Rowan University
Ellen Miller, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Department of Philosophy & Religion
Rowan University
Glassboro, NJ 08028
Office: 117 Linden Hall

Office Phone:  856-256-4835

Dr. Ellen Miller
Home Page
Curriculum Vitae
Current Courses
Introduction to Philosophy   (Mon. & Weds.)
Introduction to Philosophy   (Tuesday)
Introduction to Ethics
Philosophy and Gender


   Previous Courses

Contemporary  Moral Problems
Philosophy and Society
Logic of Everyday Reasoning
Feminist Theory
Western        Humanities

Library of Congress
Philosophy Library
Rowan University

Rowan Univ.
About The University
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Philosophy Dept.


Suggested Topics for Presentations

Major Theme: Discuss a contemporary social/political issue by examining how this question/issue has been treated in the history of Social and Political Philosophy. What can we learn from previous writers that might help us better understand our own issues? Does contemporary society make it necessary to re-think these classical/traditional views? Remember you should make your presentation as focused as possible. This list should help get you started (I’ll add to this as the course progresses).


Remember: Your presentation/paper should be a formal presentation where you analyze specific parts of the required readings and any supplementary reading you do.

  1. Examine Platonic justice. Would Plato’s emphasis on unity work in our multicultural and democratic society?
  2. Educational reforms in the Republic. What sorts of educational reforms do you think are needed in our society?
  3. Censorship in the ideal city. Compare Plato’s views with your own
  4. Plato and Aristotle’s ideas on the family. Compare with contemporary issues surrounding family life.
  5. Women and the draft—Plato and today
  6. Compare Plato’s views on justice with Hobbes. What do they tell us about moral motivation?
  7. Is it ever just to disobey the law? Compare Martin Luther King, Gandhi and Hobbes
  8. What would Mill think about our right to freedom of speech? Would he think we should censor pornography?
  9. Is Affirmative action justifiable or is it reverse discrimination?
  10. How would a utilitarian like Mill respond to the practice of euthanasia (assisted suicide).
  11. Discuss the causes of war according to Plato, Aristotle, and Hobbes. Compare to a contemporary example.
  12. Role of friendship in social life. What sorts of duties does Aristotle think we have towards our friends? How would a utilitarian respond?
Copyright 2001 Dr. Ellen Miller. All rights reserved. Document last modified