History of Political Thought

Luiss PPE Program

Spring 2018

History of Political Thought
Hobbes senile

Course description

This unit will provide an overview of the historical development of politics, political institutions, and political thought and ideas. The focus will be mainly on texts and arguments. The following authors will be considered: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Hume. Bentham and J.S. Mill. The following models will be taken into account: city-state and politics as health of the soul and the city, city-state and politics as good living, republic and politics as civic virtue, nation-state and contractarianism, happiness and democracy.

Course and Exam Requirements

Attendance is compulsory, as established by LUISS general regulation. The only admitted reasons for not attending classes are serious health or personal problems, proved by medical records.

The breakdown of grades will be as follows:

Intermediate Exam – 50%

Students are required to take a written exam on the texts discussed during classes. The exam is not aimed at testing students’ rote learning, but rather their capacity of critical thinking. Accordingly, it will be a sort of open book exam. A text will be presented to students, and on the basis of this, they should answer multiple choice questions and a general question on the issues dealt with in the text. An example can be seen here.

Each part will gain 1/3 of the overall grade.

Students who don’t take this exam for reasons connected to medical and other issues confirmed by certifications can send a paper summarizing one of the  articles included in the following folder.


The paper should be a detailed summary of the article — with careful analysis of the content of the article and the relation between the article and the original texts of the author the article deals with. The paper should be sent to prof. Pellegrino through e-mail by 8 days before the date of the exam you would like to sit at.

Final Exam – 50%

Students must pass a final written examination, along the same lines of the intermediate exam.

Students with special needs should contact Prof. Pellegrino three weeks before the final exam, in order to make the necessary arrangements.

Grades of May 14th and June 1st exam are here.

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