Length:  1300-1600 words (However, the length of this paper matters much less  than the quality of your argument and your understanding of the course  material.)

For  your final paper in this course, you will present your position on a  question and defend your view with reasoning. Then, you will present an  opposing view and reasons in favor of it, then respond to that opposing  view. These elements form a complete philosophy paper.

Please  note that this essay will be submitted through SafeAssign, which  automatically checks for plagiarism. If you are caught plagiarizing, you  will automatically fail the course. This assignment does not require,  or allow, consultation of outside sources, such as websites. You are  being graded on your own understanding of the assigned readings,  lectures, etc. If you have questions and do not understand the material,  you should consult your Instructional Associate and/or discuss your  questions within your discussion section

For  this essay, we provide you with three options to choose from. Select  ONE of the following prompts to write your final paper. If you have  questions about the prompts, please ask your instructor, since  understanding the prompts is key to success on this assignment. Before  you begin writing, look over the rubric categories and what to aim for,  since that will help you know what an “A” paper looks like. Think  about Stewart’s pragmatist definition of learning as something that  results from the disruption of and challenge to our habits (unconsidered  beliefs) and also think about Durkheim’s conception of education as the  process of imposing social facts on the individual, which if  successfully transferred, then become habits. [You may want to go back  and listen to those lectures again.] Given these conflicting ideas about  learning and education, what do you think the education system should  look like and how should teaching be designed? That is, should education  and teaching impose habits (a la Durkheim) or break them (a la  Stewart), or should it do both in different contexts? In answering this  question, demonstrate your understanding of Durkheim’s and Stewart’s  views. Remember that you will need to consider an intelligent opposing  viewpoint, so make sure your viewpoint is debatable and something with  which another philosopher could disagree. Do  science and religion give us the same kind of knowledge, thus competing  with one another, or do they give us different kinds of knowledge, and  function in different and complementary arenas? This debate draws on the  essays we read by Galileo and Hume. [You may also find it helpful to  read ahead in McFague’s essay.] Specifically, Galileo argues that  science and religion provide different kinds of knowledge and do not  compete, while Hume evaluates religion on empiricist grounds (those used  in science) and finds it lacking. Take a position on this question and  defend your view with logical reasoning. Demonstrate that you understand  Galileo’s and Hume’s views (and McFague’s if you choose to engage with  her). Remember that you will need to consider an intelligent opposing  viewpoint, so make sure your viewpoint is debatable and something with  which another philosopher could disagree.

Given  what you now know of Peirce, Bacon, Kuhn and Polkinghorne, which one of  their positions, with respect to the universality and objectivity of  the scientific method, is more convincing to you? After stating your own  position, engage with an intelligent opposing position to your own in a  thoughtful and respectful way.

For  this essay, first (1) state your own position on the issue you chose,  (for example, if you are writing about the third topic choice above, you  must choose one of the philosophers’ positions (Peirce, Bacon, Kuhn, or  Polkinghorne) on the question of whether or not the scientific method  is universal and objective) then, (2) generously present an opposing  view or potential critique of your own position (i.e. without making the  opposing view look weak or silly; it should be something that an  intelligent person could believe). In this presentation, provide some of  the reasons an opposing view would make sense, and finally (3) respond  to the opposing argument with reasoning and evidence (perhaps by showing  why your own position is still right or better, or by modifying your  position based on your opponents’ argument). That is, this assignment  asks you to thoughtfully and respectfully present a position you do not  agree with, provide some of the logical reasons why an intelligent  person might hold such a view, and then thoughtfully engage with those  logical reasons. In the third section of the paper (responding to the  opposing argument), you may conclude that your own position was too  simplistic or was mistaken in some way and adopt a new, revised  position, or you may continue to hold your original position and defend  it against the objections of your opponent.

In  this essay you must use rational argumentation and support your claims  with evidence and logic. It is not enough to say that your position is  correct because you want it to be, or that’s your experience of the  world, or it’s how you see things, or it just seems right to you. In  academic work those are not sufficient reasons to take a position. You  must draw on things like logic (does ‘b’ follow from ‘a’ as the author  claims it does?), textual evidence (what does Hume say on page 34 and is  it right, logical, and consistent with his other claims?) and external  evidence. This last category (external evidence) is the most dangerous  category. Certain kinds of things might seem like appropriate evidence  to you but they will not meet the standards of academic work in this  context. In a literature class, a novel might be sufficient evidence for  a particular type of claim, but if you are making an argument about how  knowledge works in a philosophy paper I will not find literary sources  (even the Bible) particularly convincing. The same goes for websites and  blogs, political commentary, your personal experiences and anecdotal  evidence, folk wisdom, etc. The distinguishing factor is whether a  source has authority that can be widely recognized by educated and  intelligent people. If a person does not have authority to speak on a  particular topic (if they do not back up their claims with evidence, if  they have not studied the matter carefully, if they just make  pronouncements and radical claims, if the source is primarily intended  to do other things than provide argumentation (such as inspirational,  religious and literary texts)), then they should not be cited as  authoritative evidence in your paper. The source or author may have  authority in other contexts, but what matters is whether or not they can  be widely accepted as having authority in this particular context. Be  sure to consult the “reasoning” section of the Belmont guide to writing  an argument, which I have made available on Blackboard. Also consult the  list of logical fallacies to evaluate your own reasoning and to check  for logical fallacies.