Assignment Description: For this assignment, students will explain one of the philosophical problems discussed in class. Then, students will analyze two competing positions explored in class readings, evaluate them with arguments, explain their own positions, and provide an argument for their own position. Assignment Outcomes: Students will be able to effectively communicate a philosophical argument in writing, interpret and analyze competing positions, and possess a basic understanding of the issues involved in their chosen philosophical question. Assignment Requirements: Students will: 1) Define the question under consideration (what is the question? Explain key terms). 2) Explain two competing positions explored in class.
i) Define the position. ii) Explain the reasoning the author offered in support of it. iii) Evaluate this reasoning (and give an argument for this evaluation). 3) Define their own position, and argue in favor of that position. i) Define a position. ii) Provide an argument in favor of that position. iii) Explain how their position compares with that of the two authors considered in class. Word Limit: 1000-1500 Example Model of an Essay: 1. Introduction i) Define a puzzling problem/question to be considered. ii) Define possible answers: Whereas A think X, B think Y. iii) Define one’s own answer: In contrast, I think Z, because _____ .
2. First Body Paragraph: A’s position i) On the one hand, A thinks X. ii) Explain X is greater detail. iii) A offers the following reasons in favor of X. 3. Second Body Paragraph: B’s position i) On the other hand, B thinks Y. ii) Explain Y in greater detail. iii) B offers the following reasons in favor of Y and against X. 4. Third Body Paragraph: Student’s position. i) Student thinks Z. ii) Explain Z in greater detail. iii) Reasons in favor of Z. iv) Explain how Z compares with X and Y. v) Explain flaws in A’s and B’s arguments that lead them, mistakenly, to X and Y. 6. Conclusion