In this paper you will be explaining what you think are the important elements of a good city (for example, the role of:  education, morality, power, money), and second and very important for a political theory class – how will your city achieve these goals.

All parts of your city should be discussed in relation to the ideas of the thinkers we have studied.  This means that you should not write a long paragraph without discussing the ideas of at least one of the philosophers.  You can use the philosophers by comparing each element of your plans for your city to the ideas of a philosopher. Or you can agree with certain parts of a thinker’s ideas and use them for your city.  But always explain your points and how the philosophers’ ideas relate to your ideas.

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You should draw on the ideas of the political philosophers that you have found to be most helpful or most insightful about human nature and politics. For a good grade on the paper it is important to work with specific details from the philosophies we have studied. The best way to do this is to use quotes or paraphrase their specific ideas, but make sure you explain what the quotes mean and how they support your point. Your priorities for this city should guide what you write, but use the philosopher’s ideas to help you explain and analyze the ideas more fully.

(It is important to use specific ideas from the philosopher, including quotes, but make sure that you understand what the quotes are saying.  Spend the time to find the right quotes!)

In explaining your ideal city/state you might address some of the following topics (for each question think in terms of the ideas you have learned in class).  These are just suggestions:

– What is your understanding of knowledge?  How do people understand their world and how much can they know for certain?  How does this influence the way you design your city?

– What do you think about human nature?

– What is the ethical and moral basis of your city/state?  How do you balance freedom and order?

– What form of government does your city/state have?  For example is it a democracy, monarchy, or a blend of several kinds?  Why have you chosen it?

– What do you think about the effects of money and wealth?  How will your city/state be based on this, or how will it address the problems created by an imbalance in wealth? What sort of economic system will be in place in your city/state?

– Is there a role for myth or religion in your city?  Why or why not?  If there is, what is it and why is it needed?

When answering the questions may sure to explain how the various elements fit together.  So human nature, ethics, religion, wealth will all relate to each other and to what kind of government you design.  Organization of your ideas in clear paragraphs is key to a good grade!  This may be best done by trying to solve a major problem you see in a country or city.  Then use the different topics to show how they all contribute to the solution.  This is not necessary, but might help you write a more cohesive paper…… philosophers include plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Augustine, machiavelli, more, Hobbes, Locke, Kant, mill, smith, and Marx.

 

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