Political Philosophy (PHIL 4115)

Spring 2003

Study Guide: Test 1: Plato and Aristotle


This test will be worth 20% of your total course grade. This is a timed test; you will have from 12:00pm to 12:50pm to complete the test.


You are required to provide your own blue book for the test. Blue books are mini notebooks designed especially for students to take tests with. They are available from the UWG Bookstore. They are available in two sizes: small and large. Small should be large enough, unless you have really large handwriting, in which case you may want to use a large bluebook. They are very inexpensive (less than $.50 each).


You will be required to write two essays, one on Plato and one on Aristotle. You will be given at least two Plato questions from which to choose, and at least two Aristotle questions from which to choose. Your answers to these questions should be as detailed, clear and precise as time allows.


The questions will be drawn from the following list:



Discuss the account of justice defended by Thrasymachus in Republic Book I, as well as how Socrates responds to this account.


Discuss Plato's account of the origin and development of the polis as given in Republic Books II - III.


Discuss Plato's account of the justice of a polis as given in Republic Book IV.


Discuss Plato's defense of familial communism among the guardian class as given in Republic Book V.


Discuss Plato's concept of the Form of the Good (to agathon). Your discussion should incorporate at least two of the three analogies Plato uses in Republic Books VI-VII and should make clear how the issue of the Form of the Good is relevant to Plato's political philosophy.


Discuss Plato's account, given in Republic Book VIII, of how a monarchy/aristocracy can degenerate through successive stages to become a tyranny.




Discuss Aristotle's accounts of the different forms of human association and natural subordination as given in Politics Book I.


Discuss Aristotle's criticisms of Plato's (i) emphasis on unity, (ii) familial communism and (iii) property communism, as given in Politics Book II.


Discuss Aristotle's account of different forms of government in Politics Book III.


Discuss the account of distributive justice that Aristotle gives in Politics III:9 and 12.


Discuss Aristotle's account of eudaimonia and what it implies about the polis as a whole, as given in Politics VII(4):1-3. (In your discussion, you may incorporate relevant material from the Nichomachean Ethics, but your answer should focus primarily on the role of eudaimonia in Aristotle's political philosophy.)


Discuss Aristotle's account of the means by which a polis can attain eudaimonia in Politics VII(4): 13-15.



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