PH60F — Social and Political Philosophy

Course Objectives

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The objectives of this course include the enabling of students to recognize the various arguments supporting the different approaches to human governance, the weaknesses and strengths of each, the ideological nature of these systems and the normative character of political judgments. The students are expected to be able to reflectively analyze the diversity of social and political phenomena across societies, periods and civilizations, the place of data in the crystallization of ideals and the place of science and technology in opinion formation. Students are also required to reflect constructively and deconstructively on the role of media in social situations and in political situation.

Course Outline

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An examination of philosophical theories of political organization. Such issues as justice, distributive justice and power, rights, freedom, slavery, colonialism, individualism, legitimacy, ideology, alienation, rape, sexual harassment, pornography, racism and racialism, the new globalism, multicultural politics and the public good will be discussed. And we will examine current conceptual, ontological, epistemological, and methodological issues in philosophy of social science; generalizaiton and prediction in the social sciences, reasons versus causes, interpretation and meaning of social phenomena, intentionality, explanation of action, reductionism, supervenience, individualism versus holism, objectivity, realism, subjectivism, objectivism, relativism, facts vs. values, feminism, postmodernism, sociology of philosophy and knowledge. This course will examine the age of ideology and examine the post-ideology age. The place of education in socio-political engineering. Indoctrination versus coercion in political arena.

Special attention will be paid to the contemporary African Diaspora existentialist political philosophy, especially as articulated by Fanon, Rodney, Charles Mills, Gordon R. Lewis, Paget Henry and others.


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Course will be administered by a combination of Seminars and Lectures.

Contact Hours: 3 Hours weekly.


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  • One Course Work essay (3,500 to 4,000 words) … … 40%
  • Final Examination … … 60%

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