Philosophy- Lewis and Plato
In 5 pages (12 point font, double-spaced, one inch margins), please respond toone
of the two
1) In The
Abolition of Man, Lewis argues that a “dogmatic belief in objective value
to the very idea of a rule which is not tyranny or an obedience which is
(73). What are Lewis’ most important reasons for making this claim? Bearing
Socrates’ account of his moral duty to the city in Apology and Crito, to what
Socrates agree with this statement?
2) In both
the Apology and Crito, Plato presents Socrates as a staunch defender of
in the sense that respect for the legal order of one’s polity is a basic
of citizenship. What are the most important reasons Socrates provides for
in defense of Athenian law? If we accept Lewis’ critique of emotional
(Gaius and Titius’ position) in Abolition of Man as sound, we cannot
Socrates’ actions as merely the result of his subjective feelings. Why
insist we interpret Plato’s Socrates this way?
BOOKS MUST BE USED AS
C.S. Lewis, The
Abolition of Man, HarperCollins, ISBN: 0060652942
Plato, The Trial
and Death of Socrates, John M. Cooper and G.M.A. Grube trans., Hackett
Publishing, ISBN: 0872205541
Tips from the Professor:
The first paragraph
usually makes or breaks your essay. Begin your essay with a clear and
focused thesis statement
that directly responds to the questions in the prompt. The next couple
sentences should give us
some indication of the paper’s plan, or briefly elaborate upon the
Do not hope things will
come together and attempt to write your essay before you have a clear
thesis. Such efforts do
not work. Outline your essay with this thesis in mind and evaluate every
subsequent paragraph in
your essay for fit with that thesis. If you cannot establish a clear link
between a point you think
is important later in the essay and your thesis, it probably does not
belong. This means you
need to get the point immediately: Long-winded written equivalents of
throat clearing that
tell us how important these authors merely waste space you will need.
Generic efforts at
comparison do not help either (ex: “Plato and Aristotle were both Greeks
cared about politics”).
Both of these types of openings indicate a) you are not sure what you are
doing, b) you are trying
to fill space, and c) you really have not thought about how this will
irritate us in the
fourth or fifth hour of grading.
Devote serious attention
to each of the elements of the prompt you choose – one sentence about
half of the prompt and
five paragraphs about the rest is not a complete response to the prompt.
You should not attempt
to outline or laundry list every idea you have, rather choose one focused
line of argumentation
that brings a handful of the most important points you think support your
case to bear on the
subject. The best method of accomplishing this is to engage in a close
of the texts and marshal
evidence from them to support your claims. Do not use any outside
sources. If you do, you
will lose credit.
This essay demands careful textual analysis rather than a judgment about
the rightness of the
arguments under consideration. We are looking for a sustained effort on
part to understand what
these authors are saying and we are not at all interested in what you
about the merits or
deficiencies of their arguments. So, do not waste the space and effort.
While we are not seeing
your judgment about whether these authors are correct, note that merely
attempting to summarize
what the authors say will not fully answer the question. Usually
students go wrong when
they try to tell us everything they know about the thinker in general and
lapse into a kind of
comparison and contrast. So read the questions very carefully and decide
what arguments are
actually important from each thinker for your answer to the questions.
Cite both direct quotes
and all specific references to the text. By this, I mean: each and every
time you use or refer to
a specific passage to help develop your essay, you must use a page
citation to tie this to
the book. In this case a parenthetical (author, page number) is fine.
to cite sources is
plagiarism and will result in an automatic F on the assignment.