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Philosophy 201

Writing Assignment Guide


Overview: This assignment is a chance for you to carry on the work of a philosopher or topic that
interests you.

You are to write a three page paper arguing for a particular philosophical position or explaining it.

Your paper should be informative and philosophical. You need to choose between working individually or
with one other person. Once you choose, you must get approval from me and let me know who is in
your group. This is not a research project, but some minimal research will be necessary.

Structure: Your paper should be a general summary and should answer a few questions. (1) What is the
philosophical issue? Explain the problem. (2) Describe a few ways that the issue has been talked about or
analyzed by other philosophers. (3) Describe your own philosophical analysis of the problem or issue.

Grading: Your assignment will be based on the clarity of your writing, the accuracy of your information
and the merit of your arguments and analysis. The entire paper is worth 20% of your final grade.

** This assignment is due on Wednesday June 3rd only. No late assignments will be accepted for a
grade. See me if you have any questions.

Topics: You must pick a topic related to the course. You can pick a topic we’ve covered in class and go
into more detail, or you can pick something related. Here are list of some philosophers we have covered
and also some possible topics to choose from:

Is Ignorance really bliss? The movie the Matrix & Plato


The Matrix and Philosophy The interaction of the mind and body
CSI, Skepticism and Empiricism Quantum Physics and Philosophy
What is the leap of faith? Faith & Reason
Sartre and De Beauvior relationship. How the holocaust affected philosophy
The value of friendship Hardship and character
Absurdity and Rebellion
Existentialism and politics
Artificial Intelligence (can robots dream?)
Aesthetics of pop-culture

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