Introduction to Philosophy
Final Paper Prompt Due Monday January 4th by 4:00 PM EST
For your final paper, pick one of the following questions related to the different philosophers we have been discussing the past 4 weeks:
1. Compare Plato’s use of similes to show that there are levels of knowledge with John Stuart Mill’s more “ordinary” argument regarding levels of knowledge in judgments of quality. Which approach seems most compelling, if does? Explain.
2. Some philosophers doubt that we really do have a clear and distinct (precise) idea of God. Reflect on the idea of God. Is it clear and distinct? Do you have a clear and distinct idea of perfection—in beings or automobiles or marriages or anything? Does Descartes’ argument?
3. Do you think morality must disappear if everything we do can be explained according to scientific laws and patterns? Could there be another kind of morality based on laws of behavior and biopsychology? Why or why not? What is lost in the purely scientific view of humanity, of personhood? Anything important? Explain.
4. Do you think that the presence of a perspective makes a neutral stance impossible? What do you think neutral means in this kind of case? Does it mean perspectiveless? If it means something else, what else? Are perspectives the same thing as biases?
Try to develop a strong set of reasons aimed at convincing the reader of your paper (me, the professor) that your view is correct. Make use of the different theories presented by the authors studied over the semester, as well as additional readings on the topic (some of these can be found in the bibliography at the end of the textbook), to support your position.
à Your paper should be at least 4 pages double spaced, in Times New Roman 12 pt. font with 1” margins. Be sure to include an introduction and conclusion that state your thesis (the general claim you are defending in the paper) and that summarize the supporting points you will be making. Please include a works cited page at the end of your paper. Any format for the works cited page is okay if it is consistent throughout your paper.
Also, when in doubt, cite a source! Even if you are not quoting a text directly, be sure to include a note of the author and date for any paraphrasing of statements, or even the mentioning of ideas, that come from another source. Using the ideas or written material from an outside source without citing it constitutes plagiarism and will lead to a failing grade on the assignment.
In text citations at the end of any sentence using material from another source are the best way to successfully point out the use of an outside source in the paper. These citations should look like the following (Last Name, year) or, for example, (Fosner, 2018). The full bibliographical information for any outside source should appear on the works cited page at the end of your paper. Please email me if you have questions about citations or what constitutes plagiarism!
This assignment will be graded based on the following four factors:
1. Completeness: Have all parts of the prompt been answered?
2. Accuracy: Have the course texts been accurately represented? Is the discussion of philosophical theories and concepts accurate?
3. Insight: Have novel and interesting points been made? Is your own view clearly expressed?
4. Style: How easy is the paper to read? How clear and concise is the writing?
For more information on Intro To Philosophy read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy
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