Platos View of Justice Philosophical

Platos View of Justice Philosophical

1) Summary or Summaries: What Do I Include in the Summary or Summaries?

Think of your summary as a study aid you write for yourself. Be sure to identify the main ideas in the text and how the author supports them. Do not skip over large sections of text. Make it clear that you did the entire reading and did so carefully. You must summarize all of the readings assigned for that day.

When you write your summary of the reading try to illustrate what you think the author is saying to the best of your understanding. You will not be marked down for failing to comprehend the reading in its entirety. What I am looking for is evidence that you read it from start to finish and really tried your best to understand it. You are being assessed on genuine effort to understand the text and complete your homework in its entirety and to make relevant discussion points.

2) Two Philosophical Discussion Points: What is a Philosophical Discussion Point and How Do I Cite?

At the bottom of your summary or summaries you will have a total of two discussion points. Number them 1.) and 2.). The discussion points are philosophical—they illustrate whether you think the theorist is right or wrong and give reasons as to why. As such, your discussion point will start with either: A) you saying you think the theory is right and say why (give your own reasons) or B) you saying you think the theory is wrong and say why (give your own reasons). Be sure to elaborate on the reasons you think the theory is right or wrong, don’t just repeat what the theorist said…provide your own reasons.

The discussion points will make evident that you have done your reading by referring to specific content from the reading (i.e. you must cite the relevant section or sections of the reading) and through situating your discussion point in that portion of the text before making your discussion point. This means at least one sentence will have a citation for each of your discussion points. Your points are meant to spark discussion; they are the sort of points you would like to make in class. In fact, you will make these points during class. You will want your discussion points to provide evidence of completed reading, thoughtful engagement with the text, and crucial ideas/definitions being identified.

3) In the Summary How Do I Cite My Sources?

You must cite correctly. Your citation belongs at the end of every sentence in your summary; whether it be what the author says verbatim “which you put in quotation marks like so” or whether it be through paraphrasing in your own words. You need to cite after every sentence in your summary. I need to know where you take an idea to be located, sometimes I don’t know where you are taking an idea from or why you interpreted it that way. I need a frame of reference for your claim about the text. Also, citing in this way sets up a good practice to ensure that you never plagiarize. Moreover, it requires you to read carefully and not merely skim; citing after every sentence shows you know exactly where something was said. At the end of the sentence you must put the page number you got the content from. Here is an example: The short story illustrates an instance of bullying (14). If you wanted to provide an example that uses the text word for word from the author, then you use quotation marks like so: In the short story the author asserts that “Bullying is morally inexcusable; it fails to respect the person who is bullied and it fails to nurture compassion in the person who is being a bully” (14). If you want to cite different authors in the same sentence, use the last name of the author in the parenthesis so your reader knows which writer you are referring to. It would look like this: While one of the authors focused on the harshness of bullying (Willms, 13), the other focused on the pressure to meet social ideals (Rivad, 23). If more than one page is being cited you include all page numbers you are referring to (7-11). Even if you are citing two times in a row from the same page you still have to cite the page number at the end of each sentence. If you have questions don’t hesitate to email me with them. Be sure to conscientiously cite in your homework to ensure that you learn as much from this assignment as possible.


Note: Though not required, sometimes people like to use outside sources to support their view in their discussion points. If you get information from a website, cite the source by including the url in parenthesis at the end of the sentence, e.g. ( If you wish to cite from a book, then use the Chicago Manual of Style or APA format. If you need help send me an email.

Examples of Good Discussion Points

1. At first when I read Plato’s view of justice I thought it was incompatible with modern views of justice, where justice means being treated fairly (19, 30-31). But then I wondered whether Plato’s notion of each person doing what they are best at means they are all actually in fact being treated fairly? I found as I read that I agree with Socrates “that there are no two people born exactly alike” and each person has “innate differences which fit them for different occupations” so maybe it is only fair to let each person do what they excel at (19). As such, I found myself thinking that Plato does in fact have a defensible view of justice.

2. I’m not convinced that Socrates’ decision to use the state as an analogy for an individual is justified (18). People and states have some characteristics that are very different. One example is that people are living organisms and states are not. Another is that different rules apply at the individual level and the state level. For example, we hold individual people accountable when we punish them for wrong-doing and send them to jail, but we don’t punish a whole state for wrong-doing by sending everyone to jail.

Examples of Discussion Points That Need More Work

1. I have some worries about Plato’s view of justice.

2. Plato’s view of justice is a really good one because it applies today. (Plato).

3. Plato is wrong because justice is impossible to define.


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