and Society Midterm Essay
October 16, 2002 Beginning of class
Double-spaced, Name and course on Cover page only. Please follow checklist provided in
class (this is also posted on our website) for all other stylistic and formatting
concerns. Also indicate which question # you are answering
Estimated Completion Time:
2-3 hours. I highly suggest writing a draft, letting it sit, and then starting over again
without looking at your draft. Try to write
at least one draft of your paper. Editing should involve substantial re-working not just
Important Note on
Plagiarism: Cheating will be dealt with in a strict manner according to the
University guidelines and Honor code. You are welcome to seek out quality secondary
materials that will assist your writing. However, you must document these properly even if
you are paraphrasing.
answer one question to the best of your ability. You should include your understanding and
assessment of the text and concepts under discussion in your answers. Include specific
textual references to back up your claims and ideas.
A (Plato and Aristotle)
- Compare and contrast Aristotle and Platos views on what
constitutes a good society. Explain the similarities and differences between these two
writers. Be sure to include your assessment of these views in your answer.
- Compare and contrast Plato and Aristotle views on the familys
role in society. Be sure to include your assessment of these views in your answer.
B (Separate authors)
- Explain Platos views about the guardians' preparation for
war. How do his views compare with our countrys banning women from the draft (see Ethical
Issues in the Courts)? Critically assess both positions on women and the military.
- Explain and assess Plaths educational reforms proposed in
the Republic. Be sure to explain the guiding principles that underlie Platos
account. Do you think Platos reforms have a place in our diverse, pluralist society?
Be sure to include reference to the Supreme Court cases on educating Amish children
discussed in class.
- Explain and assess Aristotles understanding of the
importance of friendship for leading a happy and virtuous life. That is, Aristotle thinks
that the final end (purpose) of man is happiness which he defines as an activity of the
soul in conformity with excellence or virtue in a complete life. How do his views on
friendship relate to his overall understanding of the goal of politics. How do his views
on friendship relate to contemporary views?
Philosophy and Art
a specific part of Plato or Aristotles views by putting their views in dialogue with
a film or piece of literature. You can make this creative if you like. For example, you
might use the film Gattica to discuss Plato's ideas concerning genetic engineering.
You might compare Aristotles views on friendship with the movie Clueless or
the Jane Austen novel Emma. This assignment means you will have to tell me enough
about the artwork so I have a general understanding of it (I usually dont need that
much), and you will have to be able to work in your philosophical analysis with your essay
or film/book review. This sort of comparison between philosophy and art is really fun (I
do it for a living!), but sometimes its difficult to combine the two. I encourage
you to give it a try especially if you love books/movies