Philosophy

Order Description

The essay is to be a two part essay of 6 pages in length (not including the title page)(3 pages per part), type-written with one inch margins and 12 point font. It should include in-text citation (unless otherwise cleared with the professor, following the MLA style). You should also include, beyond the three pages, a works cited page. You need at least 4 sources. As a rule you will benefit from following a standard short research paper template something in the order of what follows:

1) Thesis statement (for a short paper like this, 1 paragraph).

2) Body of the paper where you flesh out the ideas, perhaps broken into a couple main sections (which can be titled).

3) Summary (1 paragraph at the end repeating the main points of the paper)

Part 1: (3 pages)
Please choose from the following suggested topics or make an appointment to clear another topic with the professor.

1) Confucius on

a) self-development

b) cultivating our humanity

c) holistic education

2) Lao Tzu on

a) self-development in accordance with the Tao

b) Taoist politics in comparison to Confucianism
3) Buddha on

a) the four noble truths and/or the eight-fold path

b) impermanence, no-self, codependent arising

For your second part of the essay, write on one of the following three topics: (3pages )

1) Socrates Trial and Death, with a special reference to his arguments that he is obligated to accept the death penalty of the polis since he had benefited from the laws of the Athenian city-state.

2) Gyges\’ ring and Socrates view of justice. In the Republic, Plato takes up the story of Gyges\’ ring to explore the question of whether people are only moral in order to avoid the negative social consequences of being immoral. Plato refutes this position and argues that there is an intrinsic reason to be moral. In doing this, he explains that justice consists in the individual in the harmony of the soul and in the polity in the harmony of the various castes of society that arises when each does what it is meant to do. Those choosing this essay topic need to describe these views.

3) The Allegory of the cave. In the Republic Plato describes the philosopher (and his theory of eternal forms) in reference to the famous Allegory of the Cave. Those trapped by conventional views of reality, who do not penetrate to an understanding of the first principles of knowledge, are trapped in a worldview based merely on opinion. The philosopher, by contrast, questions the everyday presuppositions of our knowledge and ascends to a knowledge of the \”forms.\” Those doing this essay need to describe and interpret the Allegory of the Cave.
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