PP3HPP-The History of Political Philosophy

Module Provider: Philosophy
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Prof David Owens

Email: d.owens@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
A module devoted to the study of a series of classic philosophical texts on the subject of property rights.

The aim is to introduce students to the philosophical questions posed by property rights by way of a reading of some classic philosophical texts of the Modern period.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module you will:
• Have a grasp of the major philosophical question posed by property rights.
• Have been introduced to some of the most influential answers to these questions
• Have a sense of how thinking about property has evolved during the modern period.
• Be able to extract arguments from the texts of past philosophers and assess their reasoning.

Additional outcomes:
You will have many opportunities to present and develop your views in class discussion.

Outline content:
The module will divide into two sections. In the first we’ll consider the writings of the natural lawyers of the seventeenth century on property rights, particularly Grotius, Pufendorf, Hobbes and Locke. In the second, we’ll examine the writings of eighteenth century writers on the matter, especially Hume and Kant.

Recommended Introductory Readings:
Becker, L. – Property Rights (Routledge 1977)
Alexander, G. and Penalver E. - An Introduction to Property Theory (Cambridge 2012) Part 1.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will consist of 30 classes divided into 20 lectures and 10 seminars. The lectures will be a mixture of exposition of one of the above texts by the lecturer and discussion by the class. The seminars will consider a pre-assigned section of text and questions posed by the lecturer. In the seminar immediately preceding the deadline for each of the two essays, you will have the chance to discuss essay writing in class and any specific questions arising from your preparation of the essay.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Guided independent study 170
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Written assignment including essay 30

Other information on summative assessment:
2 x 1,500-2,000 word essays worth 15% each.

Electronic Submission
All coursework should be submitted electronically via Blackboard and in hard copy to the Philosophy office.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    The final exam, worth 70%, will be two hours in which time you will be required to answer two questions from a choice of six.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August by written examination only.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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