Y​‌‍‍‍‌‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‍‌‌‌‌‌‌​ou will select one of the assigned philosophical articles for a deeper analysis. With each selected article, you will identify a single sentence that makes a claim about that issue that is of philosophical or ethical significance that your group disagrees with (see below).
Each philosophical position paper should be 1000-1500 words and written in a format appropriate for a philosophy essay (see below):
1. Briefly describe the claim that will be the object of your critique. This could probably be done as part of the short opening paragraph. Remember the “Principle of Charity.”
2. Explain why this claim is significant. This is the “So what?” Why should we care about this claim? You might explain, for example, that if the claim with which you’re concerned turns out to be wrong, then there will turn out to be problems with one of the author’s main arguments. You can also point out why the claim is so important for the author. For example, if the claim isn’t correct, then the author cannot argue for their conclusion.
3. Critically evaluate the claim you have identified, and whose significance you have established. In other words, explain why the claim is objectionable if you disagree with it or why the claim is significant for reasons that the author does not already state. Hint, it is often easier to argue something you think is wrong than to argue something you think is right because you will have to find a new reason that the author did not already provide. Your critical evaluation should should occupy the bulk of your paper and will require the most work.. Here is where you should introduce not only cou​‌‍‍‍‌‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‍‌‌‌‌‌‌​nter arguments which can be from course materials and empirical evidence (provide citations).
Claim: This is a statement that is essentially arguable, but used is used to prove an argument.
Philosophical significance: You must be sure that the claim you are critiquing is in the subject matter of philosophy, not zoology, physiology, economics, etc. (for guidance, please consider the branches of philosophy described in the textbook). So, for example, if an author says that highly competitive youth sport improves children’s performance as adults, this may be a pedagogically significant claim but not a philosophically significant claim, since it does not say something about right or wrong behavior. A philosophically significant claim would be a claim that a certain kind of behavior or policy is right or wrong, or that certain individuals have or do not have certain rights, or that people in certain circumstances have or do not have certain obligations or duties, etc.
Philosophical significance: You must also be sure that the claim you are critiquing is significant, not minor or trivial. For example, suppose an author were to say that he thinks that people have the right to 2,000 calories of nutrition per day, and you were to think that people really only have the right to 1,950 calories of nutrition per day. Then while your disagreement with the author would be an ethical one (because it would be concerned with the extent of the rights that people have), it would not be a very significant one, because even if the author were to concede this point, it wouldn’t have a substantial impact on the practical implications of ​‌‍‍‍‌‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‍‌‌‌‌‌‌​his or her views.