Write a 2200–2700-word paper responding to ONE of these questions. Make sure that you cite your sources in-text, have an intro and conclusion, and consider and respond to objections or responses to the views you put forward in the evaluative section.

  1. What is the basic challenge (or challenges) to justice Thrasymachus, Glaucon, and Adeimantus put forth in Republic? What do they argue about justice and injustice? In what way does Socrates, using the account of justice in the city and in the soul he develops in the republic, answer this challenge? How does he try to show that justice is worthwhile or valuable? Do you think his answer succeeds? If so, why? If not, why not?
  2. In Book I of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle considers what the human good could be. What does he ultimately argue is the good for humans? What is it called, and what, in more detail, is it? What is his argument (or arguments), and how does it (or do they) invoke the concept of functioning? Do you think his arguments are correct? Is there any interpretation on which his arguments work? Why or why not?
  3. In Book II of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle gives an account of virtue. What, according to Aristotle, is a virtue? What does virtue accomplish? What features characterize virtue? In particular, what does it mean to say that virtue is ‘a mean?’ Discuss this in relation to examples of virtues like courage. Is Aristotle’s account of virtue plausible? Does it succeed, and to what degree does it do so? Explain your answer.
  4. Explain Aristotle’s idea that nature operates for the sake of an end or purpose in Book II of the Physics. Then explain his arguments for it. What kind of views does he contrast his view with, and why does he reject those views? Give his reasoning. Is his view a plausible view? If not, are there at least some elements that are plausible? Why or why not?
  5. Explain what Aristotle means in De Anima when he discusses “a natural body that is potentially alive.” In relation to this, why is the soul called a ‘first actuality’ (as opposed to just ‘actuality,’ like form in general)? Then, explain what Aristotle means when he says that a soul is the formal, efficient and final cause of a living thing. What kind of question does each of these ‘causes’ pertain to, and how does each answer the relevant question? Give examples. Finally, do you think that it is the soul, as Aristotle conceives of it, should really be thought to serve as all the kinds of cause/provide all the kinds of explanation Aristotle thinks they do? (in answering this]] question, remember that the term ‘cause,’ as used here, is not always equivalent to the term cause as we use it).