Aristotle Paper

PART I: Your Paper — Choose one of the following questions to answer:

Aristotle says: “He who is without a city, by reason of his own nature and not of some accident, is either a poor sort of being, or a being higher than man” (Pol I.2 1253a4). So, should we strive for a contemplative life, and become a being higher than man, or should we strive for politics and be just man? Why?

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Aristotle seems to be: (a) critical of democracy; (b) unable to recognize the intellectual and ethical equality of women; and, (c) a supporter of the goodness of natural slavery. In what way can Aristotle’s political philosophy still guide us today, despite or because of these views?


Your answer should engage in a careful examination of Aristotle’s arguments for at one of these controversial positions listed above.

Consider the following ways of life: (a) being a citizen under a kingship; (b) a ruler within a politeia (“constitutional government”); and, (c) a philosopher under a tyranny

If you could choose, which way of the ways of life listed above would be the best for you and your community to lead, and which way of life would be the worst? Why?

How might Aristotle help us to judge whether features of modern society are either worthy or unworthy of us? Provide an Aristotelian argument for which feature of modern society we ought to preserve and which feature we ought to remove? Why?

Your purpose in writing the paper is to demonstrate your knowledge of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Politics as well as your ability to develop an argument to defend your answer to one of the above questions. In political philosophy, there are no right or wrong answers, only good or bad arguments. Good arguments will reflect the student’s own reasoning and deliberations and are

supported by the evidence and interpretation of the assigned Aristotle readings. Use both the Politics and the Nicomachean Ethics in your answer.

Submitting Your Paper to D2L:

Name your file as follows: YourLastName POLI 310 F20 Aristotle Paper.docx For example: Smith POLI 310 F20 Aristotle Paper.docx
Papers should be in “doc” or docx” or format only.

Papers are to be submitted electronically to the Dropbox on the POLI 310 D2L website. The Dropbox will be found under the Assessments drop-down menu. Select the Folder for the assignment and then select “Add a file” and follow the instructions. Your paper will be automatically time stamped.


Key Elements of Your Paper:

The following elements are important to your paper and will be taken in consideration when your paper is graded:

Thesis: Your thesis and your supporting arguments are the most important aspect of your paper. Your thesis will state a position or a claim and should be included in your introductory paragraph. However, your thesis is not meant to be a descriptive statement but is the point you are going to argue. A strong thesis isn’t too broad or vague. You will support your thesis through the arguments you develop and the evidence that you gather (see Content below). Clearly define your thesis before you begin writing your paper as it will guide your writing process.

Content: This aspect concerns the substance and quality of the body of your paper, particularly the evidence you use and the arguments you develop to support your position. Excellent papers tend to make good use of quotes, paraphrasing, or direct references to the primary source material.

Introduction: Your position (i.e., your thesis) should be clearly stated, and the argument you will be making should be clearly outlined for the reader. That is: a good introduction clearly states the topic of the paper, the position you are taking, how you intend to support your position, and the structure your argument will take. Your introduction can usually be accomplished in one brief and clear paragraph.

Conclusion: A good conclusion does more than restate your thesis. Ideally, it summarizes the points of the paper as they relate to your thesis and bring the argument to a close. Normally, no new information or arguments are presented.

Citations: Your paper must also use proper citations for all paraphrasing and direct quotes (i.e. Citing properly means using the Bekker numbers. e.g. NE I.1 1094a10). Failure to have citations can result in an ‘F’ on the assignment. Our very strong preference is to use in-body citations.

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