Texts: -Plato’s Five Dialogues selection: Meno, Apology, Phaedo – Saint Augustine Confessions selection: books 1-5 Guidelines: – Papers should be about 4-5 pages long – Papers must contain a thesis statement in the introductory paragraph – Double-spaced – The paper must have a title – You can use the citation method of your choice (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago), but please be sure to cite the text(s) at least once. – Submit your paper as a Word document Prompt: Perhaps the most famous line in the history of philosophy occurs in Plato’s Apology. Near the end of the dialogue, when the jury has found Socrates guilty of the charges brought against him and is deliberating about what punishment to impose, Socrates declares that “the unexamined life is not worth living” (p. 41). What do you think he means by this? How is his activity of examination similar to, and different from, Augustine’s in the Confessions? Do you agree that cultivating Socrates’ or Augustine’s practice of examination is essential for a life worth living? Why or why not? The first half of your paper (about 2 pages) should be devoted to comparing how Socrates and Augustine scrutinize their lives and those of people around them. You should try to point out a number of ways in which what the two thinkers are doing are similar and different. In order to accomplish this persuasively, you should support your descriptions and explanations of their activities with evidence in the form of quoted passages. The second part of your paper (again about 2 pages) should focus on the value of Socratic or Augustinian examination (choose one) when it is applied to your own life. Describe a personal experience of yours and explain how its appearance changes when you view it through the lens of the concerns of one of these thinkers. Does the experience become more worth living? Why or why not? Please be specific about what you find is lost, or what you find is gained, when you examine your experience in this way.
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