Phil 1000: Introduction to Philosophy Writing Assignment One
Your first short paper will be collected in class on Friday, February 3rd. It should be no more than two pages of your own writing, and it should express your own thoughts in response to the following prompt. Your paper should be double-spaced, with 12 point font (Times New Roman, or something similar). Please put your name, “PHIL 1000, Paper 1,” and your A-number in the top right corner of the page. No title pages necessary.
Papers will be graded on three criteria—(a) the clarity and organization of your paper, (b) the accuracy and understanding conveyed, and (c) the depth of philosophical engagement with the topic below. For further guidelines, feel free consult the short piece entitled “writing philosophy papers,” which has been posted on the website. (And, as always, feel free to visit office hours during the writing process as well). Here’s your topic:
Paper Prompt: In Republic IV, Plato has Socrates argue that the human pysche is complex, or that there are multiple parts of the soul. Briefly explain the argument by which he arrives at this conclusion. How does the argument work? What are the premises saying? And what does Plato have in mind with his conclusion? How is this conclusion connected to the notion of virtue, or the virtues?
To the best of your ability, assess the argument in terms of validity and soundness. Can you think of any possible counterexamples to the argument’s structure or to the individual premises? Alternatively, can you think of any personal experiences or observations that might provide support for the premises? Think about this view of human nature. Do you agree with Plato’s conclusion here? Why or why not?
Lastly, in your paper, find some occasion to explain and incorporate the following two quotes:
“…He immediately felt a desire to look at them, but at the same time loathing the thought•
he tried to divert himself from it.” (see page 12)
“Is it not then essentially the domain of the rational principle to command, inasmuch as it is wise, and has to exercise forethought on behalf of the entire soul, and the domain of the spirited principle to be its subject and ally?” (see page 13)•
Note: Do not use the work of another student, and do not use anything from the web when writing your papers. If you must use the web (although I urge you not to), quote and cite everything you have used