Political Science (POLI) 357

Political Philosophy: Hobbes to Human Rights (Revision 2)

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Revision 2 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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POLI 357 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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Political Philosophy: Hobbes to Human Rights introduces early modern and modern political philosophy. The course provides a solid grounding in the content of Hobbes’ Leviathan, Locke's Second Treatise on Government, Rousseau's Social Contract, and Mill's On Liberty. Attention is also given to the political writings of Karl Marx and Mary Wollstonecraft.


Part 1: Early Modern Political Philosophy

  • Unit 1: Re-Ordering Political Philosophy: The Individual
  • Unit 2: Hobbes on Human Nature
  • Unit 3: Hobbes on Civil Society
  • Unit 4: Locke: An Overview
  • Unit 5: Locke's Politics

Part 2: Modern Political Philosophy

  • Unit 6: Rousseau
  • Unit 7: The Rights of Woman: Wollstonecraft
  • Unit 8: Harriet Taylor and John Stuart Mill
  • Unit 9: Marx
  • Unit 10: Human Rights
  • Unit 11: Feminist Political Philosophy
  • Unit 12: Conclusion: Re-visioning Continues


Your final grade is based on the grades you achieve in three assignments and a final examination. The three assignments are together worth 60 per cent of your final grade and the remaining 40 per cent of your final grade will derive from the final examination. Please note that the passing grade for the final examination is 60 percent. To receive credit for the course you must achieve at least 60 per cent on the final examination and an overall course grade of "D" (50 percent) or better.

Assignment 1 Assignment 2 Assignment 3 Final Exam Total
15% 20% 25% 40% 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan. 1651. Ed. C. B. Macpherson. London: Penguin, 1985.

Locke, John. Second Treatise of Government. 1690. Ed. C. B. Macpherson. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1980.

Marx, Karl, and Frederick Engels. The Communist Manifesto: A Modern Edition. London: Verso, 1998.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. The Social Contract. Trans. Maurice Cranston. London: Penguin, 1968.

Other Materials

Other course materials include a study guide, student manual, and a reading file.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the POLI 357 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “D” (50 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, September 25, 2008.

View previous syllabus