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Decision-making and Philosophy Part II: Philosophy and the Community

Whereas Part I focused on how you as an individual are impacted by a particular decision, Part II focuses on the individual as a member of a community. Thus, you will write an eight- to ten-page research paper based upon a current event/pressing social issue that is relevant to your community. You should address the following points in your analysis:

 

Many philosophic texts approach a study of the history of political philosophy by asking how each historical thinker or system addressed the questions “What is justice?” and “What is a just society?”

The problem with this approach is that it is not clear that the notion of justice has a single meaning that can be compared between these systems. That is, while there might be some agreement among them, most social philosophies have radically different notions of what counts as justice, fairness, and so forth. As you might expect, this disagreement stems from more fundamental disagreements about basic metaphysical and epistemic issues.

For our purposes, we'll take a general look at each of the systems to attempt to see what a society constructed on its principles would look like. This will require us to return to many of the ideas we’ve discussed earlier, including questions about human freedom, ethics, and the self.

One approach to social justice involves the idea that society should be based on virtue. Based on what we’ve learned thus far, it should come as no surprise that Plato and Aristotle were early proponents of this view. However, nearly a century before Plato, the Chinese philosopher Confucius set forth a theory of the ideal society based upon key virtues such as benevolence and respect. This makes Confucius an ethical humanist, in that he believed that human intelligence can and should be aimed at promoting the general welfare. Confucius set forth his version of humanism in the form of specific sayings collected by his students.

Like Confucius, Plato’s version of the ideal society was partly a response to the social and political conditions of his time. Plato lived in a limited democracy. That is, Greek men were allowed to participate equally in political life, but women, slaves, and non-Greeks were excluded. Plato was concerned about the “tyranny of the majority”; that is, he was worried about the tendency of people to become swayed by irrational arguments, fear, and the like, such as the fear that led to the conviction and execution of his friend and teacher Socrates.

Instead, Plato proposed a society that allowed people equal opportunity to develop their unique talents. The education and governance of these people would be left to those whose philosophical natures were best suited to this task. Interestingly enough, Plato believed that women were equally as likely as men to develop such philosophical natures, and therefore, he is often thought of as one of the first philosophers to be concerned with gender equality.

Similarly, Aristotle also recognized that human beings are political animals by nature. Aristotle believed that political life should be focused on “distributive justice”—the idea that wealth and goods should be similarly distributed in society, and that poverty and other social inequality might be a sign that society is unjust. However, like Plato, he did not believe in the idea that is fundamental to American culture, that is, the idea that all persons should participate equally in society.

 

Recall that the purpose of this course was to give you an entry point into contemporary philosophy by examining some of the most significant and provocative texts in the history of Western philosophy.

The course took you through a thematic journey into the study of philosophy. Each week of the course focused on a different aspect of philosophical inquiry including:

  1. The origins of philosophy,
  2. The self and human freedom
  3. Metaphysics
  4. Ethics
  5. Politics and social justice

The ultimate goal of the course was to encourage you to reflect upon your beliefs, understand the relevance of philosophy for your daily life, and develop critical thinking skills. Hopefully, the course lectures have awakened your interest enough to explore philosophy again in the future and to keep thinking about how philosophical reflection can be a part of your life.

 

Here starts the assignment... that was just extra info.....

  

 

  • Identify a social issue
  • Identify news articles that present at least two different points-of-view on the issue
  • Explain why the issue is relevant to your community
  • Explain the nature of religious belief  and identify the social norms and religious values/beliefs that inform the various perspectives on the issue
  • Explain a relevant ethical theory
  • Explain a relevant political theory

Analyze how the chosen theories might approach the issue, including the relevant considerations and the ultimate conclusion reached. You will be expected to explain the relevant theories with support from the course texts (with particular emphasis placed on the primary texts) and from pre-approved secondary sources (including, but not limited to, the course text, online lectures, and a list of suggested online resources).

use APA forat Site correctly and no copy and paste

 

This must be an issue you can fine in the USA in Illinois

 

due 6/05/2014

Answers

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