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Introduction to Western Political Thought

NPTEL and Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati via YouTube


COURSE OUTLINE: One of the major objectives of this course is to introduce the students to the key debates and ideas in Western political thought. It is hoped that familiarity with the ideas or concepts of some major western political thinkers will help the students to understand different perspectives and approaches to state, politics, government, sovereignty, citizenship and so on. It is also hoped that this course will enable the student to make sense of and interpret the major developments and key debates in the political debates and discussions in any contemporary society and polity.


Introduction to Western Political Thought.
Lec 1: General Outline and Method.
Lec 2: Method: Text and Context.
Lec 3: Intro & Justice.
Lec 4: State and Philosopher King.
Lec 5: Communism of Wives and Property & Critical Assessment of his Thought.
Lec 6: Intro & Ethics or Virtue.
Lec 7: Politics & His Ideal State.
Lec 8: Aristotle - III: Citizenship, Views on Revolution & Criticall Assessment of his Thought.
Lec 9: Machiavelli - I: Intro & Virtu and Fortuna.
Lec 10: Machiavelli - II: Politics, Violence, and Religion.
Lec 11: Machiavelli - III: Republicanism & Critical Assessment of his Thought.
Lec 12: Hobbes - I: Intro & Human Nature.
Lec 13: Hobbes - II: The Leviathan or Sovereign.
Lec 14: Hobbes - III: Political Obligation & Critical Assessment of his Thought.
Lec 15: Locke - I: Intro, State of Nature & Natural Rights.
Lec 16: Locke II: Limited Government.
Lec 17: Locke - III:Right to Dissent & Critical Assessment of his Thought.
Lec 18: Rousseau - I: Intro & Social Contract.
Lec 19: Rousseau - II: General Will & Critical Assessment of his Thought.
Lec 20: Kant - I: Intro & What is Enlightenment?.
Lec 21: Kant - II: Morality, Autonomy & Freedom.
Lec 22: Kant - III: Kingdom of Ends & Critical Assessment of his Thought.
Lec 23: Hegel - I: Intro & Freedom.
Lec 24: Hegel - II: Civil Society & State.
Lec 25: Hegel - III: Rights & Critical Assessment of his Thought.
Lec 26: Marx - I: Intro & Historical Materialism.
Lec 27: Marx - II: State & Class.
Lec 28: Marx - III: Views on Politics, Communism & Critical Assessment of his Thought.
Lec 29: Mill - I: Intro, Utilitarianism & Subjection of Women.
Lec 30: Mill - II: On Liberty, Representative Government & Critical Assessment of his Thought.

Taught by

NPTEL IIT Guwahati



5.0 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

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  • Profile image for Soner Piskin
    Soner Piskin
    Political science was a course of study covering political philosophy, sociology and other branches. Within the scope of international relations and global politics theories and theories should be here. Critical theory should be explained comparatively in the Frankfurt school, English school, Chicago school thought systems. I think it will be very useful for students and faculty members working in this field. Thank you for this fruitful lecture. Yours sincerely.
  • U Thet Zaw Ko Ko

    Western political thought concentrates principally on the history of the West and the different issues confronting it. Political thought is of great importance. It consists of political institutions and social practices. It is the reflection of how best to adjust in our collective life.

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