A just human being (according to Socrates) would be happiest

A just human being (according to Socrates) would be happiest

Write a 1500-1700 word essay on the following topic.  This essay should be your own work and make frequent use of evidence from the Republic. Use of outside sources is discouraged.


Topic: If you were to found your own city, which of Socrates’ regimes would you institute there in order to be happiest? As you are no doubt just, you would surely agree with Socrates that you ought to found his city-in-speech (aristocracy). Or would you? For your essay, argue for the regime where you think a just human being (according to Socrates) would be happiest: the city-in-speech (aristocracy), or one of the four defective regimes of book 8. The support for your argument must include a description of the just soul according to Socrates, as well as a description of the activities of each class in the regime you are founding.


Additional guidance: A good essay has a clear thesis that stakes a position in response to the prompt, and considers counterarguments. For this prompt, if you choose to argue that another regime than the city-in-speech (aristocracy) is the best regime for the just soul, you should argue for why aristocracy is not. Or, if arguing for aristocracy, why none of the other regimes would be equally satisfying.


What we especially want to see from your essay is that you have understood the following: (a) the structure of the just soul, and why that structure makes it just; (b) the structure of the city-in-speech (aristocracy), and why Socrates argues it is most just; and (c) the extent to which justice and happiness are reconciled in the city you choose to found. All answers are not equally viable, but there are multiple positions for this paper that could make for an effective essay.


The whole of the Republic is potentially relevant for the essay, but you can begin from the first elaboration of the just soul in book 4, which culminates in a description of the just soul at 443d-e. The elaboration of that soul from the end of book 5 to book 7, as well as the descriptions of the other regimes in book 8, will also be essential.


Reminders from the syllabus:


ESSAYS MUST CITE PRIMARY SOURCES. Paper evaluation will be based largely on demonstrated familiarity with the readings.


Sources should be cited correctly, using CMS format. Use of secondary sources is discouraged, but if used they must be cited. A link to the Chicago Manual of Style can be found here: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html.


Papers should be submitted as Word documents (.doc or .docx) to Turnitin through Blackboard.



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