Social Philosophy

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Social Philosophy

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    In this course you will gain knowledge of, and insight into:
    1. the historical developments in social philosophy, from antiquity to the 20th century, with a focus upon contemporary philosophy;
    2. the ideas of key thinkers in social philosophy (such as Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Rousseau, Marx, Rawls, Arendt, Foucault);
    3. the concepts and theories most relevant for social philosophy.

    And you will practice the skills to:
    1. critically read and analyze primary philosophical texts;
    2. take part in discussions about the texts;
    3. develop a position in relation to a theme or a philosopher’s ideas;
    4. improve your writing skills (on the basis of feedback).

    In this course, you will gain an overview of the main developments in social philosophy and you will read key texts from its history, with a special focus upon 20th century philosophy. In introductions (the first seminar every week) the larger timeline of the history of social philosophy will be presented; in subsequent text-reading seminars, original texts of philosophers will be discussed in detail. Reading the original sources will give you a better understanding of the specifics of the philosophers' thinking.

    Weekly introductions and text reading seminars. The students are expected to prepare the text seminars well by handing in assignments (reading questions).

    1. Assignments: reading questions about the primary texts (10 %).
    2. A paper of 1200 words about one of the primary texts (20%). Minimum required grade for the paper to pass is: 5.
    3. Written exam with essay questions on the course materials (seminars and literature) (70% of the final grade). Minimum required grade for the exam: 5,5.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


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