ROBERT LESLIE FIELDING
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Workbook

 

This is a students' workbook to accompany

'Thinking Through Ideas'

 

Government

    Thomas Hobbes

 Write 500 words on the following topic

 What would life be like if there was no higher authority than ourselves; if we were totally free to do whatever we liked, whenever we wanted? 

 

Go to Sample Answers to read an essay on this topic.

 

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

Go to Glossary for the meanings of words provided - http://www.rlfielding.com/glossaryforthinking.htm

Niccolo Machiavelli

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

 Why do you think people respect strong leaders?   What kind of leader would you

respect most?  Give reasons and examples in your answer.

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

 

Is it ever right to take someone else’s property without their consent?  In what 

circumstances?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

Thomas Jefferson

Write 500 words on the following topic.

                       What does the word ‘democracy’ mean? Do you think your own country is

                       democratic?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Hannah Arendt

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

How would you define ‘the human spirit’?  Why would anyone want to crush it?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Justice

 

Aristotle

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

What is ‘justice’?  Could you define it?  Do you think your society is a just one or not?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Frederick Douglass

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

                        Do you think it is always right to treat people in different ways?  Why do you think that? 

                   Do you think you are fairly typical in the way you deal with other people?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Henry David Thoreau

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

Is government necessary?  Why/Why not?  What does a government do that cannot be done by individuals?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

In what sense can a particular person be said to be better than another?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

What should people do if they are denied the right to protest over an ijustice?  What should be the proper limit of protest?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

 

Wealth and Poverty

 

Adam Smith

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

Is economic activity increased by competition?  Are there any exceptions?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Karl Marx

Write 500 words on the following topic.

Should the labour of man be treated as if it were any other factor of production such as land, plant and capital?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

John Kenneth Galbraith

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

Is a certain amount of 'relative poverty' inevitable in a free and fair society?  How could it be removed and would it be desirable to do so?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

Milton & Rose Friedman 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

Is freedom of opportunity sufficient for everyone to be free?  Is freedom of opportunity possible, and if not, what prevents it from being so?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Robert B. Reich

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

What is implied by the phrase, producing at the lowest cost'?   Which variables would you include under costs?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

John Paul Getty

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

Am I always free to spend my money how I wish?  Do you think there are ever any exceptions, and if so, what are they?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

The Mind

 

Plato

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

Which is the most vital of the five senses, or are they of equal importance to us?  Could you rank them in  importance and then give your reasons for choosing which is the most important and which the least?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Sigmund Freud

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

What part, if any, do you think your sub-conscious plays in your life?  Can you provide examples?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Carl Jung

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

Do you think we are born with a certain amount of knowledge?  If so, what sort of knowledge would that consist of?   Does civilization add to or subtract from that stock of knowledge as we get older?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Karen Horney

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

Do you think there is a part of us that cannot be shared with anyone else - that belongs solely to each individual?  If so, of what does it consist?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Howard Gardner

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

Of the 7 types of intelligence Howard Gardner proposes, which do you think is the most useful to us and why? 

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Francis Crick

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

Is it possible to describe what we see in words alone?  Can we really say what a certain colur looks like without comparing it with something of the same colour?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Nature

 

Francis Bacon

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

Can we really be sure of anything?  Is there such a thing as truth?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Charles Darwin

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

What are we implying when we place man at the top of the evolutionary pyramid?  Why do we choose to think of ourselves as being at the top? 

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Stephen Jay Gould

Write 500 words on the following topic.

Are animals capable of cruelty?  Is man capable of cruelty?  In what basic ways to we differ from beasts?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Law and Order

 

          Socrates

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

Is living within the law a rational thing to do?  Why?  Why n ot?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Robert Peel

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

Who should control the police force?  Should the police force be answerable to anyone, and if so, to whom?

                             

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

                    Rights

      

                                        Alexis de Tocqueville

                              

Write 500 words on the following topic.

                      What are the benefits of being free?  What are the benefits of feeling free?  Is there a difference between being free and feeling free?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

              Mary Wollstonecraft  

Write 500 words on the following topic.

                      Is equality between people possible?  If it is not possible, shoulod we try to make it so?  By what means?

 

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

G.K. Chesterton

 

Write 500 words on the following topic.

If one person's rights clash with another's, who shaould decide whose rights are upheld?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

Carol Gilligan

Write 500 words on the following topic.

                           Do men and women need to be different to build society?  Can they do each other's work equally well?

                    

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

                                Averting catastrophe

 

                                       Aldo Leopold

                            

Write 500 words on the following topic.

                           Is land ever worthless?  Why is some land worth more?  Are we right in deciding which land is wodrth more and which less?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

                                                          Donnella Meadows

                            

Write 500 words on the following topic.

                             Why should we respect the Earth?  Are there ever any circumstances when we should not respect it?

                   

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

                                      

                                       Rachel Carson

                            

Write 500 words on the following topic.

                            Do we have the right to use land and natural resources as we alone see fit?  How can we limit our hunger for natural resources?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

                                        William Wordsworth

                            

Write 500 words on the following topic.

                              Is too much importance attached to commerce and trade?  Is there another way to organize our lives, or is living by trading the only way?

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary

 

               D. H. Lawrence

Write 500 words on the following topic.

                                       What is the real value of the natural world to the individual?  What price do we pay when we destroy it?

 

Go to the Glossary for vocabulary