Socrates

Write an essay (1300 words) on ONE of the following topics.

1. Is Socrates right to claim that vengeance is always wrong? (In your answer be sure to give a careful definition of vengeance; consider how it might differ from just punishment.)

2. Plato compares a just individual with a just state. What do the two have in common? How do they differ? What does Plato try to achieve with the comparison? Does he succeed?

3. Is Aristotle right to say that the final goal or end of all rational action is the achievement of a happy (eudaimonic) life? (In your answer be sure to give a careful definition of eudaimonia; consider how it differs from conventional accounts of happiness.)

4. Is Epicurus right to argue that the cultivation of expensive and unnecessary tastes do not increase life’s pleasures, but only make it harder for us to live a pleasant life? (Be sure to answer this question in terms of Epicurus’s theory of negative hedonism. You can, if you wish, reject this theory and still look for reasons to criticise expensive and unnecessary tastes.)

5. Hobbes thinks that the state of nature will reduce to a war of all against all. Locke thinks it will not. Who is right?

6. Kant claims that it is wrong to lie. On what basis does he claim this? Is he right?

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