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ZhiWei Qian
Dr. Andriy Danylenko
Dr. Ronald K. Frank
2020/4/26
Real-Life Applications and Consequences of Different Philosophical Theories that is
Epistemological Theory, Marxist Theory and Social Contract Theory
Introduction
Various theories circulate in the prescriptive treatises, the philosophic and also in the
origin of the classical antiquities. Some of the precedents of these theories may be regarded as
the commonplace of ancient and medieval literature, while others are described as the arguments
which are advanced by and identifiable with specific philosophers (Marenbon 3). The arguments
of the particular philosophers often take the start point in the common places. On this basis, most
of the philosophical theories try to explain the difference between the truth and opinions. The
different philosophical theories can be applied differently in real life, and this will lead to
different consequences. Different philosophical viewpoints are practiced in various societies with
the potential of yielding positive and negative consequences. Therefore, it is essential to explore
how different philosophical theories can be put into practice and reconstruct the reasoning which
each philosophy used to justify its claims. This also necessitates the highlight of the positive
outcomes from the practice of each philosophy, identifies the areas in the community that have
philosophical significance and expounds on how the positive aspects of the philosophies can be
applied in the community.
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Epistemological Theory
Plato, in his epistemological, philosophical theory, argues that knowledge emerges in the
relationship of dialogue where the truth is revealed using critical questioning (Bauman 253).
According to Plato, there is some innate source of truth in every individual that is made explicit
through the dialectical process. This philosophical theory appears to be in contrast with what
some people in society argue that knowledge must be democratically available to everyone so
that society can be transformed through social justice. In this regard, Plato argues that the
movement towards the light, reality and freedom represents the personified search for the truth.
This philosophical theory is based on the assumption that the ideal founders of society know the
ideal knowledge required for a model ruler. Therefore, if the ruler acquires such knowledge, then
it will meet the criteria set out by the founders of the society. This philosophical theory can be
put into practice in society by ensuring that the leaders undergo some training (Perruci and
Sadhana 6). However, society needs to acknowledge that they need some person who has some
sought of charisma and who is in a position to facilitate the emergence of a philosophical ruler.
In this regard, it is essential to acknowledge that leadership in society is rounded on the ability to
visualize what constitutes the common good and act by this vision. This is what is expected of
those taking leadership positions in every society. A leader must have a high degree of integrity
and wisdom to be able to lead effectively.
This philosophical theory seeks to justify its claims on the basis that a good leader in the
society should be wise and display a high level of integrity. This is important for the leader to be
able to have and implement a vision plan responding to the needs of society (Bauman 260). The
theory argues that it is only the wise and those with high levels of integrity who should be
allowed to hold positions of leadership in society. The theory assumes that the success of any
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society depends on the type of leadership it has. This approach is likely to have some positive
outcomes because those in the leadership positions will prioritize the interest of the majority in
the society, it is also essential in preventing unwise people without integrity from leading the
society (Perruci and Sadhana 8).
However, there are likely to be some adverse outcomes from this application of the
theory in the society. First, there is likely to be unrest because the approach fails to consider the
other dynamics, which affects leadership in society, such as politics. The application of this
theoretical approach is likely to ignore the interest of the majority, which may lead to instability
in the leadership (Perruci and Sadhana 10). The application of this philosophical theory in the
appointment of the leaders in society is likely to result in leaders who are not able to
communicate well, which is an important aspect of leadership. It is likely to result in the
imbalances of the individual and society, which is vital to the leadership (Bauman 265).
Among the critical areas in the community that have philosophical significance include
education. In education, philosophy is of great significance because of the need to balance the
nature of the knowledge and issues arising thereof. Health is another area where philosophy is
significant because of the need to consider ethics in practice (Bauman 270). The other is the law.
This is simply because there is a very thin line between the practice of law and morality in
society. These areas are very practice and have implications for several long-standing
philosophical problems in society.
Marxist Theory
The Marxist theory focuses on the ownership of the factors of production, distribution
and exchange. Primarily in analyzing the social change in society, class struggle is a critical
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element (Drew 30). The theory is based on the society where the economic system is built on the
free ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods in a free competitive market
which is motivated by profit. Under the Marxist philosophical theory, the proletariats who are the
working class owns Labour and have the ability to sell it in a free market to the bourgeoisie.
Therefore, in any capitalist society, the class is determined by the relationship an individual has
with the means of production. It is on this basis that war, uprising, or even class struggle in the
society is based proletariat (Kühl 56).
The reasoning behind this philosophical theory is that the workers are paid minimum
wage. This is because they do not have any control of the products which they produce (Kühl
67). On the other hand, the capitalist sells the products at a price proportionate to the effort
employed by the workers in the production. Therefore the surplus-value is the difference
between the price of the product and what the worker is paid. What is interesting to note with the
application of this theory in society is that it makes religion very strong. The oppressed working
class gets a sign of relief from religion.
The application of this theory in the society is likely to have some negative outcomes.
First, there is likely to be an economic decline for the working class, especially due to the
economic recession which is likely to be as a result of the capitalist not being able to consume all
the products produced and the working class not being able to buy them(Drew 39). Second, if
this situation continues, there is likely to be a revolution as the working class tries to overthrow
the dictatorial ruling class. Third, the application of the theory in society is likely to propagate
the oppression and injustices of the workers. This is because the main focus is on profit, and the
welfare of the workers is never considered. It cannot be ignored that the application of this
theory in the society is likely to have some positive outcomes.
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Also, there is likely to be high economic growth in society as everyone will work hard to
make a profit. The economy is likely to grow because there will be minimum interference by the
government. Second, society as a whole is likely to benefit because different social forces are
considered in making decisions. Thirdly, the application of this theory in the society is likely to
lead to equality in society. People will be encouraged to work and attain social equality, which,
in the long run, will promote stability (Kühl 70).
One of the areas in the society where Marxist philosophical theory is critical is in
employment. The employers have to balance between the rights of the employees and profit
making. Therefore, in applying the approach, employers should prioritize human rights over the
profit (Kühl 89). The other area in the society where the theory is very significant is in the
market. The ruling class sells products at a price that the working class cannot afford. This is
likely to bring about an economic recession. Therefore, for the economic development of society,
it is vital for the prices of products to be set where even the working class can afford it. Finally,
the theory is very important in religion. According to Karl Marx, the leading proponent of this
theory, religion is the tool for the poor and oppressed. This is because human beings are social
by nature and must keep links and get consolations from the sufferings in the world (Drew 45).
Social Contract Theory by John Locke
John Locke posits that human beings are by nature, social beings who keep promises.
They honor their obligations and though insecure, are pleasant, good and peaceful. In the state of
nature of human beings, property rights and peace existed. In case there are conflicts, peace is
imposed forcefully on the evildoers (Moehler 101). It is the nature of human beings to know
what is rights and wrong. They have the capability of knowing what is lawful or unlawful well
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enough before resolving conflicts. They know to determine what is theirs and that which belongs
to other people. Unfortunately, they do not use this knowledge appropriately. He further argues
that God creates human beings. Hence, they are His property. By nature, human beings know
what is right and wrong, and therefore, no amount of insubordination to their maker can cause
them to destroy each other (Seliger 17). Locke is of the view that human beings have rights by
nature, and any violation of those rights cannot be justified under anyway.
The application of this theory in society shows that there is a big gap between the ideas
and words of individuals on the reality in the world. Therefore if one individual sees something
as good and the other as evil, then, between the individual and the action, there is some good
(Seliger 25). According to Locke, if there is a difference between two men’s words, then it is a
language difference and not reality. Further, by the nature of human beings, peace is a norm that
should always prevail when people do not molest others or their property. This conception leads
to the conclusion that human beings subscribe to the social contract. Under the social contract, a
ruler is supposed to protect the citizens and their property. This is based on the view held by
Locke that citizens must be willing to surrender some of their entitlements in return for
protection and justice. The application of the social contract theory is likely to have some
adverse outcomes. First, a leader is likely to go against the social contract if they participate in
conflicts and acts as judges at the same time. An ideal form of government should safeguard as
much as possible the rights and property of the citizens to enable them to achieve their goals. A
ruler in such a government should not act as a judge and participant in the same dispute.
Secondly, there is likely to be a case of illegitimate governments being in power (Moehler 112).
The responsibility of people in such a government, as contemplated by Locke, is to give their
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accord through the majority. This theory is the application in areas where leaders are
democratically elected.
Conclusion
Plato, Locke, and Marx have different philosophical theories that apply differently in
society. According to Plato, the society should be led by a wise and knowledgeable leader. For
him, he does not consider other dynamics of the society other than the competency of the leaders
in terms of wisdom and integrity. Although the theoretical perspective of Plato is likely to have
some positive outcomes, it may lead to political instability to imbalances between individual and
societal dynamics. In the case of Locke, human beings are social and keep their promises. In
essence, human beings just value property and life, which is safeguarded. This view leads Locke
to conclude that their main reason why the government exists is to protect persons and property.
In the case of Marxist theory, they contend that there is a contest in the society between the
ruling class and the working class who owns Labour. The ruling class pays the working class to
the bare minimum wage for their self-sustenance; hence they are unable to buy the products
which they produce for the working class. This is likely to lead to an economic recession in
society. Individuals are social, but they keep on changing depending on the prevailing socialeconomic circumstances. This view leads him to conclude that the proletariat will interact well
with the fellow proletariat. People interact well with those in the same social, economic class.
Plato’s theory focuses on leadership in society. According to the Platonian society, all that
society requires to progress is a leader who has wisdom and has integrity. Locke and Views see
human beings as social, although from a different perspective. To Locke, human beings are
social so as to protect life and property, on the other hand, Marx posits that human beings are
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social and their nature keeps on changing as they try to establish dominance over others. This
different view leads to different conclusions on how human interactions take place in society.
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Bibliographies
Bauman, David C. “Plato on virtuous leadership: An ancient model for modern
business.” Business Ethics Quarterly 28.3 (2018): 251-274.
Drew, Allison. “Marxist theory in African settler societies: Algeria and South Africa.” (2018).
Kühl, Stefan. Work: Marxist and Systems-Theoretical Approaches. Routledge, 2019.
Marenbon, John. Early Medieval Philosophy 480-1150: An Introduction. Routledge, 2002.
Moehler, Michael. Minimal morality: A multilevel social contract theory. Oxford University
Press, 2018.
Perruci, Gama, and Sadhana W. Hall. “Developing a leadership curriculum.” Teaching
Leadership. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018.
Seliger, Martin. The liberal politics of John Locke. Routledge, 2019.
Tips and Guidelines for Term Papers in the Humanities
(History, Philosophy, Language, Literary Culture)
A. General Observations
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
An essay in the humanities has an argument.
The good essay has a sharply focused and limited topic.
Good papers use primary sources.
Get to the point quickly.
Build the paper step by step on evidence.
Document all sources.
Essays are written dispassionately, from the perspective of a detached, objective
observer.
8. A good paper includes original thoughts of the author.
9. An honest argument takes contrary evidence into account.
10. Use standard English and observe the common conventions of writing.
11. First and last paragraphs should mirror each other.
B. Argument
1.
2.
3.
4.
State your argument quickly and concisely, as early as possible in the paper.
When making an assertion, provide examples as evidence.
Give fair treatment to points of view different from your own.
Admit weaknesses in your own argument or acknowledge facts that potential
opponents might use to dispute your findings.
5. Avoid too much detail, otherwise your argument might become submerged.
C. Critical Use of Sources
1. Identify crucial information to answer the following questions:
1.1. Who are the actors/heroes?
1.2. What exactly happened?
1.3. When did it happen?
1.4. Where did it happen?
1.5. Why did it happen, and what is its significance?
1.5.1. Distinguish between precipitating and background causes.
1.5.2. Remember that historical causation in history itself, literary culture and
civilizational transformation is complex.
1.5.3. Be cautious in your judgments.
2. When using primary sources, be sure to situate them in their historical context.
Answer the following questions:
2.1. Who wrote it?
2.2. When was it written?
2.3. Where was it written?
2.4. For whom was it written?
2.5. What does it say?
2.6. What does it mean?
2.7. What can we infer?
D. References
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Use footnotes whenever you quote directly from a source.
Acknowledge any paraphrase or summary of a source.
Acknowledge important ideas that are not your own.
Do not reference common knowledge, expressions, or allusions.
Footnotes include the essential bibliographical information about of the source, i.e.
author, title, place of publication, publisher, year of publication, and the number of
the page from which the reference was made. Sample:
William F. Nimmo, Japan and Russia A Reevaluation in the Post-Soviet Era
(Greenwood, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994), 12
6. When citing a book or article the second time, it is sufficient to indicate the author’s
last name (and a short version of the title, if you using several books by the same
author) and the page number. E.g.: Nimmo, 134
7. When quoting from the same source more than once in a row, you may use “ibid.”
instead of the above. Note that “ibid.” refers only to the note immediately preceding
the current one, therefore you must use the author/short title formula when referring
to works other than the one indicated in the immediately preceding note.
E. Bibliography
Provide a bibliography listing all sources you have used for your paper in alphabetical
order. Note that the form of a bibliographical entry is slightly different from that of a
footnote.
Nimmo, William F. Japan and Russia. A Reevaluation in the Post-Soviet Era. Greenwod,
CT: Greenwood Press, 1994.

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