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essay 2 for this assignment you will choose one of the three topics below scroll all 3585899

Essay 2

For this assignment, you will choose one of the three topics below (scroll all
the way down to see the list of topics; they are given after the general
instructions/information and are listed as ‘topic #1, topic #2, topic #3’) and
write an essay of at least 4 pages, double-spaced, in Times New Roman 12
point font; your paper should be written in Standard English and done in MLA
To submit your paper, click on ‘Essay 2.’ You should attach a file that can be
opened with Microsoft Word (doc or docx); do not submit a pdf or type in the
submission box.
The purpose of the essay, regardless of the topic you choose below, is to
analyze a philosophical question. Though there are hundreds (at least!) of
philosophical questions, here are a few examples (Please note! These are
simply examples of philosophical questions, NOT the topics for the essay;
topics are below all of the instructions.):
• Who “owns” human life? For example, does anyone have the right to take
an individual’s life? The state? The individual?
• Does free will really exist? (And, if there is no free will, are people ever
“responsible” for their acts? should we ever punish people?)
• What is the difference between living and being alive?
• How do you know your perceptions are real?
• If God exists, why is there so much evil in the world?
• What is a person? Is it the mind, or the body?
Regardless of the topic you choose, your essay must include the following:
• An original title (hint: ‘Essay 2’ is not an original title; nor is the title of
the article you choose to write on)
• An introduction with a thesis statement; if you need help with writing a
thesis statement, read this advice on developing a thesis. Since the main
idea of your essay is an analysis of a philosophical question, your thesis
should most likely express this specifically (e.g. state the philosophical
question your essay will be analyzing).


Here is some VERY helpful advice on how to write your intro/begin your
• A paragraph (most likely the second paragraph of your essay, following
the introduction) that summarizes the article related to the topic you
chose below; your summary should be written such that the reader of
your essay has a general understanding of the article you are
summarizing; give an overview of the main ideas (and argument if there
is one). Read this helpful advice on how to correctly summarize a text.
• A discussion/explanation of a philosophical question that relates to the
article you chose; you must explicitly discuss the philosophical question
your essay is exploring;
explain the significance of the question [i.e. why is this a question of
concern in philosophy?], and perhaps explain various ways other
philosophers have answered this question. NB: Your paper should be
written as an explicitly philosophical paper; that means your paper
should discuss philosophical concepts, arguments, theories, and
other philosophers; it should be ABOUT philosophy from beginning
to end, specifically, about the philosophical question you choose to
• Research (incorporated through quotation, paraphrase, or both) from at
least 2 scholarly/professional sources not including the article; all
research must be cited according to MLA. Your sources MUST be from
journals found in the DCCCD Library databases; Internet/other
sources will not count. You should begin by searching the databases
that contain philosophy journals/sources. If you need help using the
databases, you can get help in person in the library or online using the
‘Ask a Librarian’ tool. When incorporating sources into your work, they
must be present so as to serve your position/argument/discussion. In
other words, they should not be there just to be there; they should be
incorporated AS part of the discussion/argument, in a meaningful,
substantial way. Because this is a philosophy paper, appropriate
sources are those written by other philosophers and directly related
to philosophy.
• Your own response, including explanation and reasons, to the
philosophical question/problem your paper addresses
• A conclusion
Here is some VERY helpful advice on how to conclude your essay:
• A MLA works cited page (the works cited page is NOT part of the fourpage length requirement)
NB: Many people make the mistake of trying to argue for one side or another in
their essay. For example, if your essay is analyzing the question of whether
humans have free will, your essay should NOT take a position on this question
(this topic has been debated for thousands of years, and in its current form,
unless you are a neuroscientist or physicist, you are most likely not qualified to
tackle this question); rather, your essay should explain WHAT the debate is with
regard to this question, what the various arguments are with regard to this
question. Of course, feel free to share your view, but doing so is not the focus
of your essay. An effective way to do this is not just ‘I support x’ or ‘I don’t
support x’ but something along the lines of ‘the view presented by (whomever,
John Stuart Mill, Kant, Hume, Peter Singer, Ayn Rand, whatever you have
discussed already) is more reasonable/valid/convincing because blah blah
blah.’ This IS a stance, but it shows a thorough, intellectual understanding of a
position, an evaluation of an argument.
Any instance of plagiarism will be punished by a minimum of an F on the
assignment and a report to the associate dean of the humanities division.
Further punishment could include failure in the course, suspension, or
The articles below are all from The New York Times. Non-subscribers are limited
to the number of articles they can read, but the Richland Library has full access
to The New York Times. You can access The New York Times via this DCCCD
Library web page.
Topic #1: “Imagining the Lives of Others”
This article deals with moral decision-making and treatment of others.
Topic #2: “Being There: Heidegger on Why Our Presence Matters”
This article deals with how we relate to self, others, and the world, as well as
how we find meaning (or don’t) in these relationships.
Topic #3: “Do You Have Free Will? Yes, It’s the Only Choice”
This article deals with the question of free will. If you choose this topic, your
essay should NOT be arguing whether we have free will; rather, it should
analyze the philosophical question(s) related to free will and determinism.

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