Final Argumentative Paper
Three important sub-disciplines of philosophy are addressed in this course: ethics, epistemology, and religion. For this paper, you will develop an argument that includes your own view on one specific topic relating to one of these sub-disciplines. Below is a list of topics from which you must choose. Feel free to combine topics that seem to fit with one another. It is recommended that you choose a topic that interests you or that you have thought about previously.
In philosophical papers, it is always best to present both sides of the issue (remember that there are usually more than two sides to any issue), and then to present the side that you find the most convincing. Remember to back up your position with logical reasoning and factual evidence. In addition, be sure to utilize the philosophical content and ideas that you have encountered in this course.
- Identify the issue that you are going to examine.
- Within that issue, clearly define the specific problem that will be the focus of the paper.
- Present multiple sides of the problem and state your position on the issue.
- Create an argument that supports the side of the problem you take in the paper. As part of your argument, be sure to critique the weaknesses of opposing positions.
- Utilize the philosophical theories and ideas that you have encountered in this course as much as possible. It is best to utilize primary philosophical texts as resources. Include at least five academic sources in this paper, at least three of which must come from the Ashford University Library. Any other resources should come from academic sources such as Project Gutenberg, classicallibrary.org, or other websites that include peer-reviewed articles and books.
Select a topic from the following sub-disciplines:
- What is the best ethical system?
- Is it necessary to have universal ethical principles?
- What are the fundamental principles of ethics?
- What is the good life and how does one achieve it?
- Is ethics natural or learned behavior?
- What is an ethically bad life? How do we know?
- How do humans differentiate between good and bad in the realm of ethics?
- Do ethical actions have value apart from the outcomes of those actions?
- Are humans free or determined, and how does this perspective relate to human responsibility?
- What can humans know for certain and how can they justify that they actually know what they think they know?
- What are the limits of human perception and cognition?
- What is the relationship between scientific knowledge and other types of knowledge?
- What are the limits of skepticism?
- What are the differences between the mind and the brain?
- What is the best epistemological argument and explanation of how humans perceive their worlds?
- How did human consciousness emerge and where is it headed?
- Is proof for the existence of God necessary?
- Which argument for the existence of God is strongest? Why?
- Can one be moral and not believe in God?
- Are science and religion in conflict?
- Can God’s omniscience and human free will be reconciled?
- Is there a rational argument for atheism?
The paper must be at least six pages in length, formatted according to APA style, and include a title and a reference page (which does not count towards the page length). Support your point with examples from the text and at least five sources, three of which must be found in the Ashford University Library. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar.
Writing the Final Argumentative Paper
The Final Paper:
- Must be at least six pages in length, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Must include a title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
- Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
- Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
- Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
- Must use at least five scholarly sources, including a minimum of three from the Ashford University Library.
- Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.