jean-Jacques. Rozpravy. Vyd. 1. Praha: Svoboda, 1978. 282 s. info
  • MARX, Karl and Friedrich ENGELS. Manifest komunistické strany. 25. vyd. Praha: Svoboda, 1974. 331 s. info
  • MARX, Karl. Odcizení a emancipace člověka. 1. vyd. Praha: Mladá fronta, 1967. 381 s. URL info
  • LOCKE, John. Dvě pojednání o vládě. Vyd. 1. Praha: Nakladatelství Československé akademie věd, 1965. 274 s. info
Teaching methods
The basic pedagogical method of the course are lectures on each topic, which put the required readings into intellectual-historical context, and also focus on several selected problems and issues. Students are required to read the assigned readings before each lecture, so that they are ready to answer the teacher's in-class questions adequately.
Lectures are supplemented by four seminars devoted to detailed analysis of assigned readings and presentation of students' independent activity.
Assessment methods
There are two requirements to fulfil in order to finish the course:

(1) Attending four seminars during the term (37,5 %). Seminars consist of group presentation and in-class activity based on position papers addressing assigned readings.

(2) Final written test in the exam period (67,5 %). The test consist of five open-ended questions based on the content of both lectures and compulsory readings.

The overall assessment (A through F) represents the total point score from the two parts. Questions the final test are based both on the assigned readings and on the content of the lectures. Minimum score for passing: 60 % of total points
Language of instruction
Follow-Up Courses
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
Listed among pre-requisites of other courses
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2019, Autumn 2020, Autumn 2021.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
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