Plato and the Ideal Society

Plato and the Ideal Society

Here is an advance look at the paper you will be asked to write at the end of our discussion of Plato’s Republic.

 

You can make up your own title, but the basic theme should be: “Plato and the Ideal Society.”

 

Instructions: Discuss the basic components and principles of an ideal regime as envisioned by Plato. Situate your own assessment and arguments in comparison or contrast with the positions discussed in Plato’s Republic. Be sure to include your own definition of justice.

 

You are free to discuss whichever seem most important to you of the many, many issues we considered in our reading and discussion of the text.

 

However, I do ask that you be sure to consider the relative importance Plato attributes to the philosophical pursuit of knowledge in the ideal society (consult the divided line theory in Book VI).

 

Other examples of important issues include gender relations in the ideal regime, the value of the pursuit of justice for its own sake regardless of reward, altruism vs. self-centeredness, what citizens are obliged to do if they want to be just, family, etc.

 

Grading Criteria: You will be graded on content, on your appreciation of the significance of the issues, on your ability to clarify and defend your position in relationship to Plato’s and on your knowledge of Plato’s text vis a vis the issues you discuss. Obviously, critical assessment is important for an excellent grade.  Check over your work for grammar, style and spelling.

 

Footnotes from the text should be put in parenthesis (e.g. Plato 509c. The 509c is the page number of the actual Greek text but it is customary to number the English references in this way and the Greek pages are found in the margin of our text).

 

All secondary sources consulted (even online sources) need to be acknowledged.

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NOTE TO THE WRITER:

This course is an Honors course, so the professor’s expectations are high. Please put much effort in this. There are a lot of information and work about this book on the internet. You can use them, but do NOT do it too much. The primary and the most important source is the book itself, so the teacher would not be happy to see too many external sources. But still you can use some of them. What I would do is, I would cite a couple of sources, but also I would use some websites WITHOUT citing them. This does not mean that i am permitting you to plagiarise, of course. don’t copy paste sentences, but read them and use them to construct your own sentences.

 

If I like the work you have done, I will have you do many more papers in the future.