For Plato,”violence” — exemplified by the irrationality and insatiable lust for pleasure and power of the ‘tyrant” — is the great threat and menace to a civilization worthy of the name “human.” In Plato’s Republic,Socrates argues that the political promise of philosophy is to make power an instrument of wisdom — i.e., to establish relations of justice between human beings. With Nietzsche, the relationship between “violence” (i.e.,the human instinct toward domination, aggression, and cruelty) and”civilization” becomes more complicated. Nietzsche’s question, a swell as Freud’s, is this: what role does violence play in the development of civilization — and what becomes of violence as civilization becomes more”civilized”? So, for the final essay, your task is to craft a thoughtful response to the following question: How do Nietzsche and Freud understand the role of violence in the development of the human psyche (i.e.,”consciousness,” “conscience”) and human civilization(i.e., “society” or “culture”)? What are we to make of their combined insights? With whom do you agree or disagree? Why? As always, be sure to make careful use of the assigned texts.

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