History of Ancient Philosophy, sample thesis statements


Your paper ought to be centered around giving support for a thesis. This thesis should be based on the material we've studied in the class, but the paper should not just be exposition of what the people we've studied have said, but should contain arguments for your own views that take as their starting point the arguments we've looked at in class. Looking at the list of reading response paper topics will give more ideas for possible topics.

These are just samples; you may argue for one of these if you wish, but you aren't restricted to them.


In this paper, I will argue that Aristotle is right when he says that happiness is a kind of activity, not a feeling.

In this paper, I will argue that Socrates does not typically benefit those that he cross-examines, but that his activity is nonetheless useful and justified.

In this paper, I will argue that the Myth of Metals expresses important truths and that the rulers of the Republic would be justified in promulgating it.

In this paper, I will argue that, suitably modified to meet Socrates' criticism, Thrasymachus' thesis that "justice is the interest of the stronger" is correct.

In this paper, I will argue that even vicious people can love their friends for their friends' own sake and gain (most) of the benefits of so-called 'virtue friendships.'

In this paper, I will argue that the Euthyphro does not show that a Divine Command Theory of ethics is false.

In this paper, I will argue that there are no 'virtue friendship,' and that all friendships are either friendships of usefulness or of pleasure.

In this paper, I will argue that Plato has not shown that justice is an intrinsic good.

In this paper, I will argue that Socrates in right when he thinks that the only thing that matters of happiness is the health of your soul, but that (contra Socrates) worse people are able to harm the soul of a better person.

In this paper, I will argue that Socrates was guilty as charged and should have been executed.

Mail Tim

Return to the course page.