Answer two out of three questions. Each essay should present the arguments of the thinkers that respond to questions in the prompt.
- Present Hobbes’, Locke’s, and Rousseau’s state of nature. Argue how their conception of state of nature leads to their conception of legitimate sovereign power. Be clear what elements are similar and what elements are distinct. How do Hamilton and Madison include elements from each thinker’s conception of sovereignty in the Constitution? How would Marx or Aristotle criticize the contract view of sovereign power? Which view of sovereignty do you think is best and why? Give one argument.
- How does Socrates defend the philosophical life in the Apology? Why does the philosophical life challenge the political life or political authority? How does Plato resolve this tension in the Crito? How does Aristotle argue against Plato’s solution? How does political society promote the ends of a human life? How does Aristotle’s view radically differ from contract views of political power and political authority? How does Augustine challenge Aristotle’s view of politics? Which of these four views is superior and why (that is, Plato’s, Aristotle’s, liberalism [contractarian], or Augustine’s)?