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Senior Seminar
Spring  2019
Length: 2-3 pages (not including cover or bibliographical pages, or supporting material)
Format: 12 point font, Times New Roman font, 1 inch margins, double spaced, page
Due: Tuesday, 23 April 2019, via Canvas, before seminar.
Write a paper that 
engages with Aquinas and his ideas about human nature, ethics,
and law.
You may use any 
of the prompts below. Your paper claim should pertain to the
issues raised by the prompt, but 
do not use a “direct” answer to a prompt question as 
your paper claim
Prompt #1: Which system of law would your prefer: a system of simple laws, or a system
of complex laws (like the ones we currently have)? Why? [For the purposes of this
prompt, I’ll use “complex” to refer to complexity at the level of Aquinas’ text.] This paper asks you to compare the functions of law in Aquinas and Confucius. We seem
to live in a legal system closer to the one Aquinas envisions than the one Confucius does. 
Is this a good thing for us as citizens? Why? Some questions to consider:
• Should the law be only comprehensible to experts?
• In both systems, the law educates citizens; in which one can it actually do so?
• Can a system of complex laws educate citizens (like today’s American
• Does the complexity of our laws reflect the complexity of our world? If so, should
we “trade-off” a complex system of law for the benefits of our complex world?
Why is this “trade-off” worth it? How could you argue for this “trade-off”? What
metric would we use to compare the benefits or costs of each?
Prompt #2: Write about a passage from the Aquinas selections on Canvas. 
As always, position your claim at the end of your introductory paragraph.