PHIL 101. Paper One. . The paper is due on September 26.
1000 words minimum, composed in your own words. Quotations from the course readings are permitted (and they can make your paper better) but they do not count towards this 1000-word requirement. Your paper must be single spaced, 10 point font size, on a regular 8.5 x 11 paper size with 1” margin. Your name must be at the top, with this title: Paper One for PHIL 101.
In your paper, you have to accomplish two things.
First, describe a time when you have personally observed someone in a leadership position who was using their power badly, causing problems and harming others. How did that person think that such misuse of power was excusable and OK? Did they sound like this:
“That’s the way things have always been done around here.” (sounds like Cephalus)
“We must do things this way, so that we can beat them (another group).” (sounds like Polemarchus)
“We’re going to do things my way, because I have the power now.” (sounds like Thrasymachus)
Do NOT give real names! Explain whether this bad leader behaved more like Cephalus, Polemarchus, or Thrasymachus. Finish up your story with your thoughts about why you think that this person in power was unfair and unjust.
Second, explain why, according to Socrates, would it be unwise to think one’s own group has all the goodness and the rest of society isn’t so good? In your answer, be sure to think about the mistakes that blind loyalty can lead to, and the long-run consequences to dividing up society into good and bad sides. In other words, why is Polemarchus wrong about justice? After all, typical people in a fight for equality and opportunity are eager to harm their opposition, just as Polemarchus would. Make sure that you answer this question: If Socrates is right, and Polemarchus is wrong, how should a group struggling for justice respond to injustice done against them?