If you are interested in the study of politics, you might be wondering: What is political philosophy? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Learn about influential thinkers, Courses offered, Subfields of study, and some of the recommended pre-law courses. You’ll also get an idea of what you can expect to learn by taking a political philosophy major. If you’re not sure whether this major is right for you, read on to find out!
While political philosophy is generally a branch of philosophy, its focus is less on theories and more on the interpretation and application of ideas. Some philosophers sought to justify existing social institutions, while others have attempted to paint a vision of a better society. The following are some influential thinkers in political philosophy. The first is Niccolo di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, a Renaissance Italian philosopher and public officeholder. His works are considered canonical in the field of political philosophy.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1897-1998) is another influential thinker in political philosophy. His ideas on democracy, free trade, and individual liberty have had a significant influence on political thinking in the twentieth century. He was linked to the Nazi movement, but is now widely recognized as an important thinker on political philosophy. Other important thinkers in political philosophy include John Rawls, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Carl Schmitt.
John Rawls (1904-1970) helped revitalize normative political philosophy in Anglo-American universities by applying his social contract theory. Murray Rothbard, an Austrian School economist, is another influential thinker. Jean-Jacques Rousseau analyzed the social contract as a general will and advocated absolute democracy. While most people have a basic understanding of political philosophy, it is important to remember that it was not created by a single individual.
In the twentieth century, the field of political philosophy took a different direction. The Anglo-American academic world experienced a decline in this discipline. Analytic philosophers began to express skepticism about normative judgments having cognitive content and political science became more behavioristic. In continental Europe, however, political philosophy blossomed. After the war, the rise of Mao Zedong in China and Fidel Castro in Cuba boosted interest in revolutionary ideology.
Students majoring in Political Philosophy can pursue a career in public affairs or the law, as well as pursue interdisciplinary studies in other fields. Coursework in the major focuses on contemporary political, legal, and social issues. Students develop critical thinking skills, analyze data, and write argumentative papers. Regardless of the career path chosen, students are prepared to contribute to public debate and pursue careers in public policy or government. Students can major in either philosophy or political science.
Students enrolled in the Political Philosophy major take courses from the history of political thought and its philosophers. These courses study the development of political thought, and the relationship between political institutions and social policy. Political philosophy is an extremely useful area for those who are interested in social justice or international relations. It is an area of specialization that allows students to explore the complexities of human societies. However, this major also emphasizes the study of political systems, and students in this field must complete a comprehensive survey of the subject.
Students enrolled in a political philosophy major are required to complete three core courses: Intro to Political Philosophy and Introduction to the History of Political Thought. Both courses focus on the importance of liberty, equality, and the role of the state in the world. Students will also study key works by leading political philosophers, such as Rousseau, Hobbes, and Mill. One course, Philosophy of Law, explores the nature of law and the role of the state. Another course, 2436, The Nature of Evil, explores the nature of evil and its relationship to human behavior through philosophical texts, video, and case studies.
The third core course for a political philosophy major is POL-UA 712. This course covers the fundamental principles of the American legal system, the role of individuals in society, and the limits of governmental power. Students also study the role of the courts in the implementation of social change, including constitutional law and judicial review. Despite its rigorous nature, political philosophy majors find it to be one of the most rewarding areas of study.
Subfields of study
There are many different subfields of study within the field of political philosophy. Those who choose this concentration will study public affairs and the nature of political institutions and systems. These fields draw on broad empirical and theoretical approaches to analyze the causes and effects of political actions. Political philosophy majors can also specialize in specific topics, such as the role of religion in public affairs and the origins of popular opinion. They will also study political parties and disruptive political action.
Social philosophy is a subfield that focuses on social and economic issues. Scholars in this area examine economic freedom, the meaning of equality before the law, and competing forms of government. They also study the debates between communism and fascism. These subfields often work together. This branch of political philosophy deals with fundamental questions in social and political life, such as the nature of freedom, justice, and power. It also tackles topics such as the basis of compulsory education, citizenship, and the justice of taxes.
Comparative politics is another subfield of study in political philosophy. Comparative politics focuses on the institutions and rules that govern different political systems. Comparative political science strives to develop propositions that hold general validity across political systems. Comparative politics emphasizes the origins of political conflict and avenues of participation. The discipline aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of how different political systems and groups operate. These students will become skilled political analysts.
The subfields of study in political philosophy include the study of the moral and conceptual underpinnings of politics. Students will learn to apply these ideas to specific fields of policy and practice. There are some courses that are purely political and apply to all of politics, including international relations. A political philosophy major may choose to focus on just one subfield, while others will focus on several. Some courses may focus on a specific theme, such as the role of nations in society.
Recommendations for pre-law students
Pre-law students studying political philosophy should consult with faculty before beginning their undergraduate courses. Ideally, students should choose classes that build foundational knowledge for law school and allow them to develop a strong analytical background. The philosophy faculty at UNC will help you prepare for law school by advising you on the required and elective courses. Here are some recommended courses:
Political philosophy is often referred to as “legal theory” by pre-law students. The course is an analysis of the basic concepts of law and government. In addition to exploring the history and principles of government, political philosophers study the role of law in society. This knowledge will assist students in making sound arguments and evaluating various arguments for and against political issues. The course also helps students develop the necessary deductive skills.
The pre-law adviser in the political science department is Professor Jerry Jackson, who is available to answer questions and help students prepare for law school. He can be reached through email, in person, or by appointment. Jackson has also written several papers that answer common questions about law school. Check out the “So You Want to Go to Law School” papers, which will give you a lot of useful information.
While law school doesn’t require undergraduates to take law courses, it is helpful to take a few classes to test your interest. In particular, law schools appreciate students who have a background in writing, thinking, and research. Undergraduates should also take courses that develop analytical and communication skills. The courses should also be challenging to help them develop legal research skills. The courses should be difficult enough to challenge you, but still be fun and interesting.
Courses to take as a political philosophy major
A degree in political philosophy will allow you to study the intersection between philosophy and politics. By the time you graduate, you will be prepared to address fundamental questions of political life, from the origins of political ideas to the nature of justice. You will gain insight into the qualities of a healthy society and the conditions that promote human flourishing. You will have the opportunity to analyze a variety of political systems and their practices, and apply your knowledge to current issues.
Once you have decided to pursue a degree in political philosophy, you will need to take specific courses in the subject. There are courses you should consider taking to get a thorough grounding in the field. For example, if you’re interested in working in international relations, political philosophy courses will help you to develop your international perspective. You’ll also need to take courses in legal theory and practice. And don’t forget to take a course in the history of philosophy.
Choosing the right courses to pursue as a political philosophy major is not an easy task. There are many important things to consider, but you should make sure to select a major that will meet your interests and career goals. If you’re interested in learning more about this field, you can take an Interdepartmental Major in Political Science and Philosophy. In this program, you’ll examine how political power is distributed, and you’ll explore the common political values and assumptions. You’ll explore the meaning of freedom and democracy, as well as how to act in a moral society.
You’ll need 16 courses to graduate from the program. At least 12 of these courses must be philosophy courses. You will also need four courses in related fields, such as history, political science, economics, or public policy. And for your degree to be complete, you’ll need at least one seminar or 400-level topics course in philosophy. And remember, you’ll need to take at least three of these courses to graduate with honors.