Philosophy 30301
First Paper -- Due September 18

Papers will be 6-7 pages in length, double spaced and in an 11-point or 12-point proportional font. 
  

     On the whole, it is fair to say that Plato 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 Plato's perspective.

     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 following sections of the Republic: (a) 487b-497a, where Socrates explains (i) why philosophy is unpopular among the general populace (see The Unruly Crew at 488a ff.) and (ii) how in democratic societies philosophy is easily 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 the democratic personality in the oligarchic personality, (ii) the nature of the democratic personality, and (iii) deterioration of the democratic personality into the dictatorial personality (550c-576b).

NOTE: YOUR NAME SHOULD APPEAR ONLY ON THE BACK OF THE LAST PAGE, WRITTEN IN PENCIL.
THIS WILL HELP TO ENSURE THAT I DO NOT HAVE MY MANY GRIEVANCES
AGAINST YOU CLEARLY IN MIND AS I GRADE YOUR PAPER  :-)