First Paper -- Due September 18
Papers will be 6-7 pages in length, double spaced and in an
or 12-point proportional font.
On the whole, it is fair to say that
has a low opinion of democratic societies in general and of democratic
culture in particular. Your assignment is (i) to
give a forceful explanation of
Plato's case against democratic culture, (ii)
to raise two objections to that case, and (iii) to determine whether or
not those objections can be plausibly answered from within
In spelling out Plato's indictment of democractic culture, you are free to draw upon material found anywhere in the texts we are reading in class, including sections that are not specifically assigned for the lectures.
I suggest that you focus on the
sections of the Republic: (a) 487b-497a, where Socrates
(i) why philosophy is unpopular among the general populace (see The
Crew at 488a ff.) and (ii) how in democratic societies philosophy is
corrupted into sophistry (see The Wild Beast at 493a); (b) the allegory
of the Cave at 514a ff.; and (c) the discussion of (i) the origins of
personality in the oligarchic personality, (ii) the nature of the
personality, and (iii) deterioration of the democratic personality into
the dictatorial personality
NOTE: YOUR NAME SHOULD APPEAR ONLY ON THE
BACK OF THE LAST
PAGE, WRITTEN IN PENCIL.