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History of Political Ideas

Code 10947
Year 1
Semester S2
ECTS Credits 6
Workload OT(15H)/TP(45H)
Scientific area Ciência Política
Entry requirements None.
Mode of delivery Presencial.
Work placements N/A
Learning outcomes 1. To offer a comprehensive overview of the History of Political Ideas.
2. To motivate the direct contact with fundamental works and documents in the history of political thought.
3. To develop the critical and analytical capacity.
4. To stimulate the discussion of ideas among students.

- At the Curricular Unit’s end the student should be able to: 1) identify correctly the different political ideas under analysis; and 2) systematize political arguments and argue articulately.
To achieve these objectives, students will be encouraged to prepare reading sheets of the texts under analysis and, subsequently, to actively participate in discussions during the lessons.

Syllabus 1. Introduction to the syllabus.
2. Ancient Greece: democracy in Athens; the birth of philosophy e Plato's critic to democracy; Aristotle and politics.
3. Ancient Rome: stoicism and natural law;
4. Middle ages: political fragmentation, Christianity and the role of the Church; Magna Carta, natural law and the idea of freedom;
5. The transition to Modernity: N. Machiavelli, T. More and Erasmus of Rotterdam;
6. The theory of divine right of kings and its reactions: the School of Salamanca and theories of social contract;
7. Modern contractualism: T. Hobbes, J. Locke and J.-J. Rousseau;
8. The Enlightenment and liberal revolutions;
9. American Revolution, the Independence Declaration and the Federalist Papers: European thought (Locke, Kant e Montesquieu) in the new world (Paine, Madison and Founding Fathers)
10. French Revolution and counter-Enlightenment (E. Burke and German Romanticism)
11. The path to liberal democracy: A. Tocqueville and J. Stuart Mill
Main Bibliography Diogo Freitas do Amaral, História do Pensamento Político Ocidental, Coimbra, Almedina, 2019
Jaime Nogueira Pinto e António Marques Bessa, Introdução à Política, vol. I, Lisboa, Editorial Verbo, 1999
Marcel Prélot e Georges Lescuyer, História das Ideias Políticas, vols. I e II, Lisboa, Editorial Presença, 2000
Jean Touchard, História das Ideias Políticas, vols. I-IV, Lisboa, Europa-América, 1997
Isaiah Berlin, Against the Current: Essays in the History of Ideas, London, Pimlico, 1997
AAVV, Dicionário de Filosofia Moral e Política, Instituto de Filosofia da Linguagem da Universidade Nova de Lisboa; URL:
Teaching Methodologies and Assessment Criteria 1) Written work (30%)
2) Two written tests (35% + 35%)
Language Portuguese. Tutorial support is available in English.
Last updated on: 2020-06-08

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