B For the second paper, choose one of the following prompts.
1. You are giving a philosophical luncheon and can invite any two or three philosophers we’ve studied. Whom do you invite, and why? What conversation topics will you introduce? (These can include current events, if there are things you think your philosopher might be especially insightful about.).
2. Choose any two philosophers we’ve considered and imagine them squaring off (that is, contrast their points of view) on some important current event or big issue from history. You may write it as a script/dialogue (a la Plato), if you are the creative type. (You may just choose one philosopher, if you prefer, and compare/contrast his viewpoint with that of a well-known contemporary figure.)
There is no big research required, unless you need or want to do it in order to brush up on your chosen philosophers (as always, cite any sources you use). That said, researching and adding things that aren’t just recycled from my lectures would surely enhance your paper. The main point is to use the exercise as an opportunity to show off to me that you learned some philosophy this semester and you know how to talk about it and relate it to life. This means that you will try to put some original thought into this, and NOT just repeat to me a few points from your class notes.
If you are a creative type, you can make it a script or a story – people have successfully done this in the past. A straight paper is also fine. ☺
I feel I should warn you that FAR too many people simply choose Socrates, Plato, & Aristotle for their philosophers, and then basically make their paper a duplicate of their answer to the “compare and contrast the ideas of Plato & Aristotle” essay question from Test #2. Such papers all read as if they took 20 minutes to write, and it’s hard to distinguish them from each other enough to justify rewarding them with a solid B or above. Now, you may certainly include any or all of the philosophers I named in your paper, but please put discernable effort into the exercise if you want to be rewarded with a grade above 85%.
This paper should …
• give thoughtful consideration to the prompt, as well as evidence of your weeks as a student in this course.
• use standard written English.
• be long enough to get the job done. I’d say that’s about 1000 words (approx. 3 pages?) long.
• cite all direct quotes and borrowed ideas, and have a corresponding bibliography (/ works cited) page.
Any standard citation and bibliography format (such as MLA) is acceptable.
• be double-spaced, with margins no greater than 1 inch all around, and employ a 10-point sans serif font
(such as Arial). Yes, I care about font, margins, and spacing even though the paper will be an electronic
• have a title (and don’t just call it “Paper 2”) You do not, however, need a title page. You may head the
first page (but not subsequent pages, please) of your paper as I have done this one, with your name (not mine, as a student once did!) and other relevant information in the upper corners and the title centered. You need not reproduce the question on your page; I hope that as I read, it will be obvious which prompt you chose.
• be submitted as a MS Word “.docx” file.
• Include, at end, the following statement: “My initials following this sentence indicate that I pledge on my
honor that I have not received unauthorized assistance on this paper, which is 100% my own work.” Then type your initials, but only do this if you can truthfully make the pledge.