Short Paper Assignment

by Dr. Jan Garrett

PHIL 350 -- Fall 2010

Revised September 2, 2010

How to read philosophy . . . (Provided FYI)

Due: Friday, September 17, 2010 (papers on Euthyphro); Monday, September 20 (papers on Republic)

Length: About 900 words. Please give me a word count, not including quoted material and endnotes or footnotes.

Choose your text from

(1) The Euthyphro, by Plato; see Study Questions for Euthyphro.

(2) The Republic; see Study Questions for Republic. Focus on the parts of Republic to which the Study Question set refers. Try to show how "Socrates" in Book iv tries to respond to the challenge laid down by Glaucon early in Book ii.

Use the versions found in Cahn and Markie (2009).

Do not choose a text and topic about which you have written a paper for another philosophy course in the last three years. If this poses a hardship, come speak to me about it right away.

There are several stages in this process.

1. Familiarize yourself in a general way with the text. Do an initial read-through to get a sense of what it is about.

2. Analyze it with the help of the Elements of Thought questions.

3. Work through it using the Study Questions I have provided. Get as much as you can from classroom discussions of the relevant texts.

4. Focusing on the issues of purpose, questions, information (premises), conclusions, concepts and assumptions (see "Elements of Thought"), write a draft essay in which these issues are clearly explained and appropriately connected.

5. I encourage you to document your claims about the text by referring to passages by dialogue name and "Stepanus numbers" in parentheses, e.g., (Euth. 5d) or (Rep. 442c). I do not encourage substantial direct quotation from the text. You will likely find it necessary to engage in a certain amount of careful paraphrase.

6. Review your draft essay, bearing in mind the Universal Intellectual Standards you have in your possession. If you have not read this FAQ Sheet on Plagiarism, do so now. You are responsible for ensuring that you have avoided plagiarism.

7. Revise/polish your essay in light of #6.