what is your conception of human nature?

4-7 pages (1000-1750 words)

plus a cover page simple outline: thinkers’ key ideas and how they relate/integrate

no name

Canvas Turnitin  

Email a copy to me too as backup/timestamp


This is an essay, it is not a formal paper

BUT: organization is required – introduction, structure to the paper body, conclusion

A thesis statement would be good at the start – helps both you and me keep focused

good spelling and good grammar – expected


Drawing upon at least 4 thinkers we’ve studied this term (at least 1 East & 1 West)


Big Picture:

what is your conception of human nature?

              based upon that, what is the best achievable community?


On that Basis:

               imagine you’re a leader, or part of a leadership group (i.e. a legislator)

                            choosing one of Aristotle’s 6 different forms of constitution, or a variation on them,

                            (explaining which one and why)


how will you help bring about that social order?

                           what will be the role of leadership in

                           emulation, if any? cultivation, if any?


what is the notion of justice uniting the community?

                          divine, natural, human? explain in some detail

what will be the role of laws in supporting that notion of justice?

                          to promote good behavior, to punish bad behavior, to…?

                          to address power differentials (i.e. equity),

                          of the many against the few, the powerful against the weak…?

given your discussion above,

            what as leader do you choose as your top 3 policy actions and why


note: you cannot turn your back on your responsibility towards the
social order by going Daoist and forsaking civilization.  You are tasked
to figure out how to bring out the best in a large group of people, be
it a city-state or a country.


(see other side)


Kongzi/Mengzi count as 1 person

One of the 4 thinkers: can be used to argue against

 – that might be a good strategy so as to clarify what differentiates
your thinking from other thinkers, though it’s also great if you can
clarify, for those thinkers you use, what parts you do not accept/use.


You can use an additional 5th thinker not from the course that speaks to you, à but use them ‘litely’

 – the purpose of the essay is to assess how well you understand course thinkers (not just some point but their broader logic or ethics) and can incorporate them coherently, creatively into your own thinking and actions. 


You do not have to use quotations but if there’s a motto/maxim/sound
bite (or two or three) that speaks to you, you’re encouraged to drop it
in (with citation). Words of Wisdom Rock!


In this essay: “I” is fine


of course, I am interested in your own views/argument

that said, feel free to discuss/debate your views with other classmates to test/sharpen your views

I’m looking forward to reading your informed structured argumen

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