Posted: June 8th, 2015

Explicate Philo’s argument and Cleanthes’s response, and evaluate the outcome of this argument.

These guidelines hold for all papers prepared for this course.
1. Font must be no smaller than 12 point, and the paper should be double-spaced, with at least 1″ margins all around..
2. Keep a personal copy of any paper you submit.
3. The papers in this class are not research papers. If you do, however, make any use of the work of others in preparing your paper, be sure fully to document this. Failure to do so may constitute plagiarism; IMPORTANT: your paper must include either a full research log, listing every online or print source you consulted in the course of preparing the paper and how you made use of it, or it must include the statement, “I consulted no outside sources in preparing this paper.” Papers which lack a research log or the statement affirming that outside sources were not consulted will not be graded.

Topics for the first paper (write an essay on ONE of the topics below (your choice):

1. In Part IV of Dialogues concerning Natural Religion Philo argues that the claim that the order of the material world is due to a mental plan or design which the creator used to fashion the material world gives rise to a regress (Popkin pp. 30-33). Explicate Philo’s argument and Cleanthes’s response, and evaluate the outcome of this argument. Be sure to explain why the alleged regress is a problem for Cleanthes’s position.

General pointers:
A critical analysis of an argument or a passage from a text includes the following:
(a) a clear statement of the conclusion of the argument, and a brief explanation of its significance;
(b) identification of the main premisses of the argument;
(c) a statement of one or two significant objections to the argument, together with a brief explanation of the problem it (they) raises (raise) for the argument and a sketch of the reasons one might give in support of the objection;
(d) a suggestion as to how the target of the objections might seek to rebut them;
(e) a final evaluation of the interchange: has the objection succeeded? Why or why not?

Paper length: 5-6 pages
Due date: Monday, June 9, 2013 no later than 2:00 p.m.
NOTE: Please bring a printed copy of your paper to class on Monday June 9 at 2:00 p.m., and upload an electronic copy of the paper via the Turnitin link on the Blackboard website at or before 2:00 p.m. Monday June 9

Sources: Dialougur concerning Natural Religion by Hume

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