For this paper, choose your own topic. Choose among the papers we’ve discussed in class, and write about the main argument of that paper. Some possible paper topics include:
(a) Taylor’s cosmological argument for the existence of God
(b) Taylor’s design argument for the existence of God
(c) Williams’s thought experiment motivating a bodily continuity theory of personal identity
(d) Searle’s Chinese Room thought experiment against AI
(e) Petersen’s argument in favor of robot servitude
(f) Clifford’s argument that it’s morally wrong to believe on insufficient evidence
(g) Walton’s argument that we do not respond to fictional entities with genuine emotion
(h) Walton’s argument that we cannot have emotions towards what we believe not to exist
(i) Suits’s argument that death is “nothing to us”
If you wrote about one of these topics for your first paper, choose another topic.
Your paper must conform to the following format:
1. Present the main argument for the topic you’ve chosen. This involves identifying the conclusion offered by the author of the paper you’ve chosen, and then presenting his/her reasons for thinking the conclusion is true.
2. Provide an argument against the argument given in (1). The argument here must be your own, not someone else’s. Here you are giving some reason for thinking that the conclusion presented in part one is false.
3. Present an argument against the argument given in (2) from the perspective of the position defended in (1). In this part of your paper, you will be writing from the perspective of the author who defended the argument you present in part one. Offer some reason, from this perspective, why the argument presented in part two is not successful.
Basically, the structure should look like this: A; B rebuts A; A rebuts B. Make sure that your paper includes both an introductory paragraph in which you state explicitly what you are going to argue in your paper, and a conclusion in which you sum up what you’ve claimed in your paper.