state of nature


This is a take-home, open-book exam consisting of essay questions. Please note the following instructions: 

  • You are only required to answer three of the four essay questions
     Each essay should be roughly 400 – 800 words in length. This however, is only a guideline, as I grade
    on content, rather than length
     Essays should be double spaced with appropriate sized fonts
     All sources must be cited and formatted based on your choice of MLA, APA, or Chicago formats
     All essays must be saved in a single file and uploaded to the D2L midterm dropbox
     All submissions will be processed through D2L’s plagiarism detection software
    These essays will be graded in a similar manner as the written assignments. An excellent essay will demonstrate the following characteristics:
     The essay thoroughly addresses all components of the question
     The essay is focused on the topic of the question and contains few to no tangential discussions
     All explanations of specific theorists and concepts are accurate and supported with textual
    references when appropriate
     The essay contains a smooth and logical progression of explanations and arguments
     The overall readability of the essay is not diminished by mistakes of spelling or grammar
  1. Describe the ‘state of nature’ according to Hobbes. What aspects of human nature make this social condition unavoidable? Explain Locke’s depiction of the ‘state of nature,’ and its main points of differentiation with Hobbes. Which do you find more convincing?
     Identify and explain the four functions of ideologies. Draw upon at least one theorist discussed in the modules to illustrate your understanding of these concepts.
     Identify and explain the main characteristics of classical (Burkean) conservatism. Select two contemporary variations of conservatism and identify the similarities and differences with classical conservatism.
     Drawing on Mill and de Tocqueville, explain the social and intellectual effects of democracies. Why do democratic societies tend towards social conformity and intellectual mediocrity? How can these negative effects be minimized or avoided?

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