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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

Saylor Academy | Evaluated Learning Experience

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Introduction to Western Political Thought (POLSC201)

128 hours.
Various locations throughout the United States and the world.

November 2012 - January 2019.

Instructional delivery format: 
Proficiency exam
Learner Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: summarize the passage of political thought through the classical, Renaissance, and Enlightenment periods and based on the works of Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Tocqueville, and Marx; compare and contrast the differences between Plato and Aristotle with regard to their understandings of the nature of the person, ethics, society, citizenship, and governance; explain the historical and intellectual context in which the political thought that helped to develop the modern state came to be; compare and contrast the concepts of justice, freedom, equality, citizenship, and sovereignty in the works of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau; explain the different versions of, and importance of, "the state of nature" to political thought; identify the influences of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau on the development of the United States Constitution; summarize the thoughts of Alexis de Tocqueville on the American political landscape, particularly with regard to religion and equality, and why this has importance beyond the American context; explain Karl Marx's world view, with particular regard to his critique of democracy and the modern, politically liberal state; how it came to be; and its fundamental link to capitalism; explain John Stuart Mill's theory on utilitarianism and how he applies it to society and the state.

This course is delivered in an asynchronous, self-study format with a proctored proficiency examination. View the course here:
Credit recommendation: 

In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category, 3 semester hours in Political Theory (11/12).