Instructions: In an essay of no less than 8 pages (it can be as long as you like, but no less than 8 pages), develop a response to the question below. It is crucial that you accomplish several things in your essay:
(1) explore and elucidate the arguments that the thinkers elaborate in their texts;
(2) marshal textual evidence to support your elucidation of their arguments;
(3) provide a responsible and reasoned analysis of the texts you cite;
(4) limit your investigation and analyses to the texts that we have analyzed in class thus far.
Please be sure that you trace the mechanics of the different arguments that you discuss, do not simply restate their ideas, but reconstruct the logic that that use to build their arguments. I am looking for depth and sophistication, not a topical summary of the texts we have read. Do not regurgitate class lectures or notes, but explore the texts themselves. Your essay must be well-written and well-argued and be thorough in its analysis. No outside texts can be used, only the texts we have read and discussed in class.
Grades will be based on how well you accomplish requirements 1-4 listed above.
The idea that politics is a distinct and separate sphere of human life is something that modern thinkers such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Spinoza see as an important achievement in modern societies. But what is the purpose of politics? How are we to conceive of the relation of politics to other spheres of social life, such as religion? What do these thinkers see as the central role of the political in modern society? In an essay comparing the different ideas and theories of these thinkers, explore the purpose of modern politics and assess the different approaches that these thinkers put forth in their respective theories of politics and society.