Assignments Philosophy 180 Spring 2011

Assignment 5: Due 5/18 midnight

Write an analysis of "I Think, Therefore I Err," by Gerd Gigerenzer.  It will also be helpful to read "On the Reality of Cognitive Illusions," which is Kahnemann's response to some of the criticisms Gigerenzer makes in his paper.

In addition to your final analysis you may re-write one of your previous analyses.  Your score on this analysis will be substituted for the previous score.  A re-write can improve upon a previous score by up to 7 points, regardless of your previous grade.  In order to receive any points at all your re-write must:

1.  Contain zero typos and grammatical errors.
2.  Adequately respond to any criticisms I made of the original analysis.
3.  Significantly expand the essay to take into account the critical perspective of at least one outside source not used in your previous essay.

Note:  Take this re-write very seriously if you do it.  You will only receive extra points if the analysis is very significantly improved. Perfunctory efforts will receive no credited.  You will receive only one evaluative comment on the re-write.   It is due on  5/15 midnight.

Assignment 4: Due 5/1 midnight

Write an analysis of "Knowledge, Naturalism and Cognitive Ethology: Kornblith's Knowledge and Its Place in Nature, by Jose Luis Bermudez.  The article is in JSTOR, which you can access here as before.  Bermudez's article focuses on Kornblith's book, but his critique focuses mainly on the argument Kornblith gives in the paper "Knowledge in Humans and Other Animals," which we just read.  You will also find it helpful to read Kornblith's "Reply to Bermudez and Bonjour," which is also in JSTOR.

Assignment 3:  Due 4/10  midnight.  

Write an analysis of Bas van Fraassen's article "Against Naturalized Epistemology." All previous instructions apply. This article is not long, but it is challenging and doing it over a weekend will be a nightmare.  Get started early!  

In addition, if you are writing on forgiveness for the Nammour Symposium, you may substitute that essay for this one.  The Nammour article is due on 4/18.  In order to get credit in this way you must submit your work both within your journal and separately according to the instructions provided here on the department website.  If you do the Nammour paper and fail to turn it in for the contest, you will get no credit for it for this class.  If you are selected as one of the winners of the contest, then you will automatically get 40 pts. on your analysis.  If you are not a winner, then I will grade it.  People who participate in the contest are subject to the 4/10 deadline, but I will give you some comments before the 4/18 deadline so that you can improve your paper.  Your final grade for the essay will be for the final version of the paper as long as a serious submission has been received by 4/10.  Note: This means that if you do not submit a strong draft of the essay by 4/10 then it will be counted as late from that date just like for everyone else.  It is, of course, perfectly ok to submit a Nammour essay for no class credit.  

Assignment 2: Due 3/13 midnight.

Write an analysis of Hilary Kornblith's article "Beyond Foundatinalism and the Coherence Theory."  You can get this article free by going to this link at the library website and clicking on JSTOR. You'll be prompted to sign in with your Saclink username and password.  Search on the title and click on PDF to get the article.   This article is about 12 pages long and it is quite dense, so you should get it right away and try reading and re-reading one or two pages a day.  Feel free to ask questions about it at the beginning of any class before it is due. 

For this and all future analyses follow the instructions given for Assignment 1. Be aware that the grading standards are about 5% higher for each subsequent assignment.

Assignment 1:  Due 2/20 midnight.

Write an analysis of Gilbert Harman's "General Foundations vs. Rational Insight."  This is a short article criticizing Bonjour's argument for the existence of rational insight into necessity, which has been one of our main topics for the first few weeks.  Your analysis must conform precisely to the instructions for writing analyses.  We'll review them briefly in class, but you should read them very carefully on your own, as any departures from the format will result in a failing grade.  A sample analysis at the end of the instructions will show you what your final product will look like and how it will read.

Submission instructions:  You will submit this and all future analyses on your journal page.   You will put each new analysis on the bottom of your journal page with a hyperlink to it on the very top of your journal page.  Here is how to do this.

1.  Scroll down to the bottom of your journal page.  
2.  Type:  Analysis 1
3.  Put your cursor in front of the 'A' in 'Analysis 1'
4.  Go to Insert-->Bookmark.  A little blue flag will appear.
5.  Scroll back to the very top of the page.
6.  Type: Analysis 1.  Select what you just typed as if you are going to copy or delete it.
7.  Go to Insert --> Link  ---> Bookmark
8.  Click on 'Analysis 1' in the list of Bookmarks that pop up (which will now just contain Analysis 1).
9.  You can now click on Analysis 1 at the top of the page and it will take you to the bottom of the page.
10. Write your analysis under your bookmark.
11. You will repeat this procedure for each new analysis, so that at the end of the semester the top of your journal will contain a list of five hyperlinks (assuming you do all five analyses).  You can go ahead and create all five of them now if you want to by just repeating the procedure for the remaining analyses.