FINAL PAPER GUIDELINES CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY Synthesis paper on a topic of yo

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FINAL PAPER GUIDELINES CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY
Synthesis paper on a topic of your choice
3 pages, Times New Roman, double spaced, 12 pt.
This is a synthesis essay based on the texts studied in class this semester. Please pick your topic among
the topics discussed in class.
The paper must:
– have an argumentative structure.
– synthesize all authors discussed this semester and offer a unified viewpoint. The paper does not
need to include the whole material but it has to show how your topic of choice is treated by
each author and eventually what are the commonalities and differences between authors. You
might give some preference to one author rather than another but make sure that you include all
of them (Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamer, Derrida).
– display your knowledge of the topic.
– include additional references from secondary literature on the authors/readings/topics
discussed this semester (for instance, an electronic book about Heidegger available on our
library website in electronic format: Charles Pattison, Heidegger on Death, Ashgate, 2013).
Minimum 5 references are required (books and articles). See
http://libguides.stthom.edu/philosophy.
The link to all electronic books is in our library catalog online. You can just type in the search
box some key words such as Heidegger, death, Being, consciousness, Husserl, intentionality,
Derrida etc.
http://hip.stthom.edu/ipac20/ipac.jsp?
profile=doh&ri=&index=.GW&term=*&oper=AND&x=8&y=8&aspect=power&index=.TW&
term=&oper=AND&index=.AW&term=&oper=AND&index=.SW&term=&limitbox_1=CO01
+%3D+co_NETL&ultype=&uloper=%3D&ullimit=&ultype=&uloper=%3D&ullimit=&sort
Journal articles are available in electronic format on our library website as well.
Quotations from readings discussed and from secondary sources are required. Please insert footnotes or
endnotes.
Example: Heidegger, Being and Time, transl. J. Macquarrie & E. Robinson, Harper, 2009, 95.
STRUCTURE:
1. STATEMENT INTRODUCTION
Formulate your main thesis: What is the problem and what you want to accomplish in this
paper. Do not start with historical information (“Heidegger was a German philosopher”) or
with banal claims (“People have different opinions about knwoledge”). Start with the problem!
You can use the first person singular (I) to emphasize your position. However, in the course of
the paper, do not use “I” too many times. It is not elegant. Instead, alternate “I” with
qualification adverbs and adjectives (“This idea is compelling”, “This argument is weak” etc).
2. CORPUS OF PAPER
Explain the topic, referring to readings discussed in class (these readings are mandatory; you
can not substitute them with other readings of the same authors).
Formulate
a) arguments (at least 3 in total)
b) counterarguments (min. 3).
Give examples (min. 3; also your own, not just the ones from the readings or the ones given in
class).
3. STATEMENT CONCLUSION
Write a precise assessment of what you accomplished in this paper. As in the case of the
introduction, refrain from general, banal and vague phrases such as “People have different
opinions about the soul”. Show what you argued for, what were your findings, etc. Use again
“I” to emphasize your position.

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