Format: Approximately 900 words minimum (about 3 pages; not counting bibliography or title page), double spaced, Times New Roman font, size 12, 1 inch margin on all sides. The format of these papers should be in Chicago, APA, or MLA style. The general structure of the paper should be in basic essay format: introduction, body, and conclusion. Be very careful to cite your sources; this is a research paper. Only primary sources are allowed – no secondary sources whatsoever.

Objective: In addition to recognizing the logical and rhetorical use of arguments, students will show an ability to present their own counter arguments. In a writing assignment, students will correctly identify and explain the premises and conclusion in the analysis of an argument, and then present a counter argument.

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Pick ONE of the following:
1. In Book I of Plato’s Republic, Thrasymachus argues that what we call “justice” is really weakness, and that strength is only found in being “unjust.” Explain Thrasymachus’ position, and analyze his argument for it, identifying the premises and conclusion. Then, pick one of Socrates’ counter-arguments to Thrasymachus, again identifying the premises and conclusion. Finally, explain Socrates’ counter-argument to Thrasymachus, showing how it successfully countered Thrasymachus’ own argument.

2. In Book I of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle argued against pleasure and the life of gratification being the greatest good. Provide a “devil’s advocate” argument for pleasure being the greatest good, taking care to identify the premises and conclusion within your argument. Then, explain Aristotle’s counter-argument against pleasure being the greatest good, again, making sure to identify the premises and conclusion.

3. In Books XIII and IX of Plato’s Republic, Socrates argues that Democracy is just one step above Tyranny. Provide a “devil’s advocate” argument for Democracy being the best kind of government based on its promotion of total freedom and tolerance, taking care to identify the premises and conclusion within your argument. Then, explain Socrates’ counter-argument against this, again, making sure to identify the premises and conclusion.

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