900 to 1500 words (approximately 3-5 pages).
The paper should use the MLA format, including Works Cited page.
You should consult at least 3 high-quality sources, not counting course texts, that either help explain the subject, help support your argument, a present a counter-argument or competing alternative to your position.
Turn your paper in through our Moodle page. The paper will automatically be sent to www.turnitin.com to check for possible plagiarism.
Do NOT include a cover sheet.
Do NOT include material from the essay prompt itself. (These can falsely trigger the site’s plagiarism detection.)
ZERO CREDIT FOR PLAGIARISM:
Remember, plagiarism is defined as ANY kind of use of ANY source at all, without giving credit to that source through a proper citation.
My plagiarism policy is to give zero credit for any assignment that contains ANY plagiarism. If you are unsure whether something counts as plagiarism, you must ask me before turning it in – not knowing that you have committed plagiarism is not an excuse.
Choose ONLY ONE of the Approved Paper Topics below to write your final paper on. For whichever prompt you choose, make sure that you do all three of the following:
1. Briefly explain:
(A) your position (or the author’s position, depending on the question) (B) your (or their) argument for that position.
2. Research, and briefly explain a counter-argument to that argument / position (whatever you consider to be the strongest counter-argument against it).
3. Give your own reasoned analysis of this debate, in which you:
(A) state clearly which side you believe has the better argument, (B) explain why that side has the better argument, and
(C) explain what error the other side has made in their argument.
Also, for university requirements, you need to cite AT LEAST THREE (3) HIGH- QUALITY SOURCES (e.g., peer-reviewed journal articles, books, etc.) It is often easiest to include these in the counter-argument, but depends on the details of your essay.
Approved Paper Topics:
In The Apology, when Socrates considers the possibility of being acquitted, but on the condition that he cease practicing philosophy, he says, “Men of Athens, I have the highest regard and affection for you, but I will obey God rather than you… Either acquit me, or don’t, knowing that I will not behave differently even if I am to be put to death a thousand times over (29d).” Yet, in The Crito, Socrates imagines the personified Laws of Athens saying, “your country is worthier more to be revered, more sacred, and held in higher honor both by the gods and by all men of understanding, than your father and your mother and all your other ancestors; and that you ought … to obey in silence… you must do whatever your state and your country tell you to do, or you must persuade them that their commands are unjust.” Socrates says the Laws would be speaking the truth. Does Socrates simply contradict himself between these two dialogues? Or is there some way to make sense out of these two seemingly contradictory statements?
In The Euthyphro, when Euthyphro proposes the definition of “what is pious” as “what is loved by (all) the gods,” Socrates asks whether something is pious because it is loved by (all) the gods, or whether the gods (all) love it because it is pious – a question that has come to be known as “the Euthyphro Dilemma.” Why is this a dilemma? What might be thought problematic about the answer that what is pious is pious (or, more generally, good) because the gods (or God) love it? What might be thought problematic about the answer that the gods (or God) loves something because it is pious (or, more generally, good)? Assuming that a God or gods exist, do you think that either of these possibilities would be defensible? Why or why not?
Glaucon’s Challenge: Explain Glaucon’s Challenge, and explain Socrates’ ultimate definition of “Justice” in the Republic. Is Socrates’ account of Justice successful in meeting Glaucon’s Challenge? Why or why not?