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. These two concepts both deal with justice on the individual and social level; given that they originated on the opposite sides of the world, the Eastern and Western spheres of humanity, why are these ideas so similar? I will attempt to answer this question and more by researching historical contexts, tracing theorized roots, and attempting to make connections between the two ideas as well as the cultures in which they originated.

3 thoughts on “The Justice of Dharma: A comparison between two seminal concepts of the West and the East

  1. Your introduction has improved from the last revision; it is good that you decided to first define Plato’s definition of justice before delving into the idea of dharma. Your purpose statement paragraph also has more of a sense of structure, which will be helpful for you in writing the paper. It is also good that you made the section on the Proto-Indo-European language more concise; it made the proposal and your ideas flow much better.

  2. You have connected your ideas better and I, as a reader can now draw connections between them. However, I still do not understand the “so what” of your paper. How is it going to help us? Even if you manage to find links between the Proto-Indo-Europeans ideologies and Platonic justice there what does it do for us?

    Annotate more of your bibliographies.

  3. I felt your thesis was much clearer here, but I’m still wondering if you could draw a stronger connection between your comparison of Vedic India and ancient Greece, and your question of whether Vedic India could be seen as a utopia. This connection is something you could strengthen in your final paper, perhaps by focusing more on how Vedic India compares to Plato’s ideal society, rather than ancient Greece.

    And going off of what Asir said, maybe you could find a so-what in your exploration of Vedic India as a utopia; your so-what could be whether or not utopia is actually achievable.

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