You must cite 2 books that are from the class out of the 5 sources that are for the report.

Plato, Republic ISBN: 9780192833709
Plato, Symposium ISBN: 9780140449273
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics ISBN: 9780199213610
Aristotle, Politics ISBN: 9780199538737
St. Augustine, City of God ISBN: 9780140448948
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations ISBN 9780140449334

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NOTE: For most of these works, there are MANY free online versions. Again, buy them as paperbacks if you can or want to. Otherwise, these online versions will certainly do the job.

Answer ONE of the following questions in seven to ten pages. With any of the questions, carefully consider what is being asked of you, explain your thoughts carefully, and write to the best of your abilities. You will not be graded on grammar, spelling, and punctuation as such. However, you WILL be evaluated on the quality and coherence of your argumentation; careful use of language and its conventions is a necessary component of a well-crafted argument.

Papers should be in Times New Roman Font, size 12. Double space your papers. Suggested length is seven to ten pages. You will not be penalized for going over as long as it is within reason. Writing more than a few lines onto an eleventh page is giving yourself an unfair advantage: concision is an important skill to master. Your citations do not count toward this page limit.

Use any citation system, so long as you are consistent. I expect you to cite course books as well as ANY outside materials you use. Mistakes in citations or, mostly, forgotten citations can be treated as acts of academic dishonesty and will be subject to relevant procedures. Additionally, refer to the syllabus and student handbook for the relevant sections on plagiarism.

Grading: Refer to the rubric for grading and use it as a guide to the writing of your papers. Make sure to pay close attention to the details.


1. Several thinkers presented in this course have either advocated for, or led, various forms of government, while most of them have had some commentary the merits and perils of several forms of government. Aristotle, on the other hand, takes the position that most forms of government can be good, bad, or somewhere in between based on the execution of that particular government. There does, however, seem to be a theme that emerges among the ancient and medieval thinkers: a negative view of democracy. What, in your analysis, is the best form of government and are the ancients correct in their fears about democracy?

2. Aside from, although almost certainly connected to, questions of governance, the thinkers examined in this course consider what it means to live the good life. What, exactly, is the good life according to at least three of the thinkers read over the course of this semester? Following your examination of the thinkers, provide your academic analysis on the same question: what is the good life and how are we to achieve or attempt it? Be sure to explain your thinking with well-founded analyses, not simple statements of opinion.

3. You have become the monarch of a small city state. Because you have had minimal experience, you have decided to seek advice on governance from some of the greatest philosophical minds to have ever lived. Answering your call for advice, Plato, Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius, and Augustine are now all before you. In the form of a Platonic Dialogue, answer the following question, having each of the thinkers as a character: how should this city be governed, and to what end?

4. The thinkers we have read in this course often discuss citizenship. Having read these thinkers carefully, what do you think are the rights and responsibilities of a citizen in a democratic government? What role should the individual citizen play? Additionally, if citizens find that their government is behaving in a way that is unjust, is it enough for the individual to act justly?

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