Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Tomorrow we'll finish up Ross' article and move on to Papineau's. (I'll only hold people accountable for the first 6 questions of the latter.)

Your first analysis assignment will be this article by Stephen Law. It is a response to Alvin Plantinga's famous evolutionary argument against naturalism. There are many, many formulations, critiques and defenses of this argument easily available, so you should definitely do some background reading and use them in support of your essay where appropriate.

If you are generally friendly to naturalism, this assignment is going to put you in the position of thinking very critically about it. Please do not talk to me about how you have read Stephen Law's paper several times and can't find anything to critique because you agree with him. The job of a philosopher is to learn to develop a critical stance on his or her own beliefs. (If you are suspicious of naturalism, your job may be easier.)

Also, carefully review my analysis instructions on the schedule page. My expectations of the introduction have changed somewhat since last semester (note that I haven't made a new video which reflect these changes, so it is reflected in the document only at this point.) If you haven't watched the video, watch it, and then watch it again. This is a class where the highest standards of writing and argumentation are in effect from the very beginning. Any fundamental violations on the structure, form, or writing expectations will result in a failing or near-failing grade.  E-mail me or talk to if you have any uncertainty about these requirements.

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