The Great French Transition

The French Revolution was the first major upheaval of state run institutions that resulted in the under appreciated getting what they desired. As a result of the turnover from a Kingdom to a Republic, the first and second estate were brought to its knees by the populace, who in turn were able to demand a change in how they were governed. This transitionary period modified everything about French culture – everything had become more secular and new-age.… Read the rest here

Plato and More: A Discussion on Democracy

(Plato appears in Sir Thomas More’s chamber in Henry VIII’s castle)

More: So we meet again, Plato.

Plato: Greetings, Sir More.

M: So what shall the topic be for today’s cross-time continuum conversation?

P: I was thinking about discussing the topic of democracy today.

M: Why not. I’ll let you begin.

P: Let us first define the term democracy. Democracy is a state where freedom reigns supreme as the defining characteristic; the people may live life as they please, may take up any profession they please, and may speak without fear of unlawful censorship or persecution.… Read the rest here

Gender and Sexuality under Differing Ideologies

Emily Smith

Revised Paper Proposal

 

In this paper, I want to examine the way that gender and sexuality are viewed under different forms of government. Gender and specifically women’s role in society has always been a controversial subject because different societies view women with varying degrees of equality. In the United States, women did not have full rights until the nineteenth amendment outlawed discrimination in suffrage based on gender. Yet women continue to have lower wages and have more difficulty obtaining jobs in certain fields than their male counterparts.… Read the rest here

Paper Proposal

 

Where Technology meets Religion

While reading and analyzing Plato’s The Republic and More’s Utopia through class discussion, it has been made quite clear that human nature poses a major problem in shaping ideal societies. No “perfect” society can truly be formed. Even in films like “Metropolis” and “Gattaca” it was greed, lust, anger and pride that led to failures of their technological worlds and made it a dystopia. However, would those worlds have succeeded if there was a way to limit human desires?… Read the rest here

Paper proposal

  • I want to examine the effect that photography as propaganda can have on a society.  Photographs are the ultimate tools of manipulation because they are seen as facts/reality/truth. In reality, photographs are easily manipulated and can cause people to believe whatever they see, without considering what “lies beyond the frame.”  Because of peoples’ tendencies to believe whatever is in a photograph, photography is often used in propaganda by governments in an attempt to sway the people in a certain direction.
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The Justice of Dharma: A comparison between two seminal concepts of the West and the East

Final Paper Proposal

My final paper will compare the idea of justice as defined in Republic, written by Classical Greek philosopher Plato, to the Hindu concept of dharma. Justice is defined in Republic as balance in society on both the individual and State level, where the desires, emotions, and reasoning of each individual’s mind are balanced and each individual uses his/her natural talents to play his/her role in bettering society. Dharma, a concept originating in Vedic India, can be defined as achieving harmony within the individual and society.… Read the rest here

Religion and Utopias

Religion and Utopias

 

In their works on utopian societies, Plato and More believe that religion is key to the function of a society. They suggest that religious beliefs affect the morality of a society’s members and thus the preservation of the society itself.  While Plato believes in “gods” and that society members should strive to attain the Form of the Good, a strict moral code, More believes that although many religious sects can exist in a society, society members should acknowledge one true deity.… Read the rest here

Comparing the Genesis and Content of Morality in Plato and More’s Utopias

In forming an ideal society, having common moral values among the population is a necessity.  In order to sustain an idyllic state, each citizen must have a strong moral compass that does not conflict with others. In both Utopia and The Republic, More and Plato emphasize education as an important factor in generating a common moral code. Both emphasize the importance of morality, but then describe deceptive and indecent strategies used by the state to manipulate citizens.… Read the rest here

Location and Utopias

 

For More and Plato, location of a utopia affects its development and success. While More believes that a utopia must be physically separated from other societies, Plato suggests that any society can become a utopia wherever it is located if certain conditions are developed and met over time. More’s utopia is located on a remote island. His placement suggests the utopia cannot be corrupted because its inhabitants are physically separated from others. Essentially, More thought that outside contact corrupts the mind and society.… Read the rest here