Philosophy Basics: What do Political Philosophers do?

Ref: C2347297

People make decisions which can affect others (beyond immediate family or friends) - political decisions - and judgements about what is right for a society and about whether those in power are doing what is right for that society. Political philosophers also deal with these issues, but in a more systematic way than most of us are able to in day to day life. The course will give you an indication of what political philosophers do - thinking about the meaning of politics (is every social interaction political ?); defining concepts such as justice, authority or freedom; seeking to understand our current political situation by exploring political ideas of the past; debating justifications of political power and authority; designing principles for collective action and the organisation of society. Knowledge of philosophy is not expected.

Course aim

The aim of the course is to give students an indication of what political philosophers do - the kinds of questions they ask and how they try to answer them

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • put my own understanding of politics into words at the beginning of the course
  • explain at least one of the definitions of politics used by political philosophers
  • explain in outline at least one of the activities of political philosophers
  • indicate whether my understanding of politics has changed at all at the end of the course
  • take part in activities and discussions

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

This is an online course. You will need an email address, reliable Internet access, and a CANVAS account. Help with CANVAS is available from the national WEA team.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Philosophy Basics: What do Political Philosophers do?

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing