Friday, February 23, 2007

Monday: Clark, Chapter 6. The Balance of Probabilities

  1. Richard Swinburne, “A Cumulative Case for the Existence of God”
  2. J.L. Mackie, “The Balance of Probabilities”
Wed.: no class.

Friday: Midterm due.
A WARNING ABOUT PLAGIARISM: Cheating and plagiarism are forms of lying (to the instructor, the school, future teachers and employers, and yourself, among others) and theft (of other people’s ideas and words) and are grounds for failing the course. If you submit a plagiarized paper (e.g., a paper you took in whole or in part from the internet or some other illegitimate source), the instructor (with the help of will notice this and you will then fail this course immediately: no excuses will be accepted. It is your responsibility to know what plagiarism is.
Here are some suggestions to avoid plagiarism: do not check the internet for anything related to your papers: instead use the texts required for the course and think for yourself; do not take phrases from the texts; put all of your writings in your own words; do not cut and paste anything from the internet into your paper; do not visit Wikipedia; do not take articles from online encyclopedias; do not visit online dictionaries; use an acceptable citation method (e.g., MLA, APA, etc.). If you would like additional sources to learn more about a topic, see the instructor.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Moral Arguments

Monday: read Plato from Clark. & Stairs Ch. 10. Questions from Clark due.

Wed.: Robert Adams from Clark & Stairs Ch. 10. Questions from Clark due.

Friday: Zagzebski from Clark & Stairs Ch. 10. Questions from Clark due.
Also, "WWJDWJWD? Comments on Linda Zagzebski's 'The Incarnation and Virtue Ethics'."
She mentions something on "divine simplicity," which I once wrote some comments about.




According to the Morehouse Catalogue, the objectives of philosophy courses are "(1) to develop skills of critical and analytical thinking, (2) to develop the skills for constructing and evaluating argumentative essays, (3) to develop a knowledge of major themes, problems and issues in the history of philosophical thought, (4) to develop a familiarity with the theoretical problems of contemporary ethics, theory of knowledge, and metaphysics." (Philosophy of religion is, in many ways, applied ethics, theory of knowledge, and metaphysics.)

Your assignment is to show that you are developing and improving your skills at doing the above. Here’s the set-up:L

A friend has learned that you are in a philosophy of religion course and that you have recently discussed the three major arguments for God’s existence. Your friend wants you to come to his or her group and make a presentation on these arguments. Your friend wants you to

  • clearly state the arguments in valid (or cogent) premise-conclusion format;
  • explain how the conclusions follow logically (either deductively or non-deductively) from the premises;
  • explain the best reasons that can be given in favor of the premises;
  • most importantly, explain the best objections that can be given to the arguments, i.e., either (a) the best reasons to think that some premises are not true or (b) the best reasons to think that some of the premises have not been adequately defended; these objections need to be directed at specific, identified premises and
  • on the basis of all this, explain whether we should think that these arguments are sound or strong or not and why: he wants you to defend your views with reasons.

Your job is to write up the presentation that does all this. It should have these parts.

I. A brief introduction that explains what you will do in this paper and what your overall thesis will be.

II. An explanation of what the concept of God is, according to classical theism.

III. A section on cosmological arguments: pick two versions of the argument by two different philosophers. Present, explain and critique these arguments.

IV. A section on design / teleological arguments: pick two versions of the argument by two different philosophers. Present, explain and critique these arguments.

V. A section on ontological arguments: pick two versions of the argument by two different philosophers. Present, explain and critique these arguments.

VI. BONUS: A section on moral arguments: pick two versions of the argument by two different philosophers. Present, explain and critique these arguments.

VII. Based on all the above, a conclusion.

Some guidance on how to write philosophy papers are here: Please read:

1. An online article by Jim Pryor called "Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper":

2. Some chapters on writing from A Rulebook for Arguments:

VII. Composing an Argumentative Essay
A. Exploring the Issue
VIII. Composing an Argumentative Essay
B. Main Points of the Essay
IX. Composing an Argumentative Essay
C. Writing
I. Composing a Short Argument: Some General Rules
3. Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, the section III. ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION:

4. Some tips from me:
  • The most common comments I write on papers are these: (1) What do you mean? and (2) Why think that? The first is in response to unclear claims: write clearly. The second is in response to claims that need defense: give reasons.
  • Write in short sentences: if any longer sentence can be broken into two or more sentences, do it because it's easier to read then.
  • Each paragraph should deal with one, and only one, topic. You should be able to say, "This paragraph is about this: _____."
  • Omit all needless words and needless discussion. Your reader's time is valuable so don't waste it.
  • Make sure everything is clear. Use simple words: no need for anything nebulous.
  • Your papers should have a short introduction, culminating in a thesis, a main point, the point that your paper is supposed to defend. The most direct way of presenting this sort of thesis is this: "I will argue that _(short sentence here: 'all abortions are wrong', 'Dr. Doopy's argument against euthenasia is unsound,' etc.___."
  • Your introductory paragraph, or a paragraph immediately after it, should give the reader an overview of what you will be doing in the paper. It should briefly explain the overall structure (e.g., "First I will ___ and then I will ____. Finally I will ______.")
  • Omit anything totally obvious and uninformative (e.g., "This issue has been debated for hundreds of years."). Everyone already knows this, so don't waste time telling us what we already know.
  • Don't write, "Well, _____." No "well's".
  • Don't say, "'Mr. Bubbles feels that this is wrong." Say, he believes, or thinks, or (if he does) argues. His views are probably not his "feelings" or his emotional reactions.
  • Also, no ' . . . ' unless you are shortening a quote. No "trailing off" in hopes that the reader will think what you are hoping they will think.
  • Don't ask rhetorical questions. Make statements, don't ask questions. Your reader might answer your questions for you in ways you'd like. But if you do ask questions, make sure there is a question mark.
  • It's OK to use "I". People use "I" to communicate clearly, so use it.
  • "Arguments" are not people's conclusions. They are the conclusions and the reasons they give in favor of those conclusions.
  • If I ask you to raise objections to a theory, argument, claim, or whatever, it's fine to raise objections that are discussed in our readings. What's not good, however, is to raise an objection that is discussed in the readings but the author responds to the objection and shows that it's not a good objection. If you raise this same objection, but do not discuss the author's response (and respond to that response), this suggests that you didn't do the reading very closely.
  • If an author states a conclusion (or a main point) and gives reasons for it, then that author has given an argument. If an author has given an argument, do not say that the author has not given an argument: you might not have found the argument (yet), but the argument is still there! Keep looking!
  • Keep focused and don't argue for more than you can give reasons for.
  • You have succeeded in writing a paper if you can give that paper to a smart and critical someone who is not familiar with your topic and this person will understand the views and arguments you are discussing, as well as whatever criticisms you raise. You can do an empirical test to determine whether you are writing well, and it's basically just to see if others understand your writing! If not, you need to keep working at it.
  • Finally, good writing, like many things, takes a lot of time. If you don't take the time to work at it, you probably won't do very well and you probably won't improve. I recommend writing something about double the length needed and then editing down and re-organizing and re-writing to remove the needless words, irrelevant distractions, and -- most importantly -- improve your statement of whatever argument you are trying to develop.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Some of the topics we've covered have been in the broad category of "metaphysics." Here is an excellent and fun to read short book that gives an overview of many topics in (analytic) metaphysics.

Riddles of Existence: A Guided Tour of Metaphysics

Earl Conee and Theodore Sider

This is an introduction to metaphysics for students and non-philosophers. (Philosophers: it's supposed to be the kind of book you can give to your friends and family, when they ask what you do for a living.) It is published by Oxford University Press.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Extra Credit Opportunity

An extra credit opportunity related to this event this Saturday:

The 2007 Bennie and Candle honorees will be featured in Reflections of Excellence, a panel discussion with Q & A, moderated this year by Monica Pearson, Anchorwoman, WSB TV, on Saturday, February 17, 2007, at 11:00 A.M. in King Chapel. PLEASE BE ON TIME! At this time, Dr. Melvin Smith'61, Robert C. Davidson, Jr.'67, Senator Leroy Johnson '49, Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown Sr. '64, Alden McDonald, Dr. Joseph Lowery, Roscoe Lee Browne, and Sidney Poitier will discuss their "road to success" and will provide "prescriptions for overcoming obstacles to achieve success."

Students can attend this event for "extra credit" to them for writing on one of the topics below. Because of the tremendous benefits that students derive from attending this program, students will not want to miss this wonderful event.




1. Sidney Poitier was ridiculed when he applied for his first acting job because of his thick Bahamian accent. Determined not to be a dishwasher all of his life, Poitier learned to speak English in a compelling manner by

listening to announcers on the radio. He achieved considerable success because of his determination to overcome obstacles.

What obstacles have you had to overcome to get this far in your career? What challenges do you still face that you are struggling to overcome? What is your “game plan” for overcoming obstacles and for achieving success?

2. Alden McDonald, president and CEO of Liberty Bank and Trust Company in New Orleans, often speaks about “doing well by doing good.” Robert Davidson ’67, prominent businessman, says that his lifelong effort has been “to help others, especially the underprivileged and children.”

Senator Leroy Johnson ‘49, the first African American to become a senator in Georgia since Reconstruction, was always available to help others. Julian Bond said of him: “Anybody can call him, day or night, for any kind of legal or political help.”

Dr. Joseph Lowery has spent his entire life fighting for human and civil right, and he was a prominent figure with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement.

What is the “bottom line” of obligation for those who have succeeded? Are there any mandates by which successful leaders are to provide service once they have succeeded? Are there any limits? If so, what are they and why?

3. When famed actor, director, and producer Sidney Poitier was a sickly baby and his father thought that he was going to die, his mother took the baby to a soothsayer who predicted that the baby would, indeed, live. She also predicted that one day Sidney would “travel the world over and walk among kings.” Poitier’s outstanding career in arts and entertainment has well fulfilled this prediction.

When Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, civil rights activist and pastor, was eight years old, his Sunday School teacher told him that, like the biblical prophet Amos, he would “bear the burdens of the people.” By the time Amos was 14 years old, he was working with Medgar Evers, amid the violence and racism in the Mississippi Delta, registering blacks to vote. Dr. Brown has continued all of his life to challenge the status quo when human rights have been violated.

In both cases, the predictions have been borne out and demonstrated throughout illustrious careers.

Do you think “greatness” is sometimes or always predestined? That is, are there certain people who are marked for servant-leadership from the time they are born. Do you know of similar predictions that have been fulfilled through the life and work of the individuals?

4. Dr. Melvin Smith’61, world-renowned pediatric surgeon, invented ( with the assistance of Dr. Robert Campbell) the Vertical Expandable Titanium Rib Prosthesis that has saved the lives of hundreds of children all over the world born with birth defects.

Do some reflection on your own aspirations, goals, and priorities. Then write an essay in which you outline the various career opportunities you would like to pursue beyond your major at Morehouse. What do you plan to “invent”or create that will make life better for those who use it?

5. Which of the honorees inspired you to “raise the bar of excellence” in the pursuit of your career and life goals?


Friday: Moral Arguments Schedule

Friday we'll say more about the ontological arguments, but then we should move on to Moral Arguments.

Actually why don't we just start Moral Arguments Monday? There's still plenty to talk about re. ontological arguments.

Monday: read Plato from Clark. & Stairs Ch. 10. Questions from Clark due.

Wed.: Robert Adams from Clark & Stairs Ch. 10. Questions from Clark due.

Friday: Zagzebski from Clark & Stairs Ch. 10. Questions from Clark due.

Ontological arguments

Some notes from today:

Anselms' argument, simplified.

He assumes that we (even "fool" atheists) have the concept of God, i.e., the idea of "the being who none greater can be conceived" i.e., thought. (Question: do we have such a concept? Is the concept coherent? Is a being like this possible? Perhaps not: perhaps

Here's the argument, simplified.

1. Either (a) "the being whom none greater can be conceived" exists only as a concept or an idea or (b) "the being whom none greater can be conceived" exists both as a concept and in reality.
2. To exist in reality is greater than to exist only as a concept or an idea. [see Anselm, end of 2nd paragraph, p. 71 of handout; Stairs premise 2, p. 82]
3. If (2) is true and if (a), the claim that "the being whom none greater can be conceived" exists only as a concept or an idea is true, then there exists a being greater than "the being whom none greater can be conceived."
4. But there cannot be a being greater than "the being whom none greater can be conceived," because that's a contraction.
5. So, (a) is not an option.
6. So, (b) "the being whom none greater can be conceived" exists both as a concept and in reality.
7. So, God exists, the being whom none greater can be conceived.

The basic logic:
1. Either A or B.
2. If B is true, then C is true.
3. But C is not true (because C is contradictory)
4. So, not B. (2, 3 Modus Tollens)
5. So, A. (1, 4, Disjunctive Syllogism).

Here's the argument from the Descartes' Fifth Meditation with a modifed translation:
If I can clearly and distinctly think the idea of something, then everything which I clearly and distinctly perceive to belong to that thing really does belong to it. "Certainly, the idea of God, or a supremely perfect being, is one that I find within me just as surely as the idea of any shape or number. And my understanding that it belongs to his nature that he always exists is no less clear and distinct than is the case when I prove of any shape or number that some property belongs to its nature." (AT 7:65; CSM 2:45).
So here's the argument:
1. If we can clearly and distinctly think the idea of something, then everything which we clearly and distinctly perceive to belong to that thing really does belong to it.
2. We can clearly and distinctly perceive the idea of God, or a supremely perfect being.
3. We can clearly and distinctly perceive that he always exists.
4. Therefore, since (1), (2) and (3) are true, God exists.

Here's an ontological argument commonly attributed to Descartes (but perhaps without textual evidence, since this is a bit different than the argument above?):

1. God is an all-perfect being.
2. An all-perfect being has every perfection (i.e., a great-making quality).
3. Existence is a perfection (i.e., a great-making quality; for something to exist makes it greater than for it not to exist: recall Anselm's "To exist in reality is greater than to exist only as a concept or an idea").

For discussion on Descartes' ontological arguments, see here:

  • Are there reasons to think that any of the premises in these arguments are false?
  • Are there reasons to think that any of the premises in these arguments assume the conclusion they are supposed to support?
  • What about Gaunilo's objection that Anselm's argument can be used to "show" the existence of any "perfect" thing whatsoever (e.g., the island which none greater can be conceived, the tattoo needle which none greater can be conceived, etc.), and so is faulty? Are they any good?
Plantinga's Modal Ontological Argument:
next time!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Ontological arguments

Today we started talking about ontological arguments.

Here are some encylopedia entries on them:

Wed. there is a writing on the ontological arguments due: what are they? are any of them sound arguments? Why or why not?

Friday, February 9, 2007


Some topics from biology have been mentioned in class lately. For more info, see the biology department.

Note that some of their courses mention evolution:

101. Biological Science For Non-Majors 3 hours
Aims at providing students with an understanding of the diversity of living things, their special adaptations to the environment, and their evolutionary and ecological relationships. Course content includes: cell structure and function; function of biomolecules; principles of genetics, ecology and evolution; plant development and adaptation; and the function of selected organ systems. In addition to the lecture section, this course has a required laboratory component. The course is a core requirement for non-biology majors.

111-112. General Biology 8 hours
Required of all biology majors and pre-health professional students. Study of the anatomy, morphology, physiology, molecular biology, ecology, heredity, evolution and interrelationships of life 123.

220. Plant Sciences 3 hours
Study of plant biology at all levels of analysis. Topics include morphology and diversity, evolution and systematics, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, development, reproduction, and ecology. Differences and similarities between plant and animal biology, and the dependence of animals on plants will be emphasized.

220L. Plant Sciences Laboratory 1 hour
Emphasizes experiments and demonstrations on the subjects of plant diversity and anatomy, systematics, biochemistry, physiology, genetics, development, ecology, evolution and reproduction.

Also here are some questions that philosophers of science try to answer:
  • What's a scientific theory?
  • What's a scientific law?
  • What's a scientific fact?
  • (What are the relationships between all these notions above?)
  • What's a well-confirmed or supported theory?
  • When do we consider some claim to be statement of a scientific law? How much evidence do we need?
  • Why is it a mistake to object to some claim by saying "that's a theory, not a fact"?

A Better Idea about Arguments from Analogy

A better idea about how to think about arguments from analogy is found here, from Richard Feldman:

I mentioned these ideas in class, and they were used in the handout on design arguments, below.

Here's the key ideas:

"What the analogy does is point us in the direction of the relevant generalization.
[W]hen we reconstruct analogical arguments in this way, we can avoid answering the hopelessly vague question, “Is the analogy a good one?” or the related question, “Which analogy is better?” and [Is this thing really "like" that other, or "similar" to the other, since "Everything is like everything else in some ways, not in others"?] Instead, we use analogies to help us identify generalizations to use in reconstructions of the argument. And then we can evaluate the resulting arguments in standard ways: are they well-formed (typically, “yes”)? is generalization reasonable? is the other premise reasonable?

We can spell out the process a little more precisely: there is an intended conclusion, which says that some object - the subject - has some property, A. The analogy says that some other object - the analogue - has that property, A. Usually, it is supposed to be very clear that the analogue has A. Moreover, there is some other feature, B, of the analogue that (allegedly) is sufficient for its having that property and which the subject has as well. The connecting generalization of the real argument will relate this second property to property A. In our example A = not protected and B = clear and present danger. The connecting generalization is: All Bs are As.

Thus, no good reconstructions will contain simple analogical arguments like the ones described above. Instead, they will be arguments invoking generalizations of the sort just described. (Third key point.)"

Ontological Arguments

Monday & Wed. we'll turn to the Stair's chapter on Ontological arguments.
For Wed., a writing assignment is due on what the ontological arguments are and whether any of them are sound arguments and why.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Newer versions and varients of the design argument(s):
  • Clark: Denton & Collins (questions from end of selections due)
  • Stairs Ch. 3, esp. pp. 40-48 on Collins and the rest of the chapter before and after this section.


The basic claim is that (some?) appearance of design in (some?) parts of nature is said to be evidence that there is an intelligent designer(s).

This kind of argument can be an argument from analogy, an inductive argument (i.e., a generalization from some cases), or an argument from the best explanation.

Paley and, especially, Cleanthes seem to offer an argument from analogy. We could present this most simply – too simply – like this:

  1. Watches and other complex machines have designers.
  2. Body parts are like, or analogous to, complex machines.
  3. So, body parts probably have designers too.

This argument is too simple because it doesn’t tell us how body parts are like or analogous to machines. So here’s a better attempt:

  1. Watches (and other complex machines) have (a) parts that (b) work together for a (c) purpose and (d) were designed to do so.
  2. Body parts[1] have (a) parts that (b) work together for a (c) purpose.
  3. Since watches and body parts are similar in ways (a), (b), & (c), they are probably similar in way (d) also.
  4. So, body parts are also probably designed.

You might rightly wonder why, according to Paley, you are supposed to accept claim 4 above that, “watches (and other complex machines) have (a) parts that (b) work together for a (c) purpose and (d) were designed to do so.” He seems to think this because he accepts this general claim:

  1. Anything[2] that (a) has parts that (b) work together for a (c) purpose is (d) designed.[3]

You might wonder what reason he has for accepting (8). Here are two possibilities:

    1. He uses the single watch (but also telescope) example to try to justify this completely general principle. If so, this is a rather poor induction. Also, while we might try to forget this, we already know that watches are designed: we don’t need to reason toward that conclusion.
    2. It’s an argument from the best explanation. What explains the fact that there are things, like the eye, ear, etc. with parts that work together for purposes?

(a) a random fluke, random matter just coming together in these ways?

(b) an intelligent designer(s)? or, a third, unconsidered possibility

(c) natural selection or evolution?

You judge something to be a better explanation relative to alternatives in mind. Perhaps (b) is better than (a) (is it, ultimately?). But perhaps (c) is better than (b). To try to decide, you need some general criteria for what makes an explanation better and worse. Philosophers of science try to understand what a better explanation is; it’s not easy to do so. But here are some proposals:

An explanation is better than another when it better (a) enables prediction, (b) enables understanding, (c) is simpler, (d) coheres with what we already know, (e) is able to explain a wide(r) variety of phenomena, (f) posits fewer entities or kinds of entities, (g) leads to future research, (h) can be tested, and can be supported and can be shown inferior (not that it will be, but that it can).

Given this set of ideals for an explanation (and some vague knowledge of biology and what most biologists think), what’s a better explanation: (b) or (c)? If (c), then perhaps Paley doesn’t have very good reasons for his (8) that anything that (a) has parts that (b) work together for a (c) purpose is (d) designed.

Another broad question about Paley’s strategy:

Suppose he “shows” that the eye, ear, and a good number of other body parts – since they have parts that appear to work together to serve a function – are designed. If so, he shows that there is a designer(s). Are we then suppose to think that the designer(s) of these body parts also designed the whole universe? If body parts were designed, then some parts of the universe were designed. But what about the other parts of the universe, or the universe as a whole (minus the eyes and ears found in it?)?

At the very least, it is not clear what the purpose or function of the entire universe is.[4] And we know so little about the universe: we have no clue what portion of it has parts that are working together, much less for any purposes.


If “Like effects prove like causes,” then – if machines and the universe are “like effects” (which the advocate of the analogy claims), then the causes of these like effects are similar. If you suggest an analogy you’ve got to go with it all the way for an argument to work based on it it. Uh oh!

What Machine designers are like:

So the designer(s) of the universe would be like:

  • Finite
  • Make errors, mistakes
  • Sometimes stupid, unoriginal, imitative
  • They try and try again to try to get it right; their models gradually improve
  • Multiple beings
  • Corporeal

Philo to Cleanthes, Part IV of the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

In a word, CLEANTHES, a man who follows your hypothesis is able perhaps to assert, or conjecture, that the universe, sometime, arose from something like design: but beyond that position he cannot ascertain one single circumstance; and is left afterwards to fix every point of his theology by the utmost license of fancy and hypothesis. This world, for aught he knows, is very faulty and imperfect, compared to a superior standard; and was only the first rude essay of some infant deity, who afterwards abandoned it, ashamed of his lame performance: it is the work only of some dependent, inferior deity; and is the object of derision to his superiors: it is the production of old age and dotage in some superannuated deity; and ever since his death, has run on at adventures, from the first impulse and active force which it received from him. You justly give signs of horror, DEMEA, at these strange suppositions; but these, and a thousand more of the same kind, are CLEANTHES’s suppositions, not mine. From the moment the attributes of the Deity are supposed finite, all these have place. And I cannot, for my part, think that so wild and unsettled a system of theology is, in any respect, preferable to none at all.

[1] All or just some of them?

[2] Should the domain of things here be restricted to, e.g., biological things?

[3] If this principle is true, if the concept of God seems to suggest a being with “parts” (sorta) working together for a purpose, then this principle would imply that God is designed, if God exists. But that can’t be right.

[4] If someone suggested that the purpose of the universe is to display God’s existence, this might be true, but if this is supposed to be a premise in an argument for God’s existence, then that argument would be question begging: C: God exists. Why think this? Because P1. The universe has parts working together for the purpose of displaying God’s existence. And P2: Since the universe has parts working together for the purpose of displaying God’s existence, God exists.

Friday, February 2, 2007

The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Dr. Bill E. Lawson

Distinguished Professor of Philosophy

University of Memphis


"Derrick Bell, Hope, and Permanence

of Racism"

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

4:00 PM

Science Center, Room 232



Clark: Leibniz & Mackie
Clark: William Craig Lane and the rest of Stairs Ch. 2


True and False Pleasures in Plato’s Philebus
Richard Parry

Date: Friday, February 2, 2007
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: Philosophy Department – directions at


RULEBOOK: Chapters on “Arguments about Causes” and “Arguments from Analogy”
Setting up the traditional argument(s) from design:

  • Clark: Paley: "The Watch and the WatchMaker" (questions from end of selection due)
  • Stairs Ch. 3 (provides commentary on primary source reading)


Agnes Scott College's Ethics Program

Agnes Scott College
's Ethics Program continues its 2006-07 speaker series, " Is Nature Ours? Ethics, Economics, and the Environment, " contintues with the following exciting events.

Monday, February 5, 2007
Peter G. Brown
" Becoming Citizens Worthy of the Earth "

7:30 p.m.
Evans Hall, terrace level, rooms ABC

Criticisms of the argument:

  • Clark: Hume & Dawkins (questions from end of selections due)
  • and Stairs Ch. 3 (provides commentary on primary source reading)

New versions of the argument(s):

  • Clark: Denton & Collins (questions from end of selections due)
  • and Stairs Ch. 3 (provides commentary on primary source reading)

how to answer the questions from the reading selections from Clark.
First, please type them. It's too hard to read and occasionally comment on things that are handwritten.
Second, please write out the questions or answer the questions in a manner that it's clear what the question is: i.e., make your respond a "self contained" response.
Third, make sure it's clear what the assignment is: e.g., write "Aquinas Questions" at the top or something like that.
Fourth, more thoughtful, more engaging, more thoughtful responses are better than brief ones!

Fifth, ones that integrate the discussion from Stairs are even better!
Finally, the writing should be clear, simple and straightforward. Although these responses are not argumentative essays, strictly speaking, here is a link to some information about how to improve your argumentative writing: