Description of Assignment: Below you will find a prompt. You will write an argumentative essay that addresses all the points in the prompt. The idea is to defend a thesis by using proper exegesis (critical exposition) and analysis (reasoning about all the potential positions one could take and then defending the most logically sound one)
Directions and Guidelines:
- Paper should be typed, double-spaced (don’t quadruple space between paragraphs!)
- 12 point font
- Times New Roman or something similar
- 1 inch margins all around
- No cover page necessary, though if you use one, it does not count toward word count/length
- Paper should be 3-4 pages in length (750-1000 words)
- Paper should have a clear, identifiable thesis statement in the introduction
- Address ALL points in the prompt
- No outside sources! Unless you clear them with me, you will lose points for citing anything but the readings we have covered, notes, or prezis.
- Be sure to properly cite/quote ANY IDEAS THAT AREN’T YOURS.
- A bibliography is not needed per se, but include some reference, either in a footnote or work cited page, to the full information regarding your textbook. I don’t care what style you use (MLA, APA, etc). Just be consistent. You should only be citing the textbook.
- Late Papers: For every 24 hours they are late, 1 point deducted from the maximum score of 10
- Please refer to the rubric on Blackboard for a detailed description of my grading policy
- Please use Microsoft Word or open office as your attachment format. I will not accept any other format.
What do you think is the best way to understand how we know things? Are we born with any knowledge or must we gain knowledge entirely through experience? How should we explain the way people gain knowledge? Is it primarily by rational, deductive reasoning, or is it more empirical and inductive? Is there a median position on the issue?
Discuss the various arguments for the rationalist and empiricist answers to these questions. Include in your discussion at least Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant, along with any thought experiments or real world examples that help explicate the arguments or objections to them. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each of these positions and which (if any) is best suited to satisfactorily answering the questions above?