Posted: November 9th, 2015



The audience is the same as before: a friend who doesn’t know any philosophy. Make

sure to clearly explain key terms; give examples wherever possible; offer textual

support for your interpretive claims; acknowledge your sources; and consider

reasonable objections to your critical claims. The recommended structure is the

same as before, except that you must include a thesis statement at the beginning of

your paper. Ask your TA what a thesis statement is. 1. Write 4 pages that addresses

one of the topics below well.

TOPIC A Briefly explain what Glaucon’s challenge is to Socrates at the start of

Book II of the Republic, and then briefly explain how Socrates’s analogy with

bodily health at the end of Book IV of the Republic is supposed to respond to that

challenge. Is the response a good one? Why or why not?

TOPIC B Explain Callicles’s view of what’s good and admirable in a human life. Is

his view the right one? Why or why not?

TOPIC C Explain Aristotle’s “function argument” from Book I of the Nicomachean

Ethics. Is the argument a good one? Why or why not?

TOPIC D Explain why the Dalai Lama thinks that universal compassion is a necessary

condition for real happiness for human beings. Is the Dalai Lama right about this?

Why or why not?

TOPIC E Explain Mill’s criterion for one kind of pleasure being qualitatively

superior to another kind. Is Mill right that pleasures of the intellect are

qualitatively superior to the kinds of pleasure that a pig could enjoy? Why or why


TOPIC F Is pleasure the only intrinsic good? Why or why not? (In writing on this

topic, you must explain and critically discuss the views of at least one of the

philosophers we have read.)


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