Taking position Essay (humanities course) Instructions 1. Choose one question from the list of topics that I provide below. 2. Write 2 paragraphs (see structure below) to answer your chosen question. You should be able to give a perfect answer using about 400 words for the question. 3. Plagiarism will not be tolerated Structure of 2 paragraph answers Position statement In the first sentence, state clearly and specifically your position. If you are going to answer the question on theory of mind, for example, your first sentence could read: “I am a physicalist because nobody has ever been able to detect an immaterial substance affecting the physical world, because if they did, well that substance would be by definition also physical.” Defense of position In the rest of your first paragraph, use the best evidence and arguments to defend your position. Here is where you let me know how much you have thought about the question and how well you have understood the material that we have covered in class. This is the heart of your answer and where you should spend the bulk of your time writing and editing. Don’t try to include everything we have covered or you can think of, but rather take your time choosing the best evidence and arguments, and crafting them to be clearly and compellingly expressed. Be as specific as you can. Avoid making general statements and overstating your points. It is better to be precise and concrete about one small and valid point than to inadequately treat a broader line of thought. Best argument against your position First part of your second paragraph, tell me what would be the best argument against your evidence and arguments? It is easy to imagine that you have the best evidence and arguments until someone smart comes along who disagrees with you! What argument would that person use against you? Why it is wrong In the last part of your second paragraph, tell me why the best argument against yours is wrong. Topics for taking a position 1. Take a position either for the dualist or the physicalist understanding of the power of positive thinking. 2. Take the position that demon possession is real (demons exist and possess bodies), or that demon possession is an automatism. 3. Take a position either for or against the body that speaks understanding of the relationship between mind, body, and disease.
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