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Unformatted text preview: Jeff Epstein November 12, 2010 PHI 105.02 Final Paper Questions: 1. The way in which we theorize nature shapes the way in which organize ourselves politically and our conceptions of justice. Explain drawing on the work of Plato or Aristotle and either Hobbes, Locke, or Rousseau. To answer this question, you must explain the conception of nature that is offered by each thinker, how this understanding of nature influences the philosopher’s argument in favor of a certain form of political organization, and how this form of political organization is supposed to guarantee justice. 2. Explain Plato’s justification of the role of women in public life (the female guardians) by examining the distinction he makes between physis (nature) and nomos (convention). Next, with Aristotle, explain his justification of what role women have in public life by examining the distinctions he makes between oikos and polis , physis and nomos , necessity and freedom, mere life and good life. Whose argument is theoretically stronger? Why? 3. Compare and contrast Socrates and Martin Luther King. In what sense are both (stinging flies) gadflies? What are the four tenets of civil disobedience according to MLK? Does Socrates practice civil disobedience according to these tenets ( The Apology and Crito will be helpful here)? How do they differ with respect to their positions regarding the legitimacy of and obedience to the law (in Crito and Letter from Birmingham Jail)? How does each justify his position? What does each of their justifications tell us about the possibility of living in a just or more just society? 4. Machiavelli seems to argue that an action that, from the point of view of traditional morality, appears unjust can be profitable; this is what gives a bad name to “Machiavelism” as a doctrine that the end justifies the means. But recall that he also says there is a difference between how we that the end justifies the means....
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