What are the premises, and what are the conclusions?

What are the premises, and what are the conclusions?

What are the premises, and what are the conclusions? The paper will have to begin with a statement about the question you are going to discuss. Then, you will have to argue, i.e. to make the case for what you are saying. Author X says Y: why does he do so? How does he justify his claims? What is his logic? What are the premises, and what are the conclusions? Against whom, or after whom, does he think Y? Emphasize comparisons and contrasts, but not in a vague, generic fashion. Use evidence, which means specific references to the texts you comment, and quotations of passages (but not too long, maximum 4 lines). It has to be a demonstration of your points, not a catalogue. Always mention your sources (Author, title, chapter), including extra readings. A conclusion, summarizing the argument, is also needed.

If you wish to consult introductions to the Authors and/or topics, I recommend the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. It is a scholarly resource, to be found on line: clear, regularly updated, and reliable. http://plato.stanford.edu

Justice and power are central preoccupations for all the political theorists. Discuss how different forms of government (especially monarchy and democracy) presuppose a normative conception of authority, liberty, and equality. Pay particular attention to the interference of governments, and the law, in people’s lives. The Authors to be included are: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Marx, and Freud.

(Use only the texts provided)


Aristotle, Politics Book 1 and 7
(trans. Rackham)


Book 1
[1252a] [1]Every state is as we see a sort of partnership,1 and every partnership is formed with a view to
some good (since all the actions of all mankind are done with a view to what they think to be
good). It is therefore evident that, while all partnerships aim at some good the partnership
that is the most supreme of all and includes all the others does so most of all, and aims at the
most supreme of all goods; and this is the partnership entitled the state, the political
association. Those then who think that the natures of the statesman, the royal ruler, the head
of an estate2 and the master of a family are the same, are mistaken (they imagine that the
difference between these various forms of authority is one of greater and smaller numbers,
not a difference in the kind—that is, that the ruler over a few people is a master, over more the
head of an estate, over more still a statesman or royal ruler, as if there were no difference
between a large household and a small city; and also as to the statesman and the royal ruler,
they think that one who governs as sole head is royal, and one who, while the government
follows the principles of the science of royalty, takes turns to govern and be governed is a
statesman; but these views are not true). And a proof that these people are mistaken will
appear if we examine the question in accordance with our regular method of investigation. In
1every other matter it is necessary to analyze the composite whole down to its uncompounded
elements (for these are the smallest [20] parts of the whole); so too with the state, by
examining the elements of which it is composed we shall better discern in relation to these
different kinds of rulers what is the difference between them, and whether it is possible to
obtain any scientific precision in regard to the various statements made above.
In this subject as in others the best method of investigation is to study things in the process of
development from the beginning. The first coupling together of persons then to which
necessity gives rise is that between those who are unable to exist without one another: for
instance the union of female and male for the continuance of the species (and this not of
deliberate purpose, but with man as with the other animals and with plants there is a natural
instinct to desire to leave behind one another being of the same sort as oneself); and the
union of natural ruler and natural subject for the sake of security (for he that can foresee
with his mind is naturally ruler and naturally master, and he that can do these things3 with his
body is subject and naturally a slave; so that master and slave have the same interest).
[1252b] [1] Thus the female and the slave are by nature distinct (for nature makes nothing as
the cutlers make the Delphic knife,4 in a niggardly way, but one thing for one purpose; for so
each tool will be turned out in the finest perfection, if it serves not many uses but one). Yet
among barbarians the female and the slave have the same rank; and the cause of this is that
barbarians have no class of natural rulers, but with them the conjugal partnership is a
partnership of female slave and male slave. Hence the saying of the poets5— “ ‘Tis meet that
Greeks should rule barbarians,—


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