This essay will be a substantial piece of original research. In this paper you will need to do the following:
First, present a clear, compelling, and well-supported argument for some philosophical claim related to the course material. You can either choose a claim we have discussed in any section of the course, or you can use the critical thinking skills you have gained in the course to argue for some other claim of epistemological, ethical, or social importance we have not discussed. If empirical facts are relevant to your claim, you must track them down and present them in your essay. Make sure to properly cite any sources you use. (The form of citation is not important; just make sure I can track it down if I need to.) Second, present some of the strongest objections one might make against your argument. Remember that there are three main ways to attack an argument: 1) argue that one of the premises is false, 2) argue that there is something wrong with the logic of the argument (for example, point out an absurd consequence of that kind of reasoning), or 3) present a new
argument that supports the opposite conclusion. You should try to make these objections as clear and compelling as possible. Third, offer a compelling reply to this these objections. The goal is to leave the reader with the impression that you know the potential weaknesses of your argument, but you also have a way to sure them up. Doing this will make your overall position all the more compelling.
Your paper also needs to have the following elements:
1) An informative title.
2) A brief introductory paragraph that gives a synopsis of what you will be doing in the
paper. For these longer papers, this paragraph can come after a lead-in paragraph that gives
some background on the question you will be addressing. But this kind of lead-in isn’t
necessary, and you should only put one in if you think you can make the question seem very
3) A brief concluding paragraph that sums up what you have done in the paper.