The specific assignment is to reconstruct an argument as it is made by Socrates the philosopher we are studying in the course material (ATTACHED)
subjecting it to an analysis to show whether you think it works or not. This means subjecting it to a validity test (if deductive) or evaluation of its strength (if inductive), based upon the evidence it presents in its premises in support of its conclusion. Then, if you agree that the argument is a good one, try to imagine what someone who wished to criticize the argument would say in response to it, in an attempt to undermine it, and then respond to the criticism, by showing why you do or do not still think that the argument is a good one. Alternatively, if you think that the initial argument you’ve presented isn’t a good one, explain why, and then try to think of how the philosopher who formulated it would respond to your criticism, and how you would reply to the philosopher’s response.
Your paper should begin with a basic thesis statement and summary of what you are about to do: “In this paper, I will show that (philosopher x’s) argument concerning (subject y) is a successful/unsuccessful argument. First, I will reconstruct the argument, and discuss why it is significant. Then, I will show that the argument is/isn’t successful, and why. I will then consider possible objections to what I have said, and how I would reply to them. Finally, I will summarize the contents of the paper, showing what has been accomplished by my analysis.”
For maximum points, the structure of your paper should adhere to this format as closely as possible. It’s expected length is about 4-6 pages, double-spaced, with standard font size and margins. If outside sources are consulted, even if they are not directly quoted from, full citations are required, in accordance with any generally accepted style manual.
Please note: This is NOT a research paper, which will not conform to the structure as outlined above. While outside sources may be used for clarification, it is expected that the paper can be written simply by being familiar with the material presented in the course; including the lectures, quizzes, and readings.
Philosophic Classics: From Plato to Derrida
By: Forrest Baird
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