Dr. Ernesto Rosen Velásquez
One main aim of this paper assignment is to provide you another opportunity for you to cultivate the ability of employing perspectives from multiple social, epistemic, temporal and geographic locations in order to advance your understanding of philosophical issues.
To this end before you can learn to apply multiple perspectives you need to get in the habit of identifying different perspectives within a single text. You need to be able to identify the difference between (a) a view the author merely presents and (b) the view the author ultimately argues for in the piece. Once you learn how to do this in order to demonstrate your comprehension of the reading you need to unpack, in writing, the author’s argument and draw out some of the possible consequences of the author’s view. Once you do this you can begin to learn to critically evaluate an author’s argument. Once you have sufficiently introduced the author’s argument then you can begin critically evaluating the author’s premises, conclusions, assumptions, and/or methodology by raising an objection (even if you agree) or extending the author’s view to other cases or try and take the argument in unexplored directions. You should be able to step into different perspectives such as the author’s, an objector’s position (in which you may imagine an objection one could raise), and/or your position. In this vein your paper should have a back and forth conversation-feel to it. This paper is different than the former because in the first part of the paper, the reader should be able to notice at least 3 distinct voices (i.e. the author’s analyzed, the objector’s, and your voice). With the second part of the paper you will be synthesizing 2 distinct views by putting 2 author’s in conversation with each other and you will not be concerned with giving your view.
Your assignment is to write a 2 pg. double-spaced paper following the standard format of 12 pt. font, Times New Roman, and one inch margins (no extra spacing between paragraphs, don’t enlarge your margins to take up space or increase the font size to make it seem as if you wrote a lot, I am aware of these tricks). Do not go over 2 pgs. Part of the aim of the exercise is for you to sort out what is relevant within a large chunk of information and to be concise. Please write clear, non-repetitive, succinct, dense answers to the questions below. Make sure you answer every part of a question so you do not lose points. Also break up your answer into digestible paragraphs that are organized into clear chunks with smooth logical transitions and not one long single spaced paragraph. You want to give your reader a breather, to rest. When you answer these questions try and answer them in your own words, with clear examples, and in such a way that someone who never read these philosophers could get a feel for the question and understand an answer to it. The paper is due electronically that you post on Isidore. The deadline is Friday September 27, 2013. Late papers will drop 1 letter grade per day. Good luck!
If you have written beyond the 2 pg. limit there are some things you can do to trim it: (a) read it aloud (i.e. yourself or someone else) (b) delete extra words/phrases that do not work to help express what you want to say (c) look for repetitive sentences and delete them. The maximum points you can earn on this paper is 15 points. Here are the questions:
Part I: Answer questions 1-4 in 1 pg.
What are you really according to Descartes? What is his argument for the conclusion that you really are what he claims you really are?
What are you really according to Eve Browning Cole? What is her argument for the conclusion that you really are what she claims you really are?
What are 2 objections Cole raises against Descartes argument? How would Descartes try to minimize the force of each of her objections? When you imagine how Descartes could respond to each objection in a way that is consistent with his view you are highly encouraged to quote from Descartes text in order to provide the reader with evidence supporting your interpretation of how Descartes could respond.
After addressing the questions above answer the following question: In your opinion what are you really? Do you think Cole’s argument is more persuasive than Descartes? Do you think Cole’s objections are forceful or does Descartes diminish their force?
Part II: Answer questions 5-6 in 1pg.
According to Paul Taylor do racial blacks have an obligation to embrace some (at least one) aspect of their black culture? You must give 3 main reasons in support of his argument. You must support your interpretation of how Paul Taylor responds to this question by providing some direct quotes from the Taylor article. Please quote sparingly and be very selective in the few short quotes you use. No large block quotes that take up a lot of space or a flurry of little quotes that drown out your own words/voice.
According to Paula Moya do minorities have an obligation to embrace some (at least one) aspect of their culture? You must give 3 main reasons in support of her argument. You must support your interpretation of how Paula Moya responds to this question by providing some direct quotes from the Moya article. Please quote sparingly and be very selective in the few short quotes you use. No large block quotes that take up a lot of space or a flurry of little quotes that drown out your own words/voice.
After you clearly and accurately present both arguments you will do something a little harder. You will put Moya’s argument in conversation with Taylor’s argument (i.e. synthesize different views). To do this you will ask yourself: do Moya’s 3 main reasons she gives in support of her argument diminish the force of Taylor’s 3 main reasons given in support of his argument? Yes or No briefly explain by imagining what they could say to each other (whether you agree with one of them or not). Remember you are not giving your own point of view. You are simply asked to demonstrate an understanding of the author’s arguments. When you imagine how one author might respond to the other author remember it must be consistent with that author’s argument so feel free to provide textual evidence in support of the imagined response
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