Format: 8.5″x11″ pages, 1″ margins, Times New Roman font, double spaced lines, indented the first line of each paragraph. Substantial errors in spelling or grammar will result in a reduction of grade. Student name and page number may be placed in a header within the margins, but this is not required (since Canvas will tell me who each paper was submitted by). Professor name, course name, date, etc. need not be included.

Content: Your first paper should summarize the position, on a matter of philosophical import, of a philosopher who lived between about 600 B.C. and 1350 A.D. This need not be a philosopher we have or will discuss in class. This should be done in approximately 600 words.

Since your second paper will need to do the same thing with a philosopher who does not entirely agree with the position summarized in your first paper, you will want to choose carefully. A few hints: you should not try to summarize everything the philosopher claims–just one claim should be summarized in depth. It may be a metaphysical claim, a value claim, or an epistemological claim, but it should be one of those! If you can figure out how to navigate this map of refinement and disagreement (Links to an external site.), it may prove quite helpful to you. Just be wary of the dates, many philosophers on that list are not included in the appropriate time range! You may also find the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Links to an external site.) useful. Your paper should cite few sources–obviously you should cite the original work of the philosopher you are summarizing, but beyond that you should not use more than one or two other sources. Your bibliography should not be included in your word count. I do not have a citation format preference beyond “consistent.”

Your paper will be graded across five areas:

  • Did you identify a specific argument about metaphysics, values, or epistemology from a philosopher of the appropriate time period? (0-20 points)
  • Did you clearly and accurately summarize that argument? (0-40 points)
  • Did you cite the original text(s) in which that argument was made, along with no more than two other academically appropriate sources? (0-20 points)
  • Is your paper grammatically correct, proofread, formatted as instructed, and otherwise linguistically coherent? (0-20 points)

Explanation & Answer length: 600 words

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