http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XavTW-386m0INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY              Written Assignments 

OBSERVE THE DUE DATES!!   Check on the COURSE CALENDAR for the due dates:

Click on the item for more information or for the assignment for that module.

INSTRUCTIONS for PREPARING and SUBMITTING WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS

ASSIGNMENT 1 The GREEKS, PLATO and DIALECTICAL THINKING

ASSIGNMENT 2: Philosophy of Religion: Proof of the Existence of a Deity

ASSIGNMENT 3 Philosophy of Religion: the Problem of Evil

ASSIGNMENT 4 Epistemology

ASSIGNMENT 5 Mind-Body Problem

ASSIGNMENT 6 Freedom vs Determinism Problem

ASSIGNMENT 7 Ethics

ASSIGNMENT 8 Social and Political Philosophy

ASSIGNMENT 9 What is Philosophy?

ASSIGNMENT  CULMINATING ACTIVITY: BONUS EXERCISE

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Written Assignment 1 Philosophy as Dialectical Thinking

Philosophy emerges amongst the Greeks in its fullest form in the works of Plato.  This assignment aims to develop an understanding of just exactly what was philosophy to Plato.  It was and is a method for thinking.  Plato describes the manner for doing philosophy as involving a dialectical process of thought. This assignment requires that you describe that process. Plato wrote dialogues rather than essays so that he could show people how philosophy was done. He learned the methodology from Socrates and so he attempts to show us what he saw and thus we could learn as he learned. What was philosophy to Plato? Describe the process. What does the process involve? Provide two examples of the process as Plato provides Socrates evidencing dialectical thinking in an exchange with another.  Provide two examples from Plato's dialogues  as evidence of how dialectical thinking is done.

DO NOT RELATE ALL OF THE NICE IDEAS OF PLATO just be specific as to the idea of what Philosophy itself actually is according to Plato.

In your own words describe how philosophy is done according to Plato.  What does one do when doing philosophy?  Be somewhat extensive in describing the exact process.  Do not describe what it is good for or what you think about it.  Describe exactly what philosophy is for Plato.  This means that you should describe what the dialectical process of thinking is and its steps.  Take the seven PASSAGES  provided and put them into your own words in a single description of the process of inquiry known as Philosophy.  Please indicate your familiarity with the readings in your answer -this means use some quotations to support your answers.

RESOURCES:

1. The online Textbook Chapter Two

2. The Dialogues of Plato with examples of the process: ION, MENO, EUTHYPHRO, APOLOGY, CRITO,  SYMPOSIUM

3. These seven (7)  PASSAGES  supplied at this webpage PASSAGES  You MUST cite where Plato speaks ABOUT Philosophy.  Copy and paste the exact words from each of the seven passages using quotation marks and the source citation for the exact passages where Plato describes what Philosophy is about and how to do Philosophy.  PASSAGES Click on this link PASSAGES and you will find where I supply the seven (7) most pertinent passages that describe the Dialectical Process of Inquiry that Plato identifies with the process of Philosophical thinking. You should quote the exact lines that indicate what Plato thought Philosophy was and how to go about doing it. The basic idea is to take the excerpts from the passages that provide a description of the dialectical process of thought that for PLATO was Philosophy- a method for thinking.

This assignment requires you to describe what the process of dialectical thinking involves as it was described by Plato and evidenced in the Dialogues of Plato. Cite any passages where he is advising people on the method for thinking that he is demonstrating in the dialogues. What does the process involve?   While he shows the method in all his dialogues he gets specific in a few of them, including the PHAEDO and the REPUBLIC where he speaks of arguments, argumentation and the dialectical process. These are the passages that are supplied in the collection through use of the link marked PASSAGES .  In order to demonstrate just what the process is find at least two passages in the dialogues that were covered in this module where Plato shows Socrates entering into the dialectical process of Philosophy.  Copy and paste the passages using  quotation marks and cite the source dialogue. You find 2 passages where Socrates is exchanging questions and answers with someone on a topic, issue or question. Where do you find these passages? Find them in any of these dialogues: ION EUTHYPHRO APOLOGY CRITO  PHAEDO REPUBLIC SYMPOSIUM   How long do they need to be?  Not the entire dialogue !! Just submit a passage long enough to see the back and forth of the question and answer process by which Socrates leads his audience to some point of clarity or some position on an issue. To show how one goes about doing it you should quote the exact lines or the passages in the dialogues where Plato has Socrates interact with others using the dialectical methods of philosophy.  DO NOT USE THE  PASSAGES SUPPLIED THAT DESCRIBE DIALECTICS!!!!  These PASSAGES are not demonstrations of the process but are descriptions of it.

SAMPLE ANSWER to what is DIALECTICAL THINKING?

In this course you are directed to take a position on a topic or question and then to use dialectical thinking to defend or support your position using dialectical thinking.  What is dialectical thinking? It is the form of critical thinking associated with Philosophy.  But what is it?

Here is a representation on what dialectical thinking involves. It will use the metaphor that Plato provided concerning the selection of a raft.

“For he should persevere until he has attained one of two things: either he should discover or learn the truth about them; or, if this is impossible, I would have him take the best and most irrefragable of human notions, and let this be the raft upon which he sails through life-not without risk, as I admit, if he cannot find some word of God which will more surely and safely carry him. "(Plato PHAEDO (85C)

In that statement he implies that truth is important for living a worthwhile life and that if the truth is unattainable one should be guided by the best truth available although it will involve the risk that comes from uncertainty.

So think of life as a journey and the path that you must travel has rivers to cross. These rivers are the challenges, the problems, the issues that you will face. You need to cross the rivers and continue on your journey.   At the bank of the river you reach there are many rafts of different types that you can use to cross the river.  These rafts are possible positions or answers or solutions that humans have devised. You want the best possible raft with which to cross safely. There are no perfect rafts. No ideal rafts. You need to select the best one for crossing the river. 

Using this metaphor it could be said that Plato indicated that the purpose of Philosophy was knowing how to select the best raft or in life how to select the best option when deciding how to live a “good” life. The method is applied by Philosophers to questions or "rivers" such as :

So, just what is the method? At the bank of the river you would look carefully to find as many rafts as you can and then examine each one to determine which is the best. You would select based upon the purpose it is to serve. You would not select based on which is the biggest or the most popular or the most expensive or even based on your favorite color. None of that is relevant to the purpose. Such criteria are not relevant. You need the best raft for crossing the river and that is not necessarily the biggest or most popular or the most expensive.  You need the raft that will get you across safely.  It needs to have been well assembled.  It should have few or no leaks or tears in the ropes that bind the logs of the raft together.

You select one after having “good” reasons to reject the others. You find fault with them. They have leaks. You select the one least likely to leak or come apart and most likely to get you across the river. 

You must also respond to those who are selecting other sorts of rafts and using other methods of selection. They will criticize your selection. They may say you should have picked the most expensive or the biggest or the red one or the one most others have. “Don’t you want to be one of us? “  You respond to the criticisms indicating why the critics are wrong. e.g., they are using criteria not relevant to the buoyancy and dependability of the raft.

With the dialectical process you use reason and hold your passions and emotions in check and choose the best based on reason and evidence. You don’t select on appeals to loyalty or popularity or prestige.

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ASSIGNMENT 2: Philosophy of Religion: Proof of the Existence of a Deity

There have been several proofs or arguments for the existence of god developed over the centuries.  Each one of them has been closely examined and criticized and weaknesses have been disclosed. Some have more problems than others. Some seem more attractive and some stronger than others. This written assignment requires that you demonstrate two basic understandings: 1) an understanding of the significance or importance of the arguments and of their weakness as revealed through dialectical thinking and 2) an understanding of one arguemtn in aprticualr and how it si constructed and what problems there are with it.

Part 1. You need to comment on why it is that humans care about these arguments or proofs?  Just what use can a believer make of these arguments despite the problems? What value do they have for philosophers or for anyone?  BE SURE that you consult the online textbook section on the summary of all the arguments. Show evidence of having done so by the use of quotations from that summary.  Since they all have problems, are they necessary for the believer in god? Can people believe even though they do not know these arguments? Can they go on believing even though there are such problems with the arguments? What do you think about this? Answer this lead question with a simple YES or NO.  You may then add on your explanation of your answer.

Part 2. . Select any one (1) and only one (1) of the following arguments (Ontological, Teleological, Cosmological, Miracles, Experiences) and answer each part below a to d.

a. What is the argument or proof that you have selected?  STATE the EXACT REASONING in steps. Be exact and complete. Each arguments has premises and a conclusion.  What are they?

b. Why are believers attracted to this argument or proof that you have selected?

c. What are the problems with the argument? What are the criticisms of this argument? Please indicate your familiarity with the readings in your answer -this means use some quotations from texts or textbook to support your answers.

d. How do the defenders of the argument that you have selected respond to the specific criticisms? -indicate that you have done some reading and thinking in your answer

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WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT 3    The Problem of EVIL

With this assignment you are required to attempt doing dialectical thinking for the first time in this course. As with many things it becomes easier as you practice.

Preliminary: Please indicate your familiarity with the readings in your answer -this means use some quotations to support your answers.

Describe just what is the Problem of Evil in Philosophy as it relates to the existence or nature of a deity? Be exact and complete. STATE the EXACT REASONING in steps. Be exact and complete-indicate that you have done some reading and thinking in your answer.  Use quotations.  Cite your sources. In all parts of this assignment you must indicate your familiarity with the readings in your answer -this means use some quotations to support your answers.

Some believe that the Problem of Evil can not be solved. They think that the resolution of the conflict between certain characteristics of a deity, such as traditionally thought of the deity of the West, and the existence of evil can only result in denying the existence of the deity altogether or the changing of the properties of the deity or a recasting of the idea of evil itself so that it really is not evil at all. So, there are  four possible responses to the problem advanced over two millennia:

 Part 1.You must explain each one of these .  Do not simply list them.  Describe them and explain them. This will take more than one sentence for each one.

Part 2. Take a position and defend it using dialectical thinking

a. you must take a position on this Problem of Evil-that is take one of the four. Select the one that you can reason as the strongest or the one that has the least problems or makes the most sense and has reason and evidence to support it. Be as exact as you can be.  Be precise in your use of language. Dialectical Thinking: Please indicate your familiarity with the readings in your answer -this means use some quotations to support your answers. 

b. Provide the reasons why you think this position is better defended by reason and evidence than are the alternative positions. Take your  position and defend it using reasoning in support of the judgment (conclusion of the  argument).  You state the reasons why the position you take makes sense and has evidence and reasons to support it other than your feelings or personal preference or your opinion or what you were brought up to believe or what just about everyone you know thinks or believes.   Philosophers have offered such reasons and evidence for the positions they have taken and you should consider them and if you agree you can and should so state them in support of your own position.

c.  State the reasons why you found the other positions flawed or less defensible than the one you are defending  

d.  State the criticisms of your position.  

e.   Respond to the criticisms- rebuttal- how do you defend your position in light of those criticisms

 I suggest that you create your assignments using your word-processing program and spell checker ,
then SEND FILE to the instructor  by email with the text inside the email message window. DO NOT send attachments

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ASSIGNMENT 4    Epistemology

Please indicate your familiarity with the readings in your answer -this means use some quotations to support your answers in all parts of this assignment.

Part 1. There are Four(4)  types of claims of knowledge indicating the four types of knowledge: SEMANTIC, SYSTEMIC, LOGICAL and EMPIRICAL.  Truth is determined differently according to the claims. Describe how truth is to be determined for each of those four types of claims.  How are these claims warranted or supported that determines whether or not the claim is true?  What supports each type of claim? For the EMPIRICAL claims only there are the four different theories concerning the determination of the truth of empirical claims:

Describe each of these four theories for proving empirical claims to be true. Explain each one.  Do not simply list them.  Describe them and explain them. This will take more than one sentence for each one.

Part 2. What do you think of the theory that there can be simultaneous multiple truths concerning claims? Concerning all types of claims?  Does it apply to claims that are semantic, systemic, logical or empirical?   Comment on each type.  Can there be simultaneous multiple truths for each type of claim?  For any type of claim?  We understand and accept that what one person believes may not agree with another person’s belief and so what may be be believed to be true to one person may not be believed to be true to the second person.  Does this mean that they are both correct?  Do you think that each group and each person is entitled to their own truth? Does this apply to all claims? Explain what this might mean. Explain and defend your position on this question with reasons. If you think that there can be more than one truth about the same claim at the same time then be sure to explain how there can be more than one truth about the shape of the earth and who is president of the USA and the sum of 2 and 7 and the number of angles in a triangle AT THE SAME TIME. What is to be done when there is a conflict between two different "truths" concerning claims that are semantic, systemic, logical or empirical? Does the outcome of the conflict determine what the truth is? 

Part 3. What does determine whether or not an empirical claim is true or not true? Respond only to what supports or warrants an empirical claim. Which of the four theories do you hold to use to resolve conflicts in truth for empirical claims?  Why do you hold that theory over the other three?

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ASSIGNMENT  5   The Mind-Body Problem

Please indicate your familiarity with the readings in your answer -this means use some quotations to support your answers in all parts of this assignment.

Part 1. What is the Mind Body Problem or what was the Mind Body Problem?  Why was it a problem?  What has it become?

Part 2. There are twelve possible metaphysical positions listed below.

Dualism Monism
  • 1. Causal Interaction
  • . Parallelism
    • 2.Pre-established Harmony
    • 3.Occassionalism
  • 4. Epiphenomenalism
  • 5. Dual Aspect

 

  • 6. Idealism
  • B.. Materialism
    • 7. Radical Behaviorism
    • 8. Logical Behaviorism
    • 9. Identity
    • 10. Eliminative Materialism
    • 11. Structuralism
    • 12 . Functionalism

    Do NOT explain all of them. Adopt ONE of them and defend it!  Dialectical thinking--You must demonstrate the dialectical thinking process

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    ASSIGNMENT  6 FREEDOM and DETERMINISM PROBLEM

    Please indicate your familiarity with the readings in your answer -this means use some quotations to support your answers in all parts of this assignment.

    Part 1. Describe the three (3) theories on the issue of free will and describe them in some detail.    Explain each one.  Do not simply list them.  Describe them and explain them. This will take more than one sentence for each one.

    Part 2.  Take a position on this question or issue  Do Humans have free will, if so, how free is it? Are all human actions determined, if so how so? to what degree?  Which of these three theories do you think is most accurate in describing the human condition and why do you think so?  

    CAUTION:  Read the textbook first.  This is not about freedom from consequences.

    CAUTION: This is NOT about FATE or DESTINY or agents of any kind that have predetermined all events.

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    ASSIGNMENT 7 Ethics

    Please indicate your familiarity with the readings in your answer -this means use some quotations to support your answers in all parts of this assignment.

    Part 1.  List at least three(3) things that are wrong with or are problems with each of these theories of the moral GOOD:

    1. EGOISM
    2. UTILITARIANISM
    3. CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE
    4. NATURAL LAW
    5. THEORY OF JUSTICE AS FAIRNESS-MAXI MIN
    6. WILL TO POWER - Existentialist Theory of Nietzsche
    7. CARING- One of several Feminist Theories of Ethics
    8.  List at least three(3) things that are wrong with NORMATIVE ETHICAL RELATIVISM<<< DISPROVEN and NOT a THEORY but a critique of all Ethics as being culturally based and no universal ethics possible.

    Part 2.

    a. Take a position on this question or issue  Which of the theories listed above do you think is the theory with the most acceptable disadvantages?  That is to say, which is the most acceptable theory of Ethics or Ethical Principle for the moral GOOD to serve as the basis for a moral order in a society in which you would want to live?  You would be led to the selection based on your values. NOTE: NORMATIVE ETHICAL RELATIVISM is not a theory but an anti theory claiming there can be no absolute or general or universal basis for ethics.

    b.  Provide the reasons (ethical principles and human values) why you think this position is better defended by reason and evidence than are the alternative positions.  Your position is to be defended using reasoning in support of the judgment (conclusion of the  argument).  You state the reasons (ethical principles and human values) why the position you take makes sense and has evidence and reasons to support it other than your feelings or personal preference or your opinion or what you were brought up to believe or what just about everyone you know thinks or believes.   Philosophers have offered such reasons (ethical principles and human values) and evidence for the positions they have taken and you should consider them and if you agree you can and should so state them in support of your own position.

    c.  State the reasons why you found the other positions flawed or less defensible than the one you are defending in terms of the human values you hold

    d.  State the criticisms of your position or ethical principle-or answer "Just what are the weaknesses or problems with the principle you choose?"

    e.   Respond to the criticisms- rebuttal- how do you defend your position in light of those criticisms.

    VERY IMPORTANT!! If no one theory of ethics or ethical principle seems to be what you would want to use then argue for more than one or for a consideration of all of them in support of what values you seek to realize and support when you make moral judgments.

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    ASSIGNMENT  8 Social and Political Philosophy

    Please indicate your familiarity with the readings in your answer -this means use some quotations to support your answers in all parts of this assignment.

    Part 1. How would each of the thinkers below resolve the tension between public interest and individual interest?  Which side would be given greater weight or consideration by each of these thinkers? Why?

    THINKER Greater Weight given to

    (check one for each thinker)

    Reasoning given by the thinker or the theory
      Individual Group  
    PLATO      
    HOBBES      
    LOCKE      
    MILL      
    RAWLS      
    MARX      
    HOSPERS      

    Part 2. ISSUE: how to resolve the conflict between individual interests and the group's interests in the growing inequality in wealth and income between the very rich and the very many who are not at all rich. 

    There are several ideas about what constitutes distributive justice, among them are:

    Which of these principles would you want to use in your position on the matter of resolving the inequality in wealth and income in the USA? 

    Offer a dialectical argument for your position  with these steps for presenting an  argument or a defense of a position using dialectical reasoning

    1. STATEMENT

    State your Position on the issue do so quite clearly.  Be as exact as you can be.  Be precise in your use of language.

    2.DEFENSE

     You need to defend your position using reasoning in support of the your judgment (your judgment as the best position is the conclusion of the  argument).  You state the reasons why the position you take makes sense and has evidence and reasons to support it other than your feelings or personal preference or your opinion or what you were brought up to believe or what just about everyone you know thinks or believes.   Philosophers have offered such reasons and evidence for the positions they have taken and you should consider them and if you agree you can and should so state them in support of your own position.  Use your notion of Distributive Justice (from those supplied in the reading) and your notion of the justification for and proper form of government  (from those supplied in the reading) in support of your position.

    3.CRITICISMS and ALTERNATIVES to your position

    4.REBUTTAL of those CRITICISMS and ALTERNATIVES

     Consideration of alternative positions to and criticisms of your own position and the reasons for the rejection of those alternatives in favor of the judgment made for the reasons given in support of your position which employ reasoning and evidence.

    I suggest that you create your assignments using your word-processing program and spell checker ,
    then SEND FILE to the instructor or by email with the text inside the email message window. DO NOT send attachments .

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    ASSIGNMENT 9  Culminating Activity :  What is Philosophy?

    Answer each of the questions below and submit

    1.Which of the philosophical issues covered this semester has been the most important and why so?

    2. Which of the philosophical issues covered this semester has meant anything to you personally and why so?

    3.Why do you think that the philosophical issues this course has covered have been issues and have remained issues for so long?

    4. Why do you think these issues have been associated with Philosophy and not some other discipline?

    5. Why is it that most of these issues have not been so evident as issues in our contemporary culture? Why are not more people aware of these troublesome questions, issues or problems?

    6. Why were not you more aware of these philosophical issues than you were at the start of this course?

    7. Now that you have been educated as to these issues in Philosophy in what way will they have any consequence in your life?

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    Assignment CULMINATING ACTIVITY: BONUS EXERCISE

    Do each part of THREE (3) Parts

    PART I.  ABOUT THE COURSE: FINAL EXERCISE 

    Part 1: What did you like best about this course? 

    Part 2: What specific things do you think could be improved in the structure or design of the course and learning activities? 

    Part 3: How would you improve the quality and participation in course discussions/interactions? 

    Part  4:   What changes would you suggest be made to the pacing or sequence of the content and activities for this course? (e.g., were the due dates doable for you? Were the course materials sequenced well?) 

    Part 5:  What changes would you suggest be made to the quantity of work required for this course? 

    Part 6:  How could the course be improved in terms of my interaction, participation, and management of the course? 

    Part 7:  What other suggestions, comments, or recommendations would you have for the instructor?

    Part 8:  What advice do you offer to students who would be just entering the class at the very start of the semester?

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    PART II.  COURSE OBJECTIVES

    This course has six objectives on a scale of 0 to 5 with 5 as the highest level , how well do you think that you have achieved these objectives?

    DISCIPLINE-SPECIFIC LEARNING OBJECTIVES

    a. Identify some of the basic content in the field of Philosophy (vocabulary, concepts, theories)
    b. Identify traditional and current Issues in Philosophy;  
    c. Communicate awareness of and understanding of philosophical issues.
    d. Demonstrate familiarity with the main areas of philosophic discourse and be able to state what major schools of thought there are that have contributed to the ongoing discussion of these issues  
    e. Develop skills of critical analysis and dialectical thinking.  
    f. Analyze and respond to the comments of other students regarding philosophical issues.

    Score 0 to 5   a.____  b. ______ c._______  d.________ e.______ f.________

     

    PART I II. DIALECTICAL REASONING

    Select which of your submitted work represents your estimate of your best effort at dialectical reasoning and submit it again to me.   Just copy and paste any of the written assignments that you have already done that you think is your BEST WORK that follows all the steps for dialectical thinking and presenting a position on an issue or question and defending it.

     Steps for presenting an  argument or a defense of a position using dialectical reasoning

    1. STATEMENT

    State your Position on the issues or question and do so quite clearly.  Be as exact as you can be.  Be precise in your use of language.

    2.DEFENSE

     Position defended using reasoning in support of the judgment (conclusion of the  argument).  You state the reasons why the position you take makes sense and has evidence and reasons to support it other than your feelings or personal preference or your opinion or what you were brought up to believe or what just about everyone you know thinks or believes.   Philosophers have offered such reasons and evidence for the positions they have taken and you should consider them and if you agree you can and should so state them in support of your own position.

    3.CRITICISMS and ALTERNATIVES to your position

    4.REBUTTAL of those CRITICISMS and ALTERNATIVES

     Consideration of alternative positions to and criticisms of your own position and the reasons for the rejection of those alternatives in favor of the judgment made for the reasons given in support of your position which employ reasoning and evidence.

    I suggest that you create your assignments using your word-processing program and spell checker ,
    then SEND FILE to the instructor or by email with the text inside the email message window. DO NOT send attachments .

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    Research in Philosophy on the Internet.

    Free tutorial on doing research in Philosophy on the Internet.

    http://www.humbul.ac.uk/vts/philosophy/index.htm

    As for the search engine, you would enter:

    problem of evil + Augustine

    existence of god + teleological argument

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    You may want to print this part of this document out.

    INSTRUCTIONS for PREPARING and SUBMITTING WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS

    DIALECTICAL THINKING

    In this course you are directed to take a position on a topic or question and then to use dialectical thinking to defend or support your position using dialectical thinking.  What is dialectical thinking? It is the form of critical thinking associated with Philosophy.  But what is it?

    Here is a representation on what dialectical thinking involves. It will use the metaphor that Plato provided concerning the selection of a raft.

    “For he should persevere until he has attained one of two things: either he should discover or learn the truth about them; or, if this is impossible, I would have him take the best and most irrefragable of human notions, and let this be the raft upon which he sails through life-not without risk, as I admit, if he cannot find some word of God which will more surely and safely carry him. "(Plato PHAEDO (85C)

    In that statement he implies that truth is important for living a worthwhile life and that if the truth is unattainable one should be guided by the best truth available although it will involve the risk that comes from uncertainty.

    So think of life as a journey and the path that you must travel has rivers to cross. These rivers are the challenges, the problems, the issues that you will face. You need to cross the rivers and continue on your journey.   At the bank of the river you reach there are many rafts of different types that you can use to cross the river.  These rafts are possible positions or answers or solutions that humans have devised. You want the best possible raft with which to cross safely. There are no perfect rafts. No ideal rafts. You need to select the best one for crossing the river. 

    Using this metaphor it could be said that Plato indicated that the purpose of Philosophy was knowing how to select the best raft or in life how to select the best option when deciding how to live a “good” life. The method is applied by Philosophers to questions or "rivers" such as :

    So, just what is the method? At the bank of the river you would look carefully to find as many rafts as you can and then examine each one to determine which is the best. You would select based upon the purpose it is to serve. You would not select based on which is the biggest or the most popular or the most expensive or even based on your favorite color. None of that is relevant to the purpose. Such criteria are not relevant. You need the best raft for crossing the river and that is not necessarily the biggest or most popular or the most expensive.  You need the raft that will get you across safely.  It needs to have been well assembled.  It should have few or no leaks or tears in the ropes that bind the logs of the raft together.

    You select one after having “good” reasons to reject the others. You find fault with them. They have leaks. You select the one least likely to leak or come apart and most likely to get you across the river. 

    You must also respond to those who are selecting other sorts of rafts and using other methods of selection. They will criticize your selection. They may say you should have picked the most expensive or the biggest or the red one or the one most others have. “Don’t you want to be one of us? “  You respond to the criticisms indicating why the critics are wrong. e.g., they are using criteria not relevant to the buoyancy and dependability of the raft.

    With the dialectical process you use reason and hold your passions and emotions in check and choose the best based on reason and evidence. You don’t select on appeals to loyalty or popularity or prestige.

    Steps for presenting an  argument or a defense of a position using dialectical reasoning

    1. STATEMENT

    Select your raft- the position you think best defended by reason and evidence of the options available.

    State your Position on the issues or question and do so quite clearly.  Be as exact as you can be.  Be precise in your use of language.

    2.DEFENSE

    Now defend your selection of the raft you think better than any other raft. 

    Defend the position you have chosen using reasoning in support of the judgment (conclusion of the  argument) you have made.  You state the reasons why the position you take makes sense and has evidence and reasons to support it other than your feelings or personal preference or your opinion or what you were brought up to believe or what just about everyone you know thinks or believes.  

    Philosophers have offered such reasons and evidence for the positions they have taken and you should consider them and if you agree you can and should so state them in support of your own position.

    3.CRITICISMS and ALTERNATIVES to your position

    4.REBUTTAL of those CRITICISMS and ALTERNATIVES

     Consideration of alternative positions to and criticisms of your own position and the reasons for the rejection of those alternatives in favor of the judgment made for the reasons given in support of your position which employ reasoning and evidence.

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    WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS

    Each student is requested to submit the following assignments according to the schedule for the semester. Check on the COURSE CALENDAR for the due dates.     Follow the INSTRUCTIONS for PREPARING and SUBMITTING WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS

    Assignments are intended to provide for an assessment of the learner's achievement and progress. Assignments and parts of assignments are intended to assess the learner's motivation, reading comprehension, critical thinking skills and appreciation of philosophy. 

    Composing your assignment

    Normally, you should compose your response using your word processor or on paper. This will give you the opportunity to revise, proofread, and spell check. When you have completed your assignment document be sure to spell check it .

    Make sure to read the directions for each assignment carefully for details, due dates, and any thing else that may be specific to the assignment.

    Format For Submitting Written Assignments 

    Whether you are in an ONLINE CLASS or a traditional class or a hybrid class you must submit the assignments by EMAIL  ppecorino@qcc.cuny.edu   Do not send attachments!!!   Copy and paste your text from the word processor directly into the message window of the email.  In the subject line put:

    first name , last name, PHIL 101, sectioin, assignment#

    OBSERVE THE DUE DATES!!   Check on due dates:

    In all cases the written work must show evidence of the author’s awareness of the materials made available in the online textbook and through the related Internet links found in the Online Textbook that is part of the course.   Proper citations and accreditation are to be made evident in the body of the work. The learners are required to provide evidence of research and scholarship and to AVOID Plagiarism!

    Students may send drafts of their work to their classmates and discuss them through the use of email.  

    Evaluations

    The evaluation for your assignment will be posted and if you request an explanation then it will appear directly in your document or with your document when returned to you by email or returned directly to you by the instructor.  Evaluations are private and can only be read by the student and professor.

    I will go over returned written assignments with students.  Before I do any student requesting a discussion of their work must first look over the rubric below and offer an explanation of how it is that I might have taken points off of a maximum score.  If no explanation is offered then there will be no discussion.  Students must understand what is expected of them in this learning activity. Reviewing the criteria in the rubric and assessing your own work aids in understanding.

    Guidelines and Requirements for WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS

    1.       Must be submitted by email or else not accepted

    2.       Must be on time or else not accepted

    3.       Must not have more than two spelling or grammar or syntax errors per page or else not accepted

    4.       Must have all parts completed.

    5.       Must present clear evidence of having done the reading or else not accepted.

    6.       Must evidence some careful thinking

    7.       Must NOT have any evidence of PLAGIARISM or other form of Academic Integrity Violation or else not accepted and a report filed with the Dean of Students

    RUBRIC for Assessment of Critical Thinking in the form of Dialectical Thinking

    You are to label the parts of the assignment with the letters a to e to make very clear that you have done each part.

    Dialectical thinking

     


    The college has an academic integrity policy and program.  You may be severely penalized for violations of academic integrity.  Learn about it and observe the principles.  Among other things you must avoid plagiarism.

    AVOIDING PLAGIARISM
    Plagiarism occurs when one steals or uses the ideas or writings of another and presents these writings or ideas as his or her own.

    Some examples of plagiarism:
    Buying a paper from a research service or term paper mill.
    Turning in another student's work with or without that student's knowledge.
    Turning in a paper a peer has written for you.
    Copying a paper from a source (text or web) without proper acknowledgment.
    Copying materials from a source, supplying proper documentation, but leaving out quotation marks.
    Paraphrasing materials from a source without appropriate documentation.
    Turning in a paper from a "free term paper" website. "
    The above information was taken and paraphrased from:
    http://ollie.dcccd.edu/library/Module4/M4-VII/plagar.htm

    There are Internet research papers required for this course. One of the requirements for these papers is that you locate websites and incorporate information from these websites in your paper. You must not only properly cite all information you use, but you are also expected to put the information into your own words. Each paper has a required minimum length, and direct quotes from other sources are not counted in determining the "word-count" length of your paper.

     If your paper contains material that is copied or paraphrased from any website, or from a paper previously submitted that material will be identified. If it is not properly documented, or if the quotation marks are absent, the material will be considered plagiarized.

    In this course, the penalty for plagiarism is as follows:
    1. First offense - the student receives at least the grade of "0" for the assignment, and the possibility of more severe action..
    2. Second offense - the student receives an "F" in the course and a report is filed with the Dean of Students.

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