Your task for this essay is to discuss the following argument:
“If down-home common sense were all that was needed to solve the
problems we face, the problems would have been solved already. Instead,
our problems are complex and need intellectually sophisticated solutions,
heavy on science, that are often counterintuitive from a common-sense
point of view.
It’s not helpful, to say the least, to elect people who are anti-science,
anti-intellectual and ready to dismiss any solutions that don’t match up
with their uninformed, unsophisticated, unscientific ideas. We need intelligence
and open-mindedness in Washington.”
Your goal is to provide a reflective, clear, thoughtful response to this passage. Your
response may be connected with any part of this course, or any combination of parts.
You do not need to respond to everything in this passage.
An overarching objective of this course has been to promote skills in asking questions
intelligently. Philosophy, as the core of critical thinking, is about clarifying difficult
questions. So your first step in this assignment will be figuring out how you want to
understand the question. Begin by explaining what part (or parts) of the course you
will connect your discussion to.
You may want to reconstruct and analyze this argument, test its validity, and discuss
its soundness, as you did in reaction paper 3. This answer will be longer than that one,
though . . . you’ll have to find a way to say more, perhaps more about the soundness of
the argument, more about the details of the premises, etc.
You may want to discuss the value of dialectic, and Plato’s allegory of the cave, and the
importance of ‘the Good’. Is this a modern form of Plato’s argument for philosopher
Can you connect this with Descartes and rationalism? With ethical theories? (Is this an
ethical argument about what we should do?) Does this connect with CORE?
Your essay should be (roughly) 6 pages in length, double-spaced, using a 10 pt Times
New Roman font (the font of truth!) HOWEVER, the page length is just a guide to
1how much work I’m expecting on this final assignment. It is not a precise measure
of how much you can say in that length. Be clear and to the point. DO NOT PAD.
Four pages of clearly written prose is far better than eight of random rambling. (On the
other hand, if you only provide four pages it had better be thoughtfully and precisely
written.) Look closely at all the words you use. If you can take any of them out without
losing the meaning then take them out. If there are words missing, put them in. Most
importantly: if there are thoughts missing put them in! You can’t get graded for
what isn’t there.
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