The Republic of Plato

| February 17, 2014

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I want this paper about a passage from a book which called (The Republic of Plato 2nd edition). this passage from (Book3.415d) to (Book3.417b). The first part of the paper shall be an exposition of the assigned passage in which the student restates the points made in the passage in her or his own words. The second part of the paper shall briefly interpret the assigned passage. At least two secondary sources must be used in each paper.
Use Stephanus pages in all citations to your assigned passage or to any other passage in the Republic.
Use Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) also known as Turabian. A summary of CMS can be found in Diana Hacker’s A Writer’s Reference or in Hacker and Sommers’ The Bedford Handbook.
Use footnotes (ctrl+alt+f) rather than endnotes.
The structure of the essay should be: brief introduction, body of the paper, conclusion.
The brief introduction should state in a sentence or two or perhaps three what the assigned passage is about. The operative word here is “brief.” The entire paper is 750-1000 words.
The introduction should state the passage you are examining and the thesis statement of your paper.
The body of the paper should include both an exposition and an interpretation of the passage.
Your exposition should explain in YOUR OWN WORDS what the assigned passage says. This will require summarizing parts of the passage, paraphrasing parts of the passage, and using quotations judiciously to support your reading.
The exposition should follow the outline of the passage, giving emphasis to the salient points. There is not space to say every last thing in the assigned passage. Identify what is important. What is the organizing principle of the assigned passage?
In the interpretative section, the task is to explain 1) what the assigned passage claims and then 2) how the claim answers some question. For example, Socrates may be responding to Homer. Another approach would be to interpret the claim in terms of some long-standing philosophical question (e.g. “being, seeming and knowing,” “the relationship between poetry and philosophy,” or “the relationship between the body and the soul”—N.B. I am not suggesting these specific questions, rather I am only giving examples of the kind of problem to which any philosopher might respond).
As you review the class-notes, and the required texts, watch for material which relates to your assigned passage.
One way of understanding the difference between the expository and interpretive writing is that the exposition explains what a passage says and the interpretation explains what the passage means.
You are required to use at least two secondary sources; your grade will be affected by the quality and quantity of your secondary sources.
The conclusion should state again what the passage is about and how you have interpreted it; the conclusion differs from the introduction, in that you have made your reader familiar with the assigned passage in the body of the essay. Now you can amplify your summary. Imagine drawing a picture of a person’s face. At first, you sketch the features of the person in simple lines. That is the introduction. After you have studied the person’s face in detail (the body of the essay), you can go back and add specific features and color to the picture (the conclusion). The conclusion should illuminate the examined passage.
Remember that this is not an opinion or reflection piece; you are to write NOT about what you think, RATHER about what the passage says and then to interpret what it is says.
The structure of the paper should approximately conform to the following outline:
A. Introductory Paragraph:
“In this passage, Socrates claims that . . . .” This should be a sentence or two.
“In establishing his own position, Socrates seems to be responding to Homer [as one possible example] when he writes, . . . .” This should be another two or three sentences.
A final sentence in the introduction might indicate what your paper will demonstrate, e.g., “This paper will show how Socrates inverts Homer’s relationship of the body and the soul.”
Please remember that this is a very short paper; there is not space enough for anything but a very brief introduction. This is not the place to rehearse the history of the world or even of philosophy. An appropriate introductory paragraph might present an outline of the passage.
B. The Body of the Essay:
Exposition:
Begin by explaining the claim as supported by the passage; the exposition should then explain the reasons for thinking that Socrates of the Republic is responding to whatever author or problem. This should include citations from the assigned passage that point to whichever author or problem which has been chosen) as well as from other passages in the Republic.
The discussion should be convincing that your identification of the claim is correct (or at least reasonable) and how your interpretation clarifies the claim (i.e. why your interpretation helps the reader to understand the assigned passage better).
Interpretation:
Establish your interpretive stance, e.g., “Socrates’ position on the character of the soul will be interpreted in relation to Homer’s understanding of soul.”
It may help to situate your passage in a larger context, i.e., of the section, or even of the entire work.
Develop one point, or at the most, two points. Again, there is little space; use what is available for depth rather than breadth.
C. Conclusion:
The concluding paragraph should summarize both your exposition and interpretation.
There should be some final point which has become clear through the development of your interpretation. Upon reading the conclusion, something in the passage should be illuminated which was not obvious in the introduction.
NOTE: Please avoid generalizations or statements about historical context (except as it bears specifically on your interpretation) or lessons for today. This essay is about your assigned passage and how you expose and interpret the passage in relation to some philosophical idea or principle.
Secondary Sources:
First, part of the reason for my setting the Bloom translation of the Republic is because of the extensive notes and interpretive essay which accompany the translation. In no way, do I expect you to agree with Professor Bloom’s interpretation, but this does provide you with an easy first secondary source.
Students often use Cliff or Spark notes as default sources. While those sources may give the reader a general sense of the text, they are inferior sources for use in a scholarly paper (which is what you are being asked to write). Wikipedia often gives a good and occasionally an excellent quick understanding of a topic, but it is a generalist’s resource and should only be used as a possible beginning of your research.
On-line resources which are more specifically philosophical as well as reliable are:
http://plato.stanford.edu/
http://www.iep.utm.edu/.
I commend both of them to you.
If you use internet sources, I strongly suggest that you print out the portion you are using and attach it to your paper.
I also strongly recommend The Cambridge Companion to Plato’s Republic, ed. G.R.F. Ferrari, which I have had placed on reserve in the Mullen Library.
Follow the instructions that on the chosen file uploaded.
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