POLIS 2106 - Justice, Virtue and the Good
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016
The course information on this page is being finalised for 2016. Please check again before classes commence.
General Course Information
Course Code POLIS 2106 Course Justice, Virtue and the Good Coordinating Unit Politics and International Studies Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 3 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study Incompatible POLI 2009, POLI 2106, POLI 3009 Course Description This is a political theory course that aims to stimulate critical thinking about how we should live. We do this by reading, analysing and criticising the arguments made by some of the great political theorists in the Western tradition, focusing in particular on ideas of justice and just societies. We consider what just and good societies look like, how we form just societies, and who is included in just societies. We also examine some important debates in contemporary political theory, including those concerning free speech, rights in an age of terror, pornography, free speech, multiculturalism, abortion and our obligations as global citizens.
The theorists we read and study include: Socrates, Plato, the Stoics, the Epicureans, Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Adam Smith, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill, Freidrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, John Rawls, Peter Singer, Will Kymlicka, and Susan Moller Okin. The ideas and topics we study include: justice, freedom, rights, utilitarianism and universalism. We also explore the Christian tradition, the liberal tradition and the Enlightenment in relation to these thinkers and topics.
Course Coordinator: Professor Lisa HillDr Tiziana Torresi
Telephone: 8313 5606
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate: 1 An ability to understand key ideas in Western political thought 2 An ability to think critically about debates in contemporary political theory. 3 Enhanced skills in research, synthesis, organisation and presentation of information 4 Enhanced problem solving skills 5 Familiarisation with the research skills necessary for working with primary sources 6 An ability to work independently 7 An ability to articulate interpretations of sources and topics in class discussion 8 An ability to critically evaluate arguments
University Graduate Attributes
No information currently available.
Required ResourcesA reading kit will be prepared and available for sale in the first week of term.
Online LearningCourse material and lecture slides will be posted on myuni
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThere will be two lectures per week and one tutorial during which issues covered in
lectures will be linked to tutorial discussions.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.Students will need to devote approximately 8 hours per week to this course (divided over 12 weeks of study). This consists of 2 x 1-hour lectures and one tutorial per week, and 5 hours per week of independent study, during which time students will prepare for tutorials and work on assignments.
Learning Activities SummaryThe following lecture topics are indicative only and subject to change. Course material is constantly being updated and revised to incorporate the latest scholarship and topics of debate.
- Introduction to Course
Plato and Aristotle
- Epicureanism and Stoicism
- The Cosmopolitan Tradition
The Christian Tradition
- Machiavelli and Hobbes
- Adam Smith
- John Stuart Mill
- Karl Marx
The Liberal Tradition
- The Multiculturalism Debate:Will Kymlicka and Susan Moller Okin
- Free Speech in an Age of Terror
Rights in an Age of Terror
- The Pornography Debate
- The Abortion Debate
- The Issue of Global Obligations; Course Summary
- Introduction to Course
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment SummaryTutorial Participation: 10% of overall grade
Minor Essay: 30%
Major Essay: 60%
Assessment DetailASSESSMENT – WHAT YOU NEED TO DO TO PASS THIS COURSE
To pass this course, you must:attend at least 75% of tutorials and participate in an informed and thoughtful manner in class discussions;complete tutorial notes;complete minor exercise;complete and pass a major essay.
Tutorial participation – 10%
Students are required to attend and participate in tutorials. This entails attending and contributing meaningfully to the discussion.Each student will be required to lead the discussion at one tutorial. This will count towards the tutorial participation grade. In general, students who attend 75% of tutorials and lead a tutorial can expect to get a pass grade on this element of assessment. Higher grades will depend on participation
Minor essay – 30%
Choose a short extract (minimum one paragraph, maximum 5 pages) from one of the readings in the course book. Your selected extract must be from one of the primary theorists studied i.e. Socrates, Plato, the Stoics, the Epicureans, Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Adam Smith, Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, John Rawls, Will Kymlicka, Peter Singer and Susan Moller Okin.
Identify the writer's main arguments, and describe the evidence she or he uses to support the arguments. Critically assess the writer's arguments.
Check your extract with your tutor to ensure your extract is suitable. Your answer should have full referencing and a bibliography. The emphasis in this exercise is on analysing an argument, so it is important to spend time thinking about the extract.Your critical assessment of the writer's arguments can be either positive or negative.
Word limit: 1500
Major essay – 60%
Write an essay of 2,500 words on one of the topics listed in the course handout.
SubmissionA hardcopy of the essay must to be submitted BEFORE 12pm (noon) on/before the due date. An identical electronic copy must also be submitted to Turnitin and the Originality Report attached to the hard copy of the essay. This protocol will ensure that a copy of your essay will not go missing.
Extensions will be given on the grounds of hardship or illness. If, as often happens, several essays are due close to each other, you should plan your schedule so that you complete one or more before the deadline. Applications for an extension should be made in writing and submitted to your tutor well before the date that the assignment is due.
Students who submit an essay late, without having gained an extension, will be liable to a penalty of 2 marks per day that the essay is overdue, including weekends, for a maximum of two weeks. Unless special arrangements have been made, essays more than two weeks late, may not be accepted, and will automatically be eligible for a pass or fail grade only.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
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