Substantive Thesis: Does the thesis argue a position, rather than merely describe what will be discussed?It has been argued that Aristotle suffered from the “mortgage of the polis.” By this it is meant that his political theory took as the fundamental unit of study, the polis, a political form that was already obsolete and that his “tasks of political science” were irrelevant in an age of empire. Were Aristotle’s discussions of nature, political knowledge, and the tasks of political science irrelevant in the Hellenistic period? Are they irrelevant today? Explain. Be sure to include:
1. Aristotle’s criticisms of Plato and his view of political science. Be sure to use his account of the practical sciences and its contrast with Plato’s theoretical approach toward political science.
2. The difference that Aristotle’s account of nature and the “naturalness of the polis” makes.
3. The relevant changes and differences in philosophy/political science in the Hellenistic period. How did the Hellenistic schools/thinkers deal with nature and convention? How did the concept of “Natural Law” develop and what were its implications?
4. How are the concepts of the “universal brotherhood of man” and “natural law” related to modern concepts of natural rights, human rights, and international law? What other comparisons and contrasts can be made to modern politics?
1000-1200 words. Be sure to have a substantive thesis and use parenthetical citation to the text.
Criteria/Rubric: Aristotle and Hellenism
Does the essay address, appropriately, all parts of the question? 20 points
Substantive Thesis: Does the thesis argue a position, rather than merely describe what will be discussed? 10 points
Topic Sentences, Evidence, and Parenthetical Citation: Does the essay use topic sentences to support their thesis, and evidence to support the topic sentences? Do they cite outside sources and use parenthetical citation to document passages and specific references? Is the writing too colloquial (for instance, heavy reliance on first person)? 20 points
Evaluate Aristotle’s criticisms of Plato. Make sure to include their different accounts of knowledge and Political Science. 20 points
Describe Aristotle’s view of Political Science, the changes that gave rise to Hellenistic political thought. Did Aristotle fail to appreciate the changing times? 20 points
Which approach has more to offer contemporary Political Science? Explain. 10 points