Ethics and Society Assignment #1
Ethics and Society Assignment #1 Platonic Philosophy in Contemporary Culture Instructions: It is all too tempting to read the Republic as an antiquated piece of fiction. I hope that students are realizing that the basic issues and challenges that all societies face do not change through time and across space; the only things that change are the unique ways particular societies confront them. The struggle to live the ethical life is a struggle relevant for all times and places; this assignment is designed to get students to see how that struggle is manifesting in contemporary culture. Students are to write a short essay relating central concepts from Plato’s Republic to contemporary culture. Essays should first present Plato’s perspective on the issue using adequate textual support. Once this is accomplished, students must relate and compare his views to those of contemporary culture. Ultimately, if contemporary culture diverges from the views offered in the Republic students should say which is preferable and why. If a student intends to show that Socrates’ views are inadequate or deficient in some manner, the student must first demonstrate that he or she fully comprehends those views by proving that he or she knows why Socrates says what he says in the context of the book. Papers that are all response without first proving you understand what you are responding to will earn minimal credit. Requirements: • Papers must be at minimum 3 full typed double spaced pages in 12 Times New Roman font. The quickest way to lose points is to turn in 2 ¾ pages. • Students must incorporate textual support from the primary source (Republic) into the body paragraphs in the form of direct quotations and cite them properly (MLA). • Students must find adequate examples from contemporary culture that relate to the ideas discussed in the book and document them. As with the primary source, students are required to integrate direct quotations from secondary sources into the body paragraphs . (American or International examples are both welcome.) • In addition to the 3 pages, students must submit a separate works-cited page citing all sources (MLA). This is a formal paper, so I strongly suggest that you avoid personal pronouns and have at least one person edit your paper for grammar, spelling, and clarity.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to: specialization in contemporary health care; specialization in the US military; specialization in US education; specialization in professional sports; the role of education in society; the role of religion in society; or any topic of your own choosing. Feel free to email me if you would like to run your topic by me in advance.