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Directions: Your three-fold task is to (1) identify an argument in one of the readings, (2) compose a diagram of the argument, and (3) write a paper (3a) refuting the argument or (3b) drawing an interesting consequence from it. You may choose any argument actually (and explicitly) contained within any of the readings. In some cases, the readings contain arguments within arguments. For example, there are a lot of arguments within the broader argument of Pascal’s “Pensees.” Among these, some are even called the “proofs.” Anything that meets the criteria of an argument, i.e., is an argument, is up for grabs. You are to identify one argument and refute, or draw an interesting consequence from, it. You will need to cite one source. So. Read the readings. Find the arguments. Pick one (preferably one that you feel strongly about). Reconstruct, and prove why the argument is wrong or what interesting thing it entails. Your argument must contain at least one proposition from a cited source (i.e., from outside of our readings).
This assignment consists in both (a) a descriiptive component and (b) an evaluative component. For example, “(a) In such and such reading, so and so argues x; (b) Argument x is an invalid, non-cogent, or otherwise bad argument because… [Insert your argument y (citing one outside source)].” Note, the summary and evaluation should each roughly take up about 50% of the paper. The paper should be 4-6 pages. The 1st half of your paper should be a descriiption (i.e., summary and explanation) of your chosen argument as it is presented in the reading; this portion should have no evaluation, so remain descriiptive (i.e., listing the conclusion, premises, logical connectives, fallacies, etc.). The 2nd half of your paper should be where you present the argument supporting your evaluation and include at one outside source to support your claim.
Keep in mind that the focus is for you to demonstrate your understanding of the course material to me by presenting a clear and concise refutation or advancement of a clearly identified argument from one of the readings using supporting evidence from a cited source.
Readings: Kendall Walton’s “Fearing Fictions,” Peter Singer’s “All Animals are Equal,” William Paley’s “Selections from Natural Theology, Aubrey de Grey’s “Roadmap to End Aging” and Plato’s “Ring of Gyges.”