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Course Description

Old parchment with feather pen and ink bottle

This course introduces philosophy through an examination of important issues in politics and society, such as punishment, animal rights, discrimination, war and violence, equality and property. These issues may be introduced through contemporary or historical philosophical writings.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Explain the canonical tradition of modern political philosophy in their own words
  2. Be able to think critically about political philosophy through critical and logical discussion of current events
  3. Apply course to identify, critically examine and assess social and political issues.
  4. Support their personal views on current Canadian social and political issues based on critical and analytic skills developed throughout the course
  5. In the context of Canadian social and political theory, develop a thesis, state an outline, argue for thesis, and conclude by bringing together the insight of what you have learned

Course Topics

  • Machiavelli
  • Hobbes
  • Locke
  • Rousseau
  • Kant
  • Mill
  • Marx
  • Rawls
  • Nozick
  • Okin
  • Habermas
  • Foucault


Assessment Item Weight  Learning Outcomes
Quizzes (5 @ 10% each) 50% 1-5
Essay (Due on the 10th week of the term) 20% 1, 2, 5
Online Final exam 30% 1-5
Total 100%  



Additional Technical Requirements

This course will use the Respondus tool to invigilate one or more exams. In order to use Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor, you must meet the following technical requirements:

  1. Operating Systems: Windows 10, 8, 7; Mac OS X 10.10 or higher.
  2. Memory: Windows 2 GB RAM; Mac 512 MB RAM.
  3. For Mac users: Safari must function properly on the computer.
  4. Mac users must have Adobe Flash Player installed to Safari, even if a different browser is normally used.
  5. Functioning webcam and microphone. The webcam and microphone can be built into your computer or can be the type that plugs in with a USB cable. (You will be required to do an environment scan of your room, so please ensure you can move your computer, laptop or webcam for this scan.)
  6. A broadband Internet connection. It is recommended that you access the Internet via a wired connection.

Technical Requirements

You are responsible for ensuring that your computer system meets the necessary system requirements. Use the browser check tool to ensure your browser settings are compatible and up to date (results will be displayed in a new browser window).

*Course details are subject to change.


Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in

Section Title
Social and Political Issues
September 10, 2020 to December 04, 2020
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $2,748.00 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Section Notes

Note:  If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above.  You must register through WebAdvisor.

Section Materials
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy by Edited by Omid Payrow-Shabani and Monique Deveaux © 2014 ISBN 9780195431315
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