Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Possible Topics for Paper #3
Due: March 24
Choose one, and write 2-3 pages. (Please refer to your handout, “How to Write Philosophy Papers”)
1) In The Republic, Plato’s Socrates proposes a model of the soul which places reason above “high spirited” passion. Evaluate this model, and give your own model of the soul, if necessary.
2) Do you believe the cardinal virtues (justice, wisdom, moderation, courage) are enough to make us good? Enough to make us happy?
3) What do you make of the contradictions that seem to pop up throughout The Republic? Are they real or apparent? If real, do they invalidate Plato's entire project? If apparent, how do you explain them away?
4) Compare, in detail, our own American republic with Plato’s Republic. What are the differences? Are there any similarities? Assess our society from a Platonic perspective.
5) In your opinion, what is Plato’s greatest philosophical insight? Explain in detail.
6) In your opinion, what is Plato’s greatest philosophical weakness? Explain in detail.
7) How do Aristotelian and Platonic characterizations of essence differ?
8) Why does Aristotle think that primary substances are ontologically prior to secondary substances? What do you think of his argument?