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Becoming a Philosopher Project PHIL 1013 1
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Becoming a Philosopher: Creative Project 2
Due Week 7
Assignment: to become a philosopher by choosing a social, religious, or political issue you care
deeply about. You will connect your issue to a philosopher you learned about this term. You should
explain your position with sound logic and emotional connection. Becoming a Philosopher is 2 of 2
Special Projects for the course.
Points Possible: 150
• To demonstrate knowledge of philosophies and philosophers learned in this class
• To integrate reasonable and varying evidence from experience, knowledge, and course
• To achieve a tone that is both personable and academic
• To follow best-practice guidelines for your chosen medium (MLA format for essays)
This project has three steps. See each week’s Moodle section for details.
Step 1/Week 5 (25 pts): Choose topic and related philosopher; explain your philosopher and how the
topic relates to that person’s ideas/writings
Step 2/Week 6 (25 pts) Find one source; submit outline or partial draft
Step 3/Week 7 (100 pts): Turn in competed project
Form of Project:
You have the freedom to use the best medium to communicate your new philosophy. I highly
encourage you to choose a different medium from the first project, but it is not required. You may
choose one of those listed below or get approval for another.
• Use at least two credible sources
• Essay: MLA format 3-5 pages
• Video: 3-5 minutes with a slide/image listing sources in MLA format
• PowerPoint: 10-12 slides with a slide listing sources in MLA format
• Platonic dialogue: 5-7 pages; styled as a conversation (dialogue) between you and your
Becoming a Philosopher Project PHIL 1013 2
You should pick a topic that you care about but that you can still view logically and critically and not
just emotionally. Choose both a current issue and a philosopher whose writing and ideas can help us
understand the issue. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about your own:
• The Social Contract Theory as it applies to vaccine or mandates with Covid-19
• A theologian or religious philosopher’s views of whether we have an obligation to
participate in social justice movements
Whatever form the project takes, you should include:
• an introduction of the topic/issue and its relevance to current times (may use source)
• an introduction of the philosopher you are connecting to this issue
o briefly summarize the philosopher’s ideas (may use source)
o if a philosopher from the distant past, explain whether this particular issue existed when
the philosopher was writing/speaking
• a thesis (claim) that briefly summarizes your view about the issue
• the connection between the issue and the philosopher; apply the philosopher’s views to the
issue to refine your personal theory about the issue
• a personal reflection on how the philosopher and the issue affect you and what you feel your
obligation is (whether to convince others, to take action, or just to learn to tolerate others’
o apply the philosopher’s views to our current society
Becoming a Philosopher Project PHIL 1013 3
PHIL 1013 Becoming a Philosopher Scoring Guide
MLA format (10 points) • MLA format for essays • Best practices format for non-essay projects
Purpose (15 points) • Appropriate for subject, purpose, and audience • Min. of 3 full pages of text for essay; 5 for dialogue • 10-12 slides for PPT • 3-5 min. for video
Sources (15 points) • Reputable sources • Citation of philosopher’s original work • Appropriate inclusion of all • Smooth integration • Works Cited page in MLA format • Use of in-text citations
Composition (15 points) • Grammar and mechanics • Academic style • Unity and coherence • Engaging introduction • Satisfying conclusion • Logical organization
Content (45 points) • Originality/creativity • College-level analysis • Inclusion of all content requirements • More analysis than facts/summary
Total points possible (100)
Course Code and Name:
The social contract theory is diverse, covering many aspects of daily life. Since the onset of Covid-19, the economic crisis looming over the world revived the social contract theory. The social contract theory brings out the role of consumers, workers and savers during the pandemic (Stott et al. 575). While the social contract theory has evolved over the years, a significant strength occurred in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The social contract theory was more vital as people were forced to get vaccinated and wear masks (Stott et al. 574).
Although the move on immunization and wearing masks in public places was meant to protect the people from infections, some take it as depriving them of their freedom. While the government does not meet the economic scars and personal needs, it focuses on these measures to enhance the safety of its citizens. Therefore, the COVID-19 era has revived the social contract theory.
Introduction of philosopher
John Locke developed the social contract theory in 1689. According to the philosopher, the government is created based on the consent of the people (Kanatli). Going against citizens’ support deprives them of their rights. Locke believes that people should get their rights from the government. Therefore, any government action should be based on the people’s consent. The philosopher describes the social contract theory based on the social conventions, norms and expectations of the society (Kanatli). The social contract theory has been in existence since ancient times.
The social contract theory is based on natural human rights. A social contract protects people’s rights only if the people accept the obligations to the government (Kanatli). The government should take acceptable actions against the people and not deny them their rights. According to the social contract theory, government actions should be favourable to the people. When the government takes measures against human rights, then a conflict arises between the government and the people. The pandemic has revived the social contract theory in a significant way. The people are forced to wear masks, remain in their houses and get vaccinated to avoid contracting the virus. While such government actions are meant to protect the people, it is against their rights to bring such restrictions.
Locke lays a foundation in his social contract theory as he connects the people to the government. Applying the sentiments of Locke in such a natural life setting helps understand the context of the social contract theory. It helps understand the boundary the government should not exceed even when protecting its population.
Human rights are a crucial part of free-living. The government has the right to deprive people of their rights in the case to protect them (Kanatli). Locke’s theory is supported by real-life examples that help distinguish between government dictatorship and protection. In my opinion, the COVIDs era came along with many risks. Government action to protect its citizens was essential to avoid spreading the virus. Although the people’s view was against government actions and felt the government wasn’t right, it was the correct thing to do at the moment. Therefore, I will support the government’s efforts using the social contract theory.
Kanatli, Mehmet. Private Property, Freedom and Order: Social Contract Theories from Hobbes to Rawls. Routledge India, 2021.
Stott, Clifford, Owen West, and Mark Harrison. “A turning point, securitization, and policing in the context of Covid-19: building a new social contract between state and nation?.” Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice 14.3 (2020): 574-578.
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