PHIL 4115: Political Philosophy
Dr. Robert Lane
State University of West Georgia
Spring 2003
TERM PAPER 2

         Due date: Friday April 25 [note that this is four days later than the original due date specified on your syllabus]

         1500-2000 words (roughly 6-8 pages) DO NOT GO UNDER THE MINIMUM LENGTH OR EXCEED THE MAXIMUM LENGTH.

         Include a word-count at the beginning or end of your essay.

         Your essay must be typed and double-spaced. This will give me plenty of room to write comments on your papers. No handwritten essays will be accepted.

         Do not put your name anywhere on your essay. Rather, identify your paper with the last four digits of your social security number. This will help me grade your papers anonymously.

         Do not hand in your paper in a binder, folder, etc. Simply staple the pages together in the upper left corner.

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Suggested Topics

 

Critically discuss/evaluate one or more of the following topics, all of which we have covered (or will cover) in class:

 

Thomas Hobbes on

the State of Nature

Contracts, Covenants and Justice

The Creation of the Commonwealth

Different Forms of Commonwealth by Institution

The Liberty of Subjects

 

John Locke on

the Natural Moral Condition of Human Beings

the Creation of Civil Society

the Powers of Government

the Dissolution of Government

 

Karl Marx on

Private Property and Alienation

Communism

 

John Stuart Mill on

the Harm Principle

Utilitarianism

Arguments for Freedom of Thought and Expression (in On Liberty ch.2)

 

John Rawls on

"Justice as Fairness"

vs. Robert Nozick on Distributive Justice

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Misc. Things to Know

 

         You may choose to write on a topic other than those listed above. However, you must discuss your topic with me and get my permission first.

 

         Before you begin writing, please read my document, "Writing a Philosophy Paper," accessible from the class web site. You can also access it directly at http://www.westga.edu/~rlane/paperResources.html .

 

         You should also read the first section of James Pryor's document, "What Does One Do in a Philosophy Paper?" (the section entitled "What Does One Do In a Philosophy Paper?"). There is a link to this document from my own document (mentioned above); you can access it directly at http://www.princeton.edu/~jimpryor/general/writing.html#PhilPaper .

 

         When you use or refer to source material (either in your textbook or in some other edition(s) of the relevant work(s)), make sure to cite the specific page and/or passage to which you are referring. It is not sufficient to refer simply to my lecture notes (although you may of course refer to my notes if there is some original point contained therein that is relevant to your paper).

 

         If at any time you have questions or concerns about your paper, do not hesitate to contact me, either in person or by phone or email.

 

         REMEMBER: LATE PAPERS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED UNLESS YOU HAVE SECURED MY ADVANCE PERMISSION TO TURN YOUR PAPER IN LATE! There will be no exceptions to this rule.



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