How to Write a Paper for PHIL 1200
哲学论文作业代写 paper topics Any paper you write for this course will have two primary goals: to explain and critique a particular argument
Any paper you write for this course will have two primary goals: to explain and critique a particular argument for a particular conclusion. So any paper topic you choose for this course should have the following form:
“Explain and critique [name of philosopher]’s argument in defense of [the philosopher’s substantive conclusion]”
“Explain and critique Marquis’s argument in defense of the claim that abortion is seriously immoral”
“Explain and critique Thomson’s argument in defense of the claim that abortion is morally permissible”
You are free to write each paper on any reading that is covered in the course. 哲学论文作业代写
In writing your paper on a particular reading from the course. You are also welcome to make use of additional readings that were not covered in the course. But you need not do so. (for example, if you want to. You may look up articles that other philosophers have written in response to the reading you are writing your paper about and use them as a source of objections to discuss in your paper) Again, this is completely optional. If you do use any outside sources, however, you must make this fact clear in the paper and cite the sources.
Note that the suggested page length for these papers (2,500 – 3,000 words) is intended as a guideline, not as an absolute requirement. It is possible for a concise and cogent paper to be fully satisfactory and fall below these limits. Such a paper will not be penalized for being short. However, a paper that is shorter than the suggested length and that does not go into sufficient detail will be penalized for such failure. Similarly, a paper that goes over the page limits because it contains more or more complex ideas than can be clearly presented within the page limits will not be penalized simply for being long.
If the extra pages are of high quality, the paper will receive whatever grade corresponds to that quality. However, a paper that goes over the page limits simply because it is too wordy or redundant will be penalized for those qualities. In general, it should be possible to write a fully successful paper within these page limits. And most good papers will fall roughly into this range. But you should not attempt to force a paper to fit the limits if doing so will make it worse.
The purpose of this portion of the paper is to provide a fair and balanced presentation of the position that a given author has taken. The presentation should be written so that it would be clear to an intelligent reader who is not familiar with the author’s work. Two analogies might be useful in thinking about what needs to be accomplished in this portion of the paper: (1) suppose that a reasonably intelligent friend has an interest in the issue that an author is discussing but has not read the article. The friend asks you to tell them what the author said.
Presumably, you would not try to provide a paragraph-by-paragraph summary of the entire article. Rather, you would try to identify the core issues and key points and make them clear. And even if you disagreed with the author, you would not start out by attacking the article. You’d first have to explain it. (2) imagine that the author’s argument is being put on trial. Presumably, even if the argument is going to be subject to a vigorous cross-examination. You would first give the author a chance to state his or her position as clearly and forcefully as possible.
The explaining portion of the paper involves three distinct tasks:
explaining what the author’s conclusion is. This task is fairly straightforward. You should be careful to state the particular issue that the author is discussing and the particular position that the author is taking on it. If the author is opposed to cloning, for example, you should briefly explain what they mean by cloning and make clear whether they think it is immoral, think it should be illegal, or both. If there are qualifications or limits to the conclusion that the author is defending, those should be made clear, too. If they are against cloning, are they against all cloning or just human cloning? If they are against human cloning, are they against it under all circumstances?
The other two tasks involve explaining the argument that the author provides in defense of their conclusion. One of these is to identify the premises or assumptions that the author is appealing to. If, for example, the author provides examples of particular cases in which they think the reader will agree with them about whether or not it would be permissible to do a given action. And if they then use some of these cases as support for their conclusion. Then the paper should provide a clear explanation of what the cases involve and what the author’s assessment of them is.
If the author appeals to a more general principle that they presume the reader will accept. Then the paper should provide a clear explanation of the principle and the apparent sources of its appeal. If the author makes use of an analogy. The paper should explain why the author believes that the two cases being compared are analogous.
The other task that involves explaining the author’s argument is to explain why the author believes that the conclusion follows from these premises. Here, the paper should do something to help the reader see how the premises fit together and connect with each other in such a way that if they are all true, the conclusion should be true as well. It is important to note that while it can be useful at some point in the paper to summarize the argument by outlining it in terms of a set of premises and a conclusion. Doing so do does not count as an acceptable substitute for providing a description in complete sentences and paragraphs. For example, here is an outline of an argument that some people make in the context of the debate over race-based affirmative action:
P1: It is morally permissible to eliminate a runner’s unfair advantage in a race by adjusting their time to take into account the fact that they got a head start at the outset of the race.
P2: Affirmative action is morally on a par with eliminating a runner’s unfair advantage in a race in this kind of case .
C: Affirmative action is morally permissible.
If you were writing a paper on this kind of argument, it would not suffice to simply present this summary as your explanation of the argument. The summary might be useful as something to refer to at subsequent points in the paper. But to explain the argument you would have to elaborate on the claims made by the two premises and say something to help the reader see why the conclusion is supposed to follow from the premises. In short, a brief outline of an argument like this does not speak for itself. And part of your task in the explaining portion of the paper is to speak on its behalf.
The purpose of this portion of the paper is to provide the reader with your own critical assessment of the author’s argument. This involves subjecting the author’s argument to objections and then considering to what extent you think the author could successfully respond to them. A sufficiently thorough critical assessment must therefore present some objections to the argument. And consider at least some responses to at least some of them. And it must give the reader your own assessment of whether the objections are strong enough to warrant rejecting the argument.
For purposes of this part of the paper,
it is fine to talk about objections that were presented in class, objections that are discussed by the author, and/or objections of your own. Any kind of objection is fine as a subject for discussion and it’s fine if a paper only discusses objections that come from one of these sources and not from others. In each case, however, you should make clear where the objection comes from. Which objections should you discuss? That depends on what you would have to say about them.
In general, you should select objections to discuss that you think you can say something interesting and significant about. How many objections should you discuss? That depends on how much you have to say about them. A paper that focuses entirely on discussing a single objection can be a fully successful paper if it has a lot to say about that objection. But typically, a truly successful paper will discuss more than one objection and not so many more that it can’t go into sufficient detail when discussing them.
In cases where you discuss an author’s discussion of a particular objection, 哲学论文作业代写
you should keep in mind that the purpose of the critique component of the paper is to critically evaluate what the author says, not to summarize what the author says. Your summarizing an objection that an author considers and your summarizing the author’s response to the objection can contribute to the “explain” component of your paper. But by itself it does not contribute to your own critical assessment. The critical assessment portion of the paper should involve your explaining to the reader why you think the author’s response to the objection is or isn’t effective.
A paper that simply summarizes an author’s description of some objections and summarizes what the author says in response to them is not the same as a paper that contains your own critical assessment. For example, in Section V of “Why Abortion is Immoral,” Don Marquis presents an objection to his own argument and then responds to it. If part of a paper on Marquis simply summarizes what Marquis says in Section V. Then it is to that extent simply providing an explanation of Marquis’s position. In order to provide a critical assessment of that part of Marquis’s article. The paper would need to do something to consider objections to the way that Marquis handles that objection and do something to guide the reader in terms of thinking about whether, overall, the objection Marquis considers poses a problem for his argument.
It is also important to note that “critiquing” does not mean the same thing as “disagreeing with”. 哲学论文作业代写
You are free to agree with the author’s argument, disagree with it, or stake out a position somewhere in between. (for example, you might think an argument works in some cases but not in other cases. Or think that an argument can overcome some objections but not other objections) Think, again, of the two analogies offered above: (1) if your friend asked whether you were convinced by the argument, you would not feel compelled to insist that the argument was either a complete success or a complete failure.
You would simply try to be honest about what you found convincing and what you found unconvincing. (2) if the author’s argument were on trial and we were trying to reach a verdict. We would want to be free to conclude that the argument was a success on some counts and a failure on others. In general, the critical assessment should simply try to explain and justify to the reader what your response to the philosopher’s argument is in terms of whether, and to what extent, you think it is a successful argument.
It is also important to emphasize that the focus of the critical assessment should be on the author’s argument, not on the conclusion of the argument itself. In writing on whether Thomson’s argument succeeds in showing that abortion is morally permissible. For example, the paper should focus on whether that particular argument itself succeeds, not on whether or not abortion is, in fact, morally permissible for other reasons.
the paper should be clearly organized, with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The use of headings may help to make the paper’s organizational structure more apparent.
The introduction should identify the topic and article to be discussed, make clear what your thesis is going to be in terms of whether and to what extent you think the author’s argument is successful. And do at least something to draw the reader in to the paper. If the paper is about an author’s argument for the claim that research on human cloning should be banned. For example, the introduction should try to say something about why the reader should care about this question. And the reason should not simply be that it’s a question that many people have disagreed about or written on. Compare: “Since the dawn of time, philosophers have debated the subject of abortion” with “Mary is pregnant and scared.” Which one makes you want to read the next sentence?
The body of the paper can be organized in a number of ways; 哲学论文作业代写
what is important is not what form of organization it has. But that it have some discernible and consistent form of organization. For example, a paper might first explain an argument, then offer three objections, then offer some responses to them. Or it might be arranged as follows: argument, objection one, response one, objection two, response two, etc.
A paper might also divide the explanation of the argument into parts, something like this: explanation of first part of argument, objection(s) and response(s) to this. explanation of second part of argument, objections(s) and response(s) to this. Choose the form of organization that seems best suited to your topic and to what you want to say about it. What matters is simply having one clear and coherent principle of organization for the paper.
The conclusion should direct the reader’s attention to at least some feature of your critical assessment and should do something to wrap up the discussion that does not simply involve summarizing what has been said in the paper. Emphasizing the main points you’ve tried to make can be a valuable part of a conclusion but try to do more than just that. You might briefly suggest a more general lesson you think we might draw from your discussion. For example, or say something about how your analysis of the issue you’ve discussed might apply to some other particular issue.
A few additional points about writing the paper: 哲学论文作业代写
when you attribute certain specific claims to a given author, you must provide textual support for the claims. It is not necessary to provide direct quotes in each instance, and, in general, a clear and concise paraphrase is preferable to depending too heavily on direct quotation. In addition, if you quote an author directly, you must still provide the reader with some explanation of what you take the author to be saying in the quote. As a result, it is best to make relatively little use of direct quotation.
Regardless of whether you are quoting directly, you should refer to the page number in the reading where the author makes the claim you are describing or summarizing. It is not necessary to use a footnote form, and you need not cite the article by its full title, source, year, etc. It is sufficient to insert a page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence. When you are paraphrasing something an author says, you must put it in your own words. Simply copying something from a PowerPoint slide that summarizes the author’s claim does not count as your own explanation.
here is a checklist you might find helpful as you work on your paper. You might try writing an initial draft and then checking it against the following:
___ Does the introduction briefly explain the topic to be discussed?
___ Does the introduction identify the article and author to be discussed?
___ Does the introduction briefly summarize your thesis about the author’s argument?
___ Does the introduction do something to try to make the paper interesting to the reader?
___ Does the body of the paper have a clear and consistent pattern of organization?
___ Is it clear at each point whether the paper is summarizing the author’s view or critiquing it?
___ Does the body of the paper explain what the author’s conclusion is?
___ Does the body of the paper explain the premises of the author’s argument?
___ Does the body of the paper explain how the premises are meant to justify the conclusion?
___ Does the body of the paper present objections to the author’s argument?
___ Does the body of the paper present possible responses to at least some of the objections?
___ Does the body of the paper make clear what your assessment of the author’s argument is?
___ Does the body of the paper make clear what your reasons for your assessment are?
___ Does the conclusion summarize the main points made in the paper?
___ Does the conclusion go beyond summarizing the main points in some way?
evaluating a philosophy paper is not an exact science. Nonetheless, I can provide some basic descriptions of different kinds of papers to give you an idea of the sort of standards that will be applied in grading them:
paper provides poor to mediocre summary of the argument and no critical assessment.
grade: D to C- depending on quality of writing, organization, and explanation of argument
paper provides good to very good explanation of the argument but no critical assessment
grade: C to C+ depending on quality of writing, organization, and the explanation of argument. (in some exceptional cases, the grade could be a bit higher if the explanation seems particularly insightful. But, in general, a paper that does not present a critical assessment of the argument will get no higher than a C+)
paper provides a good to very good explanation of the argument and presents some objections to it. But does not consider any responses to the objections and does not help the reader to assess the merits of the objections
grade: B- to B+ depending on quality of writing, organization, and the explanation of the argument and of the objections. (in some exceptional cases, the grade could be a bit higher if the explanations seem particularly insightful. But, in general, a paper that does not consider any responses to the objections and does not help the reader to assess the merits of the objections is unlikely to be higher than a B+)
paper provides a solid explanation of the argument, presents some objections to it, does at least something to consider how the author might respond to at least some of these objections. And provides the reader with reasons to either accept or reject the objections.
grade: B+ to A depending on quality of writing, organization, explanation of argument and objections, and quality of responses
paper provides very good objections to the argument and discussion of the objections. But fails to provide a good enough explanation of the argument itself
grade: B- to B+ depending on quality of the writing, organization, and discussion of objections. (in some exceptional cases, the grade could be a bit higher. But in general, a paper that jumps in with objections to an argument before the argument itself has been adequately presented will not be higher than a B+ even if the objections themselves and the discussion are quite strong)