Please note this week's assignment schedule:
Tuesday 2/3 - Questions on Aristotle's Politics (Book 3) due. Each response should be a paragraph (5+ sentences) and include direct quotations from the text. Be sure to analyze and offer your own insight of each quotation included.
- In Book 3, Aristotle seeks to determine what a state is. He first considers what the state is composed of: citizens. What is a citizen, and what are the excellences of a citizen? What is the difference between a good man and a good citizen? Who is considered a citizen?
- What are the different "true" forms of government? What are the different principles upon which each is based? What are the "perversions" of the "true" forms of government?
- What does Aristotle mean by "justice is…equality-not, however, for all, but only for equals." (Book 3, chapter 9) Consider also his discussion of flute-players in Book 3, chapter 12.
- What is the purpose of the state? For what sake does it exist? (Book 3, chapter 9)
Wednesday 2/4 - Questions on Machiavelli's The Prince due at the beginning of class. You are NOT required to read the entire book - you should skim through the parts of the book required to answer the assigned questions below. You may also include content discussed in class. As a reminder, each response should be a paragraph (5+ sentences) and include direct quotations from the text. Be sure to analyze and offer your own insight of each quotation included.
Machiavelli categorizes political regimes into two main types: principalities and republics.
- What are the different types of principalities?
- In chapters 6-9 of The Prince, Machiavelli discusses different ways of founding new principalities: through one's own arms and "skill" (virtù), through arms and the fortunes of others, through wickedness, or through the support of fellow citizens. What are some of the examples he gives of men who founded new principalities through their own skill (virtù)? What does he mean by "skill" (virtù)? For example, how did Cesare Borgia display this skill? (see chapter 7) What distinguishes Borgia from Agathocles the Sicilian, who lacked this skill in Machiavelli's view? (see chapter 8)
- "A prince…must not have any other object nor any other thought, nor must he take anything as his profession but war, its institutions, and its discipline…" (chapter 14, p. 124). Why does Machiavelli attach so much importance to military art?
- Why is it better for a prince to be feared than loved? (see chapter 17)
- Machiavelli refers to "Fortune" throughout The Prince. He says, for example, that some princes acquired their principalities "by means of their own skill and not because of Fortune…" (p. 93), that "…Fortune is the arbiter of one half of our actions…" (159) and that "…it is better to be impetuous than cautious, because Fortune is a woman, and it is necessary, in order to keep her down, to beat her and to struggle with her" (162). What does he mean by "Fortune"?
Friday 2/6 - Read and summarize "Unlocking Liberty" (The Economist). Do you agree with the article's application of Locke's principles? Explain.