School: Social Sciences
Academic Unit: Social Anthropology and History
Level of studies: Undergraduate
Course code: W/S-062 Semester: 8th
Course Title: Passions and politics in modern and contemporary political philosophy
Independent teaching activities Weekly teaching hours Credits
Lectures 3 6
Course type: Specialised general knowledge
Prerequisite courses: Priority is given to students who have attended and successfully passed the exams of the compulsory course «Introduction to Political Philosophy» (PH-471).
Language of instruction and examinations: Greek
Is the course offered to erasmus students: Νο
Course website (Url):


    Learning outcomes: After having attended the seminar, students should be able to present and explain the way in which major modern and contemporary philosophers and political theorists thematize the role of passions –particularly of fear– in politics.

    General Competences: 

    Production of free, creative and critical thought

    (3) SYLLABUS

    Which is the role of human passions in politics? How are power, the law or the social contract related to passions? Are there passions that are proper to particular political regimes and incongruous with others? These are some of the questions addressed (sometimes implicitly) by modern and contemporary political philosophy.
    After an introductory lecture on what has been called the re-evaluation of passions in modern political philosophy, the seminar focuses on the passion of fear. We study selected passages from Machiavelli, Hobbes. Spinoza, Montesquieu and Arendt (see bibliogrpahy).


    Delivery: Face-to face
    Use of information and communications technology : Communication with the students
    Teaching methods:  Activity Semester workload
    Lectures, close reading and analysis of selected passages (see bibliography), presentation of texts by students. 39
    Study of the bibliography 50
    Essay writing 65
    Course total: 154
    Student performance evaluation:

    Participation in the seminar, short essays during the semester.


    Suggested bibliography:

    -Bauman Z., Liquid fear
    -Evrigenis I., Fear of enemies and collective action
    -Machiavelli N., The Prince
    -Machiavelli N., Discourses on Livy
    -La Boetie E., Discours de la servitude volontaire
    -Hobbes Th., Leviathan
    -Spinoza B., Ethics
    -Spinoza B., Political Treatise
    -Spinoza B., Theologico-political Treatise
    -Montesquieu, De l’ esprit des lois
    -Robin C., Fear. The history of a political idea
    -Tocqueville A., De la démocratie en Amérique
    -Arendt H., The origins of totalitarianism
    -Mouffe Ch., On the political
    -Balibar E., La crainte des masses