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Paper Assignment
Please submit a paper of 1500-2000 words in length that makes a convincing argument in responding to one of the questions below. The paper must have a thesis that offers analysis or critique over and above merely responding to the prompt. In responding to the prompt, you should draw on two different thinkers to make your point. Those thinkers can agree or disagree. You must use the text to support the claim you are making. It is not your job to summarize all of the text, you are only discussing those parts of the text that are relevant to the claim you are making. Of course, a good argument should be able to recognize and respond to a challenge or counter argument against it. A good argument deals in specifics. You should be referring to the text directly and in detail. This paper is not about all of humanity or anything that has happened since the beginning of time. It is strictly about making sense of ideas in the texts from our course. This is not a research paper. You can read secondary sources (things not by the authors we read but about them) to try to make sense of the material but you should not be drawing on them to make the claims of your paper. Really bad grammar and spelling errors can certainly ruin a good idea so you should be good about editing your paper and looking through it for such mistakes. The clarity of good grammar and spelling should not be confused for excessive sophistication and complicated style. The aim of this paper is to think through the text in a certain way and so the content of the ideas will, in this case, be more important than using fancy style or flowery language. Writing is a process that necessarily involves road blocks, writers block, changing your mind, making mistakes, and having new insights, no matter how good a writer one is. You should leave time to encounter these and to edit and revise accordingly. Having someone else look over your paper (me, a roommate, friend, sibling, someone at the writing center, classmate) can always be helpful and is encouraged. The final draft of the paper is due by May 12th.
Prompts
-Is it better to approach conversations about God through a cosmological or ontological approach? Why?
-Philosophers often suggest that the problems of philosophy, and metaphysics in particular, are timeless, that the time and place make no difference to how those issues affect us. Is that true?
-Is there a tension between metaphysical truths and the human capacity to understand? If so can it be resolved?
-Is the search for ultimate metaphysical truths necessarily prone to a kind of bias that will marginalize people?
-Is metaphysics a science? Should it be?
-Does metaphysics necessarily have implications for all of us? Is it possible to put metaphysics aside and not concern ourselves with it?

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