Final Essay Topic
Human Nature, Society, and Justice
Style: This assignment asks you to write an essay, which means a carefully organized, grammatically correct, unified and continuous discussion of the assigned topic.
Audience: Assume that you are writing for an audience with the same level of education and intelligence as yourself, but whose members have not taken this course.
Step One: Introduce the topic by explaining how ONE of the following selections disagrees with the way neo-classical economic theory defines human nature: Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Law, Morality, and Vietnam by Rosemary and John Bannan, the Václav Havel selection. End the introduction by telling the reader that the paper will examine the way an assumed definition of human nature affects the way we identify the role of society and the demands of justice.
Step Two: Explain how Maritain identifies the nature of a human being, the purpose of human life, and the role human nature and its purpose ought to play in determining the structure of social existence.
Step Three: State briefly how TWO of the following philosophies identify the nature of a human being, the purpose of human life, and the social organization demanded by these principles: Locke, Mill, Hegel, Marxism.
Step Four: Select from the philosophies explained in Steps Two and Three the one that in your judgment can best take care of the fundamental concerns implicit in the others. Explain how it can do this. You must state explicitly what the fundamental concerns of the others are and precisely how the one you have selected takes care of them.
Step Five: Explain how the philosophy selected in Step Four would define the relation between the justice demands of human nature and neo-classical economics.
Step Six: Provide citations supporting each major point as follows: In parentheses at the end of the discussion that makes a point, give the author’s name and (for Locke or Hegel) specific paragraph numbers, for all the other authors specific page numbers.
Step Seven: On a separate sheet at the end of the assignment give the title Works Cited. Then list the works cited including the following information: the author’s full name, the full title of the work in italics or underlined, in the case of Hegel and Maritain the name of the translator (preceded by trans), in the case of Marx the editor of the collection (preceded by ed.), in parentheses the place of publication followed by a colon, the publishing house followed by a comma, and the date of publication.
Final Essay Topic