Choose ONE of the following three options and write an essay in response.
Whether writing about the human “state of nature” or about the earth itself, Locke treats “nature” as something to mold, use, or transform. How does this premise or starting-point shape his argument about politics? What would happen to the rest of Locke’s argument if we reject his premise (as either Plato or Aquinas might recommend)?
Plato teaches that true politics is the care or crafting of souls. What would Locke say in response? Why might this difference between the two thinkers be important?
Locke’s ideas have influenced American politics and political culture. Which of Locke’s ideas feel familiar? Reading Locke, do you find yourself agreeing or disagreeing with those familiar ideas? Why?
As before, your essay should be about two pages long (double-spaced, about 600-800 words). It is due by 5:00pm on Monday, November 16. Submit your essay by clicking on the “Short essay 5” heading above. Please submit a .doc or .pdf document.
For this course we are using these readings and books:
Plato, Gorgias, trans. Donald J. Zeyl (Hackett Publishing, ISBN 9780872200166)
Benedict, The Rule of St Benedict, trans. Carolinne White (Penguin Classics, ISBN
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, trans. George Bull (Penguin, ISBN 9780140449150)
John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government (Broadview Press, ISBN 9781554811564)
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, trans. Samuel Moore (Oxford World Classics, ISBN 9780199535712)
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