Hume?s thinking on art is essentially correct, or fundamentally flawed

Philosophy 318 ? Aesthetics
Directions: Write a philosophical paper defending your own position regarding one of the following topics. You may write on a related issue only with prior instructor consultation and approval. All work should be typed and proofread carefully. You are not to attend to any resources outside of this course in the writing of this paper. The work will be graded generally on the correctness of your understanding of the issues involved, the depth and originality of your own thinking concerning the issues, your anticipation of and response to strong possible objections to your views, and the lucid, compact expression of those views. Your claims with regard to the thinkers should be accompanied by textual evidence. Specific criteria for the writing and grading of this paper are available in the documents on writing philosophy papers. The papers should be 7 full pages in length.
PAPER TOPIC
– Hume?s thinking on art is essentially correct, or fundamentally flawed– The book that you should get the information from is called Art and It?s significance, third edition
Writing Philosophy PapersWhat is a philosophy paper? Essentially it is a demonstration of your critical thinking. For the purposes of this course, these are the basic characteristics of critical thinking:
1. identify a basic issue2. clarify meanings3. uncover assumptions 4. present and evaluate reasons, evidence, arguments5. consider alternatives6. draw warranted conclusions
Here are some guidelines to think about for your papers:
1. Be sure you have an accurate grasp of the philosophical issue involved. If you are not sure about the position under discussion, you should consult with the instructor during office hours. Be sure to have read the relevant sections in the texts carefully before you begin to think.
2. Delimit your topic. Often topics will be assigned, but this still involves establishing your own position on a subject. It is usually better to say something interesting and important about one area of a theory and be convincing than it is to try to address the entire topic in a vague and half-hearted way and fail to make any serious contribution to evaluating it. In a critical paper, you need not completely demolish a philosopher?s position; you may simply amend it or make it more complex, e.g., show that it is only partly true.
3. You will not be graded on whether the instructor agrees with your conclusions. Set aside strategies about how to please or outwit your instructor ? such strategies have all been tried and are immediately apparent. Commit yourself to writing a philosophy paper. If you write a paper I agree with but offer no defense, then you will get a poor grade. If you write a paper I completely disagree with but you defend it thoroughly and intelligently, then you will get a good grade. The goal is to determine what you really think on an issue that interests you and to try to argue for your conclusions as well as you can.
4. Again beware of merely stating your conclusions or beliefs without offering any defense. You need to offer as many good arguments as you can muster and as much evidence as you can discover for your ideas. You may find it helpful to use your classmates as sounding boards; talk to them about your ideas, get their criticisms, and try to improve your own arguments after the discussion. This class is not graded on a curve, so there is no penalty for helping each other out on take-home work. In principle you can all get the highest grade if you all do well.
5. You cannot write a good paper overnight. It takes at least a week of careful thinking, writing, revising, and rethinking to write a good paper. Do not delay. Sketch your ideas well in advance, weigh alternative arguments, consider different lines of defense and attack, imagine relative examples, and think of possible objections and replies well in advance of actual writing. Philosophical papers suffer most from procrastination. Do not turn in last minute ideas cooked at high flame under pressure. ?Microwave thinking? often fails to thaw the issue. Let your thoughts simmer before writing.
6. Philosophical thinking improves by being criticized. Do not over-react to the amount of criticism your work draws. Instead, write your paper in anticipation of such criticism. Critical feedback forces your thinking to advance, and your abilities will be pushed to their limit. Do not be intimidated by an initial poor grade or become complacent with an initial favorable one. Concentrate on the substantive comments made on your work. Intellectual responsibility and maturity requires the critical defense of one?s most deeply held beliefs.
7. The main criteria used in evaluating papers are: its clarity and felicity, the coherence of its general organization, its insightfulness and creativity, the quality of the arguments, the adequacy and incisiveness of the treatment of other positions, the quality of the objections raised and intensity of effort made to provide answers to them, and the general intellectual interest and originality of the paper in the context of the issues raised by the course. The grading criteria used are implicit in the characteristics of critical thinking. Basically your work is assessed for the quality of critical thinking you demonstrate, and the degree of searchingness that your paper reveals.
1. In the first paragraph, you should introduce the topic of your paper. This includes summarizing the philosophical issue at question in a way that would make sense to a general educated audience, but someone who has not been in this particular philosophy class. Also in this paragraph, you should provide a statement of your own position regarding the topic. This assumes you have thought through the issue to a sufficient depth to have your own position. This paragraph should also include a brief mention of the arguments you will be forwarding in support of your position and the argument strategy you will utilize. This sets the table for your reader to anticipate your reasoning and look for it in the body of the paper.
2. The second paragraph should be a full articulation of your first argument in support of your position. Do not immediately entertain objections. Give your position full voice here.
3. In the third paragraph, you should try to raise the strongest objection you can think of regarding your first argument. This is generally the weakest part of student writing. No not merely go through the motions and raise perfunctory objections. You simply must be able to anticipate and counter strong objections to your thinking. Do not merely state it in a sentence or two; let it breathe in the course of an entire paragraph. This is the only way the reader will be able to adjudicate fairly between the views.
4. In the fourth paragraph, you need to fully respond to the objection raised to your first argument, and overcome it. If you find that you are unable to overcome it, you may wish to begin your essay anew and adopt the position you could not overcome as the new position you wish to defend as correct.
5. In the fifth paragraph, you should articulate your second argument, again giving it full voice in the course of the paragraph.
6. In the sixth paragraph, you should raise strong objections to your second argument. Follow it through as far as you think necessary.
7. In the seventh paragraph, you should respond to and overcome the second objection.