This assignment consists of a short essay question, and some short logic questions. The main intent of these questions is to ensure that you have a sound grasp of the fundamentals of the material presented in this unit. The logic questions are intended to draw on some important logical concepts that will be relevant throughout the course. Although an understanding of basic logic terminology and argumentation is important in this course, logic for its own sake is not the focus of this course. As such, the short essay question should attract most of your attention with this assignment. There is a 3 to 4 page (1000 words) limit for the short essay question. As with all the short essay questions you will address in this course, Im not so concerned with whether you agree with a particular author or not. The quality of your answer is based on your exposition of the competing positions, your comparative analysis of those positions and, lastly, your argument in support of the position you defend.
As with all the assignments in this course, the short essay question is not designed to be a research question. There is no requirement to get material from external sources such as other authors, or reference websites, who have summarized, or criticized, the authors you are dealing with. In effect, including such material defeats your purpose in completing your essay because you are essentially telling me what some other person thought about the material you should be explaining and assessing. If you make reference to sources external to the course readings it will be detrimental to your mark. In some cases, I may ask you to re-work and submit your assignment. The point of your essay is to formulate the course material and develop your critical response. You can do this by working with the course material and developing your own ideas about the issue. The essay is simply your opportunity to set that out in paper.
.Short Essay Question The Nature of Philosophy
In Apology, Socrates refers to himself, metaphorically, as a gadfly to Athenian society. He uses this metaphor, in part, in arguing for his assertion that the unexamined life is not worth living. Explain how this metaphor is considered to be characteristic of the discipline of philosophy. Specifically, explain how it justifies what our course readings refer to as the conceptual analysis, and the constructive, tasks of contemporary philosophy. Is Socrates conclusion that the unexamined life is not worth living still relevant in todays society? Provide an argument in support of your response.
Logic questions You should try to limit yourself to two or three paragraphs per answer for each of these questions.
1. Consider the following two arguments:
(A) 90% of observed crows are black. Therefore, 90% of all crows are black. Furthermore, I conclude that the next crow I observe will be black.
(B) If 90% of observed crows are black, then the next crow I observe will be black. In fact, 90% of observed crows are black. Therefore, the next crow I observe will be black.
Using the logic terminology presented in the course material, classify the two arguments. Which argument is the better argument? [Hint: I realize the term better is vague in this context. Part of your response should be to clear that up.]
2. The following argument is deductively invalid. Indicate the form, or structure, of the argument, and provide your own counterexample (i.e., an example with all true premises and a false conclusion) that clearly shows the invalidity.
All subjectivists are relativists. Some objectivists are subjectivists. Therefore, some relativists are not objectivists.