Good Society

Description During this lesson, you will devise a clear response to this topic, based on your personal philosophical perspective (your thesis statement). You will then develop and write three body paragraphs supporting your position, as well as an introductory and a concluding paragraph. At the end of the lesson in your final Assessment of Learning, you will complete your essay, do some final editing, and cite your sources in APA format. Your second task in your Assessment is to write a short reflection on how you think you have evolved as a philosopher over the course of these 20 lessons. Write your thesis statement Here is a possible thesis statements in response to the question “What is a good society?” A good society is one where people receive according to their needs and provide to others according to their abilities. Which response do you think would set the scene for a thesis statement (your main argument or position) on the topic?Keeping this example in mind, create and write your own thesis statement, one that most accurately reflects your viewpoint Step 3: Plan and do your research At this point, you’ve established your position on what you think a good society is. Your next step is to collect evidence to support your position. You should keep a concise record of your search sites and sources as you will need to quote them using APA format when you submit your essay. You can do research and use quotations from the resources and information presented in the course and you can also include research that you’ve found online and at your local library. Once you have a fairly large list of evidence, take a look at the philosophers and the philosophical concepts discussed in this course. Locate the philosophers whose positions would agree with yours, and see what they had to say. Next, look online or at your local library to continue your research to find information and quotations that will support your thesis statement. When doing your research, keep an eye out for the following: Key and concise quotes: if the philosopher can summarize his or her argument in a few sentences, use those. Explanatory paragraphs: you won’t use these directly, but you can summarize them in your essay through paraphrasing (there are notes for you on paraphrasing in the third section of this lesson). Good work! So far, you’ve established your thesis statement. You have broken it down into key elements according to the four main branches or fields of philosophy you studied. You’ve researched those elements and the philosophers who support it. Now you are ready for the next step: developing three body paragraphs. Write the body paragraphs When making your choices of branches or fields of philosophy and philosophers to quote in your three paragraphs, consider the following: strength of the argument – this is related to and supported by the branch of philosophy variety of arguments – some branches might have more arguments, and more diverse arguments, than others variety of supporting philosophers – some branches have more philosophers who agree with your position impact of supporting philosophers – you generally get more strength in your position by quoting from the more famous and influential philosophers than the less well-known ones relevance of supporting philosophers – some philosophers directly address the points you make, while others just “sort of, kind of, maybe” support your position Remember that it is important to apply logic to all your position arguments. If you want to refresh your memory about logical, deductive arguments, check back to Lesson 2. Also, keep in mind that the quotations and arguments from other philosophers are there to support your original case, not replace it. Be sure that most of the writing in your paragraphs is your own, and only seasoned by the researched philosophers. Repeat this process for all three of your body paragraphs. Good work! Now, all you have to write are the introductory and concluding paragraphs. You’re almost there! Write the introductory paragraph The introductory paragraph is often one of the last paragraphs written in an essay because it is a one-paragraph summary. When a reader has read your introductory paragraph, they should know precisely what you’re going to be talking about and your exact position on the topic. They should be able to determine what the main topic is, as well as the number of subtopics you will be addressing and the order in which they will appear. Take a look at this sample introductory paragraph: The tension caused by the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was the result of aggressive leadership from the superpowers. Under Stalin’s command, the Soviet Union advanced westward towards Germany, converting Nazi-occupied countries into Soviet puppet states. Stalin then set about extending his influence not just into Europe, but also into Asia. Under his command, the Soviet Union also involved itself in a series of non-military competitions with its chief rival, the United States. Stalin was directly responsible for the hostilities between the two superpowers for most of the second half of the twentieth century. FEW NOTES TO KEEP IN MIND Your general statement (the opening sentence) should summarize the main topic of the essay. It should describe exactly what will be discussed. The next three sentences in an introductory paragraph outline the arguments and subtopics you will raise to support or explain the main topic. These are essentially one-sentence summaries of your three body paragraphs. They should appear in the same order as they do in your essay. The concluding sentence identifies the author’s opinion on the subject. This is the thesis statement. Write the concluding paragraph Your concluding paragraph is exactly that – a conclusion. It is not simply a restatement of either your thesis or your introductory paragraph. The reader has just absorbed all your information, but now needs a summary of everything you have told them. So you synthesize your thesis statement and your three body paragraphs, and restate them concisely for the reader in your concluding paragraph. PHILOSPHERS MENTIONED IN THE COURSES – Bertrand Russell – Socrates -Ludwig Wittgenstein -St. Thomas Aquinas -René Descartes -Aristotle -Leibniz -William of Ockham -Thales of Miletus (c. 625–545 BCE) -Anaximander (c. 610–545 BCE) -Anaximenes (c. 585–525 BCE) -Pythagoras (c. 570–497 BCE) -Parmenides (fl. c. 450 BCE) -Heraclitus -Plato -Empedocles -Friedrich Nietzsche -Nãgãrjuna -John Locke -George Berkeley – David Hume -Immanuel Kant -Francis Bacon -Karl Popper -Thomas Kuhn -Paul Feyerabend -Evelyn Fox Keller -Rudolf Carnap -Alfred J. Ayer -Hilary Putnam – Ayn Rand -Confucius -Buddha -John Stuart Mill -Simone de Beauvoir -Alison Jaggar -Lenin’s philosophy -Mussolini’s philosophy -Karl max -Thomas Hobbes -Jean-Jacques Rousseau -Mary Wollstonecraft

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