Philosophy

Group A Assignment:

General Rubric: The general rubric is here. Remember, as always, you are graded on how well you follow the instructions in the prompt.

Summary: Plato gives poetry—particularly stories and myths told to young people—to be crucial in forming their characters. His sense seems to be that the kind of art we are saturated with informs our beliefs, our opinions and ultimately determines our characters. For this assignment, you want to test Plato’s hypothesis. Do your own investigation and come to a conclusion about how, and how much, the media we are exposed to influences us.

Important Note:  Plato has a few interesting rules on poetry. There a lot of places online (course hero, spraknotes, etc) that will discuss some of his rules.  Please understand that because of this, I grade this assignment based on the citations you use from the text, not the rules themselves. You can get the rules right, but if you do not have citations from the text that show your grade will be lower. This is a firm policy. Read this for a better understanding of how to create textual analysis of Plato.

Specifics:

Part I. Plato’s Republic

1. Read the excerpts from Plato’s Republic and answer the following questions:

1. What are Socrates rules for poetry?

2. What does he want to edit out of Homer’s poetry?

3. What kinds of things does he want to include in the poetry that young people should listen to?

2. For each rule, explain:

1. Why Socrates wants to make this rule.

2. What effects does he think unedited or bad poetry will have on people who read it?

3. For this analysis, you should include either quotes or citations from the text as evidence of what you are arguing. This is very important. It effects your grade. Please see the example here.

Part II. Investigation

1. Choose a form of contemporary media. Some suggestions are:

1. Television (Hulu, Netflix)

2. Twitter

3. Tik Tok

4. Instagram (including Instagram influencers like the Kardashians)

5. Facebook

6. Advertisement

7. Youtubers

8. Please note, these should all be public accounts. Do not post from private social media accounts, unless they are your account(s).

2. Using the internet, research this type of media influence.

1. Is the media you have chosen successful at influencing people?

2. Are there studies/documented research indicating whether or not it is successful?

3. What kind of influence does the media you have chosen have? (For example, do they get people to buy things, to behave in certain ways, to think certain things/have certain beliefs).

3. Reflect on the influence of media. This should include:

1. Your personal experience with media influence. Are there times when you have been influenced by media and, if so, when?

2. Reflection on whether or not media influence is a good or a bad thing. Is it helpful to people? Damaging? Why/why not?

Part III. Presentation

1. Compose your findings into a presentation that can be analyzed by the class, in a .pdf document. The presentation should be set up as follows:

1. An introduction.  This should be a brief (1/2 page) introduction that explains what all the parts of your analysis will show. This will be your thesis (i.e., in this paper, I will show that Plato is right to think that media is a bad influence on society. I will do that by showing X, Y and Z).

2. Section I : This is your analysis of Plato’s Republic, your explanation of his rules for poetry, and the reasons why he makes each rule.  This section should have the citations or quotations as evidence of what you are arguing.  This should be anywhere from 1-2 pages long, double spaced.

3. Section II.  This section is your media section. This should be 2-3 pages long. Each page should have:

1.

1. An image from one of the media sources above. This image should show the thing you want to address (one example might be a photo of an Instagram influencer selling a product).

2. Under the photo should be your short explanation of who the person is (if there is someone in the photo), their roles, and what they (or the image) is/are doing. This should not be more than a sentence long.

3. Under the short explanation, write out your analysis of their influence on people. This can include your own personal experiences with being influenced or resisting influence, or the experience of influence in your own life. This explanation should be anywhere from 100-200 words.

4. Section IV: Your conclusion. Here, you should answer the following question: Is Plato right to think that media has a bad influence on society? This reflection should be at least 200 words (about a half of a page).