NOT A RESEARCH PAPER Standard: December 8 – 11:59p via Blackboard – NO LATE WORK

Standard: December 8 – 11:59p via Blackboard – NO LATE WORK ACCEPTED
Length: ~1700 words. To encourage you to edit your paper carefully – to be as focused, concise, and precise as possible –the 1700 word limit will be enforced. However, we will not count against this limit either footnotes or your list of references at the end of the paper. This will enable you to put into footnotes material from early drafts of your paper that you deem less central but still important to fulfilling the goals of this paper.
Instructions: The term paper should be a development of the student’s own public philosophy. While students should use the methods and concepts stressed in this course to define and defend their public philosophies, they should not be limited to only the thoughts and ideas of the thinkers we have covered in this course. Rather, students should build their philosophers from ideas, leaders, and thinkers that have inspired them (either positively or negatively) throughout the semester and these influences should be represented in the paper. In building this public philosophy, students should cover at least two of the following principles:
And at least one of the major perennial issues:
Human nature
Sociology (Social Contract)
(note: change is included here as a principle rather than a perennial issue)
It is not enough for students to simply make a statement of their beliefs, but they must explain the origins of those beliefs and why they hold them to be worthy of pursuit. My suggestion is that students begin with the commitments on the perennial issues, as commitments about ontology and human nature will necessarily lend to commitments about concepts such as authority and communities. It is also important that students regularly address counterpoints to their philosophical statements and suggest the flaws of those counterpoints. This can be done by making an example of a statement made by a philosopher/theorist that we have read in the course that may disagree with the student’s perspective, but that the student feels has missed a crucial point of consideration.
Again, students are not required to pick a particular ideology and stick to it, but are expected to have consistency in their philosophies across concepts. For example, it would not make sense to have an understanding of human nature where humans are inherently bad and also have an understanding that justice can occur naturally when the winners give back to the losers. These two understandings of different concepts are contradictory. Students are also not limited to only those thinkers and leaders we have read in class and may include outside sources as long as they are relevant to the course and properly cited. Student must always cite their sources, including from the course required texts.

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