What role should reason, freedom, and the passions play in our understanding of the just life?

Human Nature Exam 2

Directions: Answer one of the following questions in a 4-5 page argumentative essay. Be sure to consider objections to your position. Upload the completed exam to the Exam Two Drop Box by July 21 at 9:00 PM.

1. Must an account of goodness attempt to demonstrate a convergence between happiness and justice? Answer this question with reference to Plato, St. Thomas, Marx, and Kant.

2. Can morality be construed as anything other than a categorical imperative? Discuss Aristotle, Marx, Sartre, and Kant in your answer.

3. Rousseau argues that man in his natural state is superior to man in his civilized state, while Aristotle and Locke disagree. Addressing these thinkers, determine what role society plays in moral formation and whether that role is good.

4. What role should reason, freedom, and the passions play in our understanding of the just life? Compare Kant, Epictetus, Sartre, and Rousseau.

5. Does the best theory of justice place individual rights over social goods or social goods over individual rights? Answer this question with reference to Locke, Plato, and Marx.

6. One of Dostoevsky’s characters suggests, "Without God, everything is permissible." Is this true? Answer the question by considering whether an account of human nature divorced from any conception of the divine could offer morally binding principles of conduct. Refer to at least three of the philosophers we’ve studied in your answer.

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