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Final Writing Assignment Instructions
Write a 4-6 page (typed, double spaced, 1000-1400 words) paper that completes both of the following steps. The paper is due on Ilearn at the end of the exam week. Late papers will lose 1/2 letter grade for every day they are late.
The syllabus has info on how the papers are graded. There is a link at the top of our Ilearn page about how to write “Philosophical Argument Reconstructions” that will help you write good philosophy papers.
Write a brief (2-2.5 pages) exegesis of one of the philosophical theories listed below. An “exegesis” is just an explanation that uses simple terms, illustrative examples, and points out aspects of the idea being explained. When writing an exegesis use your own words. Imagine that you are speaking or writing to a friend who knows only a little about philosophy and that friend needs to understand the concept you are writing about. Be careful that you do not commit plagiarism in this section of your paper. Note that you do not need to do -and in many cases should avoid doing- any research outside of reading the textbook. When you do refer to the ideas in the textbook, cite them in APA style.
-Al Ghazali’s arguments for the Philosophical Skeptic’s conclusion that we know nothing
-Descartes’ Cogito Ergo Sum argument
-Berkeley’s Criticisms of Materialism
-Berkeley’s Idealist metaphysics (all that exists are ideas in our minds
-Russell’s position on sense data and real objects
-Libertarianism (about free will)
-Midgely’s Criticisms of Moral Isolationism and Cultural Relativism
-Mill’s arguments that we should always follow the Utility Principle
-Thomson’s claim that there is a morally relevant difference between pushing the fat man off the bridge and throwing the switch.
-Iris Marion Young’s explanation of oppression
-Taylor’s argument that life is objectively meaningless
-Wolf’s theory about projects of worth
-Sartre’s theory of Existentialism
-Epictetus’ Stoic account of the good life
-Epicurus’ account of the good life
Write a brief criticism of the theory you explained. Your criticism can come entirely from your own mind, from things I said in class, or from things other authors said in our textbook. But if you refer to other authors’ criticisms and agree with them, make sure to say why you agree and make sure to properly cite your sources using APA format.