Good Political Order

Essay Instructions

  1. 1. Chapters and pages acceptable for this assignment. DO NOT USE OUTSIDE RESEARCH. DO NOT GO OUTSIDE OF THE RANGE OF LISTED PAGES AND CHAPTERS:

Aristotle: Aristotle I (Political Communities and the Virtues of Citizens) Total Pages: 46
Politics, Book I (all); Book II (Chapters 1-5); Book III (Chapters 1-5) (pp.1-36; 65-75)

Aristotle II (Constitutions and Political Ideals) Total Pages 43
Politics, Book III (Chapters 6-18) Book IV (Chapters 11-12); Book VII (Chapters 1-3; 13-15) (pp.75-100; 118-123; 191-197; 212-219)

Machiavelli: Machiavelli I (Political Theory from Empirics) Total Pages: 42
The Prince (Dedication, Chapters 1-14) (pp.5-47)

Machiavelli II (Pragmatism and Amoral Political Rule) Total Pages: 33
The Prince (Chapters 15-26) (pp.47-80)

  1. How to write, structure and argue this essay

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate one’s interpretive and critical thinking skills in an exegetic essay. An exegetic essay is an interpretive engagement with a text that draws on the content therein to discover deeper meaning, insights, consequences, and relevance. You might think of the essay as a dialogue between your own thoughts and the content in the texts. With this goal in mind, you want to be clear where the context from the text ends, and your own interpretation of it begins.

If you follow a template like ‘premise + conclusion = argument’, this should be a pretty solid position from which to tackle this essay.
This can also serve as a structure to the paper, where you first discuss the premise that each theorist starts with (sometimes it is about human nature but not always), then show an observation or conclusion they derive from that premise (for instance, human beings need order because they are incapable of taking care of themselves), and then conclude with a section about a specific argument that Aristotle and Machiivelli make that encompasses both the premise as well as conclusion (example using Hobbes; absolute sovereignty is necessary for peace, which includes the premise that humans are weak and the conclusion that other forms of government will not do the trick).
It is recommended to neatly summarize everything in the introduction and make sure that you identify a premise that can be articulated clearly and supported with evidence, and a conclusion that reasonably follows from that particular premise, so the connection between them must be plausible.

  1. Essay prompt to be answered

Question Prompt: How does the way a theorist constructs their argument inform the conclusions that they make about good political order? In your answer, you should compare two thinkers, considering the types of evidence and arguments each one appeals to and showing how these sources relate to their conclusions.

  1. Thesis statement to adhere to and argue

Please feel free to refine the thesis description as necessary, but I ultimately need to essay to argue the idea that;
“In comparing Aristotle’s emphasis on ethical virtues as essential to good political order with Machiavelli’s prioritization of practical statecraft and power dynamics, this essay contends that the construction of their arguments reflects differing conceptions of human nature, the role of ethics, and the ultimate aims of political governance. While Aristotle’s teleological framework posits the cultivation of moral character as central to achieving a harmonious polis, Machiavelli’s pragmatic approach advocates for adaptive leadership strategies and the manipulation of power dynamics to maintain stability and secure the state’s interests, ultimately making Machiavelli’s political theory, rooted in realistic human behavior, leading to more practical conclusions about good political order compared to Aristotle”.

  1. Specific citation style to be used

As you now know, some thinkers in the Western canon have their own special citation style. This style of citation is used because there are multiple translations of the text, so this standardized form is used so that scholars can check references no matter the translation that they have. The following are examples of the in-text or footnote citation styles that you must use when referencing Aristotle, Machiavelli, etc..
Please take note of when citations use the Hindu-Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, 4…etc.) and when
citations use the Roman numeral system (I, II, III, IV… etc., or i, ii, iii, iv, etc.) as it matters for
the accuracy of your citations. The remainder of the citations and the bibliography should be in Chicago Style.

For Aristotle, use the numbers on the side of the text, called Bekker numbers. A citation looks like this:
(Text, Book Number, Chapter, Bekker number) or (The Politics, Bk. IV, Ch. 3 1290a10-15).
This can be shortened to (Pol. 1290a10-15). You will note that the sections between a-b in each Bekker number are numbered 1-40 in increments of 10. These numbers represent a line in every section in the original Greek, and so are not equally distributed in the translations. Be sure to include these numbers, estimating the numbers that correspond to the passage you are referencing when it is not clear.

(Text, Ch.) so: (The Prince Ch. VI) or (Ch. VI).
Note: No page number or paragraph needed. After the first citation of The Prince, each subsequent citation can simply be (Ch. VI).

Feel free to make use of ibid., which is a Latin abbreviation meaning “in the same place”. So,
if your citation is found in the same place as the citation immediately before it, you can simply
put (ibid.) at the end of the sentence. Logically, you might then have a chain of (ibid.) if
several citations in a row are found “in the same place”.

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