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Posted: September 28th, 2023

Research Project on Developing a Philosophical Viewpoint

Research Project on Developing a Philosophical Viewpoint – Topic

-Write the paper according to the following outline:

1. A summary of the philosophical topic, or thinker that you would like to focus on. Should be brief(half page to a page maximum).

2. A list of at least 5 key terms used in the topic, theory or thinker. Philosophy consists in working through ideas in extremely precise language, and part of understanding philosophy is understanding the language philosophers use. For example, if you are writing on utilitarianism, one term you might use would be consequentialism. For each term , you should:

(i) Define the term, as it is used in the specific topic, theory or thinker you are focusing on. This definition will usually be different from the usual dictionary definition for the term. If your definition is drawn from a book, provide a full citation for the source.

(ii) Explain why this term is important for the primary thinkers of the philosophy you are focusing on.

(iii) Provide a quote from a philosopher using the term (remember to cite the author)

(iv) Explain the meaning of the quote given.

3. A list of at least three key arguments that are related to the topic you want to explore. For example, if you are writing on consequentialism, you could list Singer’s argument concerning charitable giving. For each argument:

(i) List the premises and conclusion, making sure that the premises as you express them provide valid support for the conclusion.

(ii) Cite an author or authors who have presented the argument.

(iii) Extra credit: make argument map.

4. A list of at least five primary or secondary sources dealing with the philosophical topic, theory or thinker. These sources cannot consist in the course textbook, online dictionaries, or random webpages. They must consist in books or scholarly articles. One way to look for the sources is to go to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on the topic you are interested in and take a look at the bibliography for helpful books/articles/resources. Then, you can look for these resources at the library or through academic search engines.

Final piece of the prompt attached:
Possible thinkers and their theories to use (note: this list is not exhaustive. You can feel free to choose another theory not mentioned here, as long as it is proposed by a philosopher) • Parmenides’ theory that all is one • Socrates’ theory that human excellence is knowledge and that we have a duty to search for truth • The sophists’ moral and/or epistemic relativism • Plato’s theory on the structure of the soul • Plato’s theory of justice as harmony • Plato’s theory that the best government is rule by a philosopher-king • Plato’s allegory of the cave • Aristotle’s theory of knowledge as induction • Aristotle’s theory of the union of the good life, happiness, and virtue • The Stoic outlook on suffering • The Stoic theory of virtue and living a good life • Augustine’s theory of the “Great Chain of Being.” • Augustine’s resolution of the problem of evil • Al-Farabi’s theory on religion and philosophy • Anselm’s pro,of of the existence of God • Aquinas’ proofs for the existence of God • Aquinas on human nature arid why we should pursue virtue as the highest good • Aquinas on the relationship of faith and reason • Descartes’ theory of universal doubt • Descartes on the relationship of mind and body • Pascal’s theory on rational decision-making • The early modern scientists’ theory about how to gain knowledge • Hobbes’ theory of human nature • Hobbes on the best form of government • Locke’s theory of representative government • Locke on personal identity • Hume’s theory of causation • Hume’s theory of morality • Immanuel Kant on reason and morality

Summary of Plato’s theory of justice as harmony (half page)
Plato believed that justice in the ideal state exists when each of the three classes in society—the producers, the auxiliaries, and the guardians—perform their specific functions for the good of the whole. When all parts work together in harmony, the state is just.
Key terms (with definitions, importance, quotes, and explanations)
(i) Justice – For Plato, justice refers to the proper ordering and harmony within the soul and the state. In The Republic, he defines justice as “doing one’s own business and not being a busybody” (433a).
(ii) Classes in society – Plato divided society into three classes: producers who engage in manual labor and crafts; auxiliaries who serve as soldiers and public officials; and guardians who rule as philosopher-kings.
(iii) Harmony – The idea that all parts of the state must work together in a balanced, harmonious way for the whole to be just, similar to how the parts of the soul must be in harmony.
Key arguments
(i) The tripartite soul argument – Just as the soul has reason, spirit, and appetite, so too must the ideal state have classes that reason (guardians), are spirited (auxiliaries), and have appetites (producers).
Primary sources
Plato. The Republic. Translated by Allan Bloom. Basic Books, 1991.
Annas, Julia. An Introduction to Plato’s Republic. Oxford University Press, 1981.
Bobonich, Christopher. Plato’s Utopia Recast: His Later Ethics and Politics. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002.
Kraut, Richard. Plato. Oxford University Press, 2018.

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