Purpose The purpose of this assignment is three fold: (1) to demonstrate college level writing skills ( Gordon Rule Click for more options ); (2) to demonstrate critical thinking skills (analysis/deductive reasoning), and (3) to demonstrate philosophical reasoning. The first goal is achieved through writing a grammatically sound essay that has a thesis, good sentences, and well developed paragraphs. And, the second goal is achieved through a critical analysis of an assigned topic. This involves presenting theory, explaining new concepts, using original illustrations, and finding interesting implications of the view under discussion. Students must apply critical thinking skills to successfully complete this component of this assignment. The word ‘analysis’ means a process of breaking something down to its smallest components. In an analytical essay, the aim is to explain the main issue/problem and the supporting or opposing arguments using original illustrations. And third, the last goal is achieved by assuming a first person position on one or some of the major issues raised during the analysis and then supporting this position with good reasons or arguments. Doing philosophy requires the philosopher to directly accept responsibility for the defense of his or her positions. This assignment is a special writing project with specific requirements. It is not simply a summary essay nor is it simply an opinion paper. Students are asked to engage in philosophical reasoning. To be successful, they must follow this guideline. Focus Analyze Thomas Nagel’s views as presented in his work, “What does it all mean?” More specifically, analyze Chapters 2, 6, and 10. For each chapter, you should present the major issue or problem and the main arguments or ideas that Nagel uses in his discussion. Nagel must be included in your essay by name and as the source of the issues and the different concepts that he introduces. Each chapter requires its own section heading and within that section you must only discuss that one chapter. Do not mix other chapter information other than for transitional purposes when going from one section to another. Each section must be two full pages or more in order to receive full credit for that section. A good section is usually three or four pages long. Sections may be longer than four pages. This essay is one, continuous essay, with no additional spacing to make it longer than it needs to be. That is, do not attempt to begin each chapter on a separate page or points will be deducted. An Introduction and a Conclusion must be part of this essay. The Introduction establishes your thesis and the Conclusion presents what is to be inferred from the three chapters. This book is available in print through the bookstore and on Amazon.com. Use any version for this assignment. Several sites offer a version of this book for free. Search. Also, Google: Thomas Nagel What does it all mean? pdf and might find a copy online of an older version of this text. For a version of Nagel’s book in Spanish, Google: “Que significa todo esto?” Note: Your essay must be written in English. This Spanish translation is provide for Spanish speaking students, if they need the extra assistance. Overview
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