Comparing Great Philosophers

Comparing Great Philosophers
Batman37
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Posted Mar 7, 2010 - 2:13 PM:
Subject: Comparing Great Philosophers
I took an Into to Philosophy class last semester. I loved it and it has truly changed the way I live my life. Unfortunately, I was not able to make it to the final exam because of a emergency event so the professor could not give me a passing grade. Because I was one of his best students, he gave me an Incomplete as a grade and gave me the opportunity to change the incomplete to a passing grade if I write an essay. During the semester I wrote an essay answering the question if Plato's society is totalitarian. He liked the essay and suggested that I use it to write the essay I need to write now. He also suggested that I incorporate Plato, Locke, Hobbes, and Machiavelli into the essay but did not give me any ideas as to what to talk about in the essay. My question is if anyone has an idea as to what I can possibly write this paper on including the aforementioned philosophers. I can only play the hand I'm dealt with considering he could have easy failed me if he wanted. Any input would be appreciated, thank you!
An Eccentric
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Posted Mar 7, 2010 - 3:52 PM:

Batman37 wrote:
I took an Into to Philosophy class last semester. I loved it and it has truly changed the way I live my life. Unfortunately, I was not able to make it to the final exam because of a emergency event so the professor could not give me a passing grade. Because I was one of his best students, he gave me an Incomplete as a grade and gave me the opportunity to change the incomplete to a passing grade if I write an essay. During the semester I wrote an essay answering the question if Plato's society is totalitarian. He liked the essay and suggested that I use it to write the essay I need to write now. He also suggested that I incorporate Plato, Locke, Hobbes, and Machiavelli into the essay but did not give me any ideas as to what to talk about in the essay. My question is if anyone has an idea as to what I can possibly write this paper on including the aforementioned philosophers. I can only play the hand I'm dealt with considering he could have easy failed me if he wanted. Any input would be appreciated, thank you!


Hello smiling face
Well it would obviously be wrong for me or anyone else to have too much input on your essay itself but if you wish to know what books would be relevant to the topic of Plato's totalitarianism I would recommend for those philosophers:
Plato's Republic

Hobbes Leviathan

Machiavelli's The Prince

As for Locke, maybe someone else can point you in the direction of a work of his relevant to Totalitarianism. Also, either someone else will have to tell you the relevant chapters in those books or you will have to find them yourself; I can't remember off the top of my head.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (http://plato.stanford.edu/) is a great resource, especially for an introduction to topics and for bibliographies/references. Just type in the name of a philosopher or theory etc and it will show relevant entries.

Two works that I have dipped into on totalitarianism are listed in the totalitarianism section of the bibliography for this article plato.stanford.edu/entries/...plato-ethics-politics/#4.4 and are:

Karl Popper. The Open Society and its Enemies, Volume I: The Spell of Plato. 5th ed., Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971.

C.C.W. Taylor. “Plato's Totalitarianism.” Polis, 5 (1986): 4–29. Reprinted in Plato 2: Ethics, Politics, Religion, and the Soul, ed., Gail Fine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 280–296.

I hope that helps,

An Eccentric
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Posted Mar 7, 2010 - 3:55 PM:

You might also look into the fact that Plato became more totalitarian in his later work, possibly as a result of his beloved teacher Socrates being killed at the hands of a democracy.
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