Essay Question:

How does Plato’s Socrates show us his readers how “anyone” can deliberate/inquire “successfully” about “any” subject through knowledge of the soul’s complex nature?
As Plato has us “observe,” the soul’s nature is complex since its two “ruling” and “guiding” principles can take three distinctive forms. These forms are temperance (sophrosyne), wantonness (hubris), and mantic, rational sanity (a “derivative” form of temperance that defines the nonlover’s soul). What are these three distinct forms of the soul? Why is it that only the temperate form of the soul secures the soul’s essence (of “self-motion/movement”) and the task of successful deliberation? What’s more, why is “innate desire” central to the question of “successful deliberation”?

To have a sustained answer to the essay question, you will need to:

• Take up and advance in your introduction the problem of “successful deliberation” and the “error” that most people make when they deliberate.
• Think about the perspective from which you want to take up the essay question when writing your introductory paragraph.
• In the body of your essay, advance an answer to the question through a sustained analysis of the three forms of the soul that includes the aims of each form. To support your answer through your analysis, you need the on-going support of direct citations from Plato’s text.
• Give an account of why it is that only the “temperate” form secures the soul’s “essence” (of self-motion/movement) and is able to deliberate successfully.
• Address why “innate desire” (as seen from the complex nature of the soul) is central to the problem of deliberation.
• Address why “self-knowledge” from Plato’s perspective resolves the conflict between the Ancient and the Modern agnostic view of the world held by “the men of science.”


The answer to the essay question needs to come from Plato’s Phaedrus 476-499 (227a-253c) The body of your essay must be based in a focused and sustained analysis of the following selections from Phaedrus 476-499 (227a-253c):

• Page 485 (237b, line 8) to page 486 (238c, line 4)
• Page 491 (244a, line 4) to page 492 (245c, line 3)
• Page 478 (229c) to page 479 (230c)
• Page 492 (245c, line 7) to page 493 (246b, line 5)

Use the MLA (Modern Language Association) format or CMS/Chicago Manual of Style. Support for your answer must come from the on-going use of direct citations from Plato’s text (no paraphrasing of Plato’s text). The length of your essay should stay within the range of approximately 900-1200 words, between four to five typed pages, double-spaced. The answer to the essay question must come from your own reading and analysis of Plato’s text and not from a secondary source.

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