Hist Final

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Western Civilization
Professor Orens

FINAL PAPER

Since the Enlightenment, the three-fold quest for the meaning of life, for a just society, and for truth itself has become increasingly contentious. This quest is now our own, and if we are to embrace its promise, we must first confront its difficulties. Once again, I would like you to enter into the arguments surrounding the great issues that we face by comparing the ideas of some of the prominent figures we have studied. To do this, please write a brief essay of two to three pages about one of the topics below. Remember to answer both sets of questions for the one topic you have chosen.

Before you begin, make sure that you understand the following rules for formatting your paper:

1. Use a 12-point font such as Palatino, Times, or Times New Roman, double space your paper throughout except footnotes or endnotes, and use standard one-inch margins. Do not put extra spaces between paragraphs. 2. Answer each question separately, taking care to identify each of your answers by its number.

Topic I. Mazzini, Treitschke, and Gorbachev

1. In An Essay on the Duties of Man Addressed to Workingmen what did Giuseppe Mazzini contend are the duties people owe to humanity? What did he believe were the duties they owed to their country? Why did he believe that it was essential to serve one’s country? 2. Based on your reading of the extracts from German History in the Nineteenth Cenrury and from Political Wriitings, where do you think Heinrich von Tretschke would have agreed or disagreed with Mazzini and why? Based on your reading of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Nobel Lecture, where do you think Gorbachev would have agreed or disagreed with Mazzini and why?

Topic II. Nietzsche, Marx, and John Paul II

1. In Friedrich Nietzsche’s Parable of the Madman, what did the madman mean when he said that God is dead? How was this different from asserting that God does not exist? From your reading of the parable and from what you have learned from the textbook and in class, what do you think Nietzsche believed was the only way human beings could find truth and meaning in a godless world? 2. Based on what Karl Marx said in The Communist Manifesto about the history of ideas, and what you have learned about Marx from the textbook and in class, where do you think he would have agreed or disagreed with Nietzsche and why? Based on your reading of Fides et Ratio, where do you believe John Paul II would have agreed or disagreed with Nietzsche and why? Do not confine your answer to this part of the question to the observation that John Paul II believed in God and Nietzsche did not.

⎝WRITING YOUR PAPER: THE ELEVEN COMMANDMENTS⎜

The purpose of these common-sense commandments is to help you express yourself as effectively as possible. Please study them carefully and follow them faithfully as you write your essay and your videotape paper.

Answer the questions. History is more than a bunch of facts about dead people. It is a story that seeks to explain what those facts mean. So do not write a paper that consists of undigested gobs of information. Because you are writing a short paper, do not begin with a long introductory paragraph. It will only lead you far afield. Get to the point, offer only those facts that are relevant to the questions you are trying to answer, and be careful to tie those facts together in a meaningful way. Your notes, the textbook, and the primary source readings should have all the information you will need. Do not look to Wikipedia or to any other source I have not assigned to do your thinking for you or to uncover facts you do not need. This is not an outright prohibition, but keep in mind that, if you feel compelled to use another source for whatever reason, you must cite it.

2. Watch your logic. Do not announce a conclusion without clearly stating the evidence that supports it. Merely using the word "therefore" will not suffice.

3. Write simply and directly....
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