According Plato and Aristotle respectively, what are forms and where do they reside? How does each theorist think that we gain knowledge of the form ‘DOG’? Which outlook do you find more convincing, and why?
1. According Plato and Aristotle respectively, what are forms and where do they reside? How does each theorist think that we gain knowledge of the form ‘DOG’? Which outlook do you find more convincing, and why?
2. Consider the following real-world case that we discussed in class: “Ms. Dawson, 36, was known as a fierce opponent of the drug dealing that routinely took place outside her door. The fire occurred on Oct. 16, 2002, after Ms. Dawson had filed a string of complaints with the police against drug dealers.” Staying true to her convictions, Dawson decided to stay in her neighborhood with her children and fight the drug dealers. She repeatedly alerted police to drug dealing, assault, and other crime in her East Baltimore neighborhood. She refused to leave even after vandalism to her home and a first arson attempt. On the second arson attempt, the dealers burnt down her house, and she and her children died. According to Aristotle, did Dawson have courage? Please explain his account of moral virtue and what he’d likely say about this case.
3. Suppose that Sally is addicted to gambling. Every Sunday, she finds herself placing bets on football games even though she knows she should stop. According to Aristotle, does she choose to gamble? How does Aristotle distinguish between voluntary action and chosen action, and how does his outlook relate to Plato’s chariot allegory?
4. According to Aristotle, what is the connection between a) our formal cause/essence, b) virtue (both intellectual and moral), and c) Eudaimonia (our final cause)? How does Aquinas reinterpret the notion of final cause/Eudaimonia from a Christian perspective?
5. Please discuss the meaning and significance of the following quote and explain how it relates to Aquinas’ natural law ethics and his view of human nature: “To violate nature is to set oneself against God who has ordained nature. Now the worst way of violating nature is to carry corruption into its very principles. Fornication, rape, adultery, incest, respect nature’s order in the performing of the sexual act. Unnatural vice, however, refuses to respect this order. The worst form of luxury is bestiality, and after it, sodomy, irregularities in the sexual act, and onanism [masturbation] ” (Summa Theologica.)
6. How do Plato and Hobbes each characterize “justice”? According to each theorist, what does it mean for an action (e.g. stealing someone’s wallet) to be unjust? Please compare and contrast their views and briefly discuss which one you find more convincing.
7. Given human nature, who should govern society, and what form of government works best? Please compare and contrast the accounts of Plato, Hobbes, and Rousseau and explain how each theorist’s approach to sovereignty follows directly from his view of human nature. Which proposed form of government do you find more appealing, and why?
8. One central worry about democratic forms of government is the potential for “tyranny of the majority.” How does Rousseau attempt to address to this concern, and how is his view of political sovereignty linked to his outlook on human nature? What would Hobbes likely say in response?
9. Many college students report that they are in school primarily to get a job that will earn them a decent living. In light of his views about economic determinism, the ideological superstructure, and alienation, what would Marx likely say about this phenomenon? [Please be sure to explain each of the three concepts and how it applies in this context.] Do you find his outlook convincing?
10. According to Karl Marx, once we transition to communism, society will be free of alienation and exploitation. What does he mean? How does he describe the ideal society, and how is his outlook grounded in his views about human nature?