After you read the Harry Frankfurt’s article, Alternate Possibilities and Moral responsibility and completed the quiz, please choose only one question from the list below, and write a response. Your answer should be about 250 words. In your answer, refer to the text and support your statement with arguments and examples. You can either discuss examples from the texts or bring your own examples. Your response is short, so make sure that you are precise and focus on your statement and arguments. There is not need to introduce the topic, just focus on the position you decided to defend or argue against and support it with sub arguments.
- What is Frankfurt’s argument for compatibilism?
- Do Frankfurt’s examples show the falsity of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities (PAP)?
- Do Frankfurt’s examples show that we still have moral responsibility without alternative possibilities?
- Do you agree that coercion does not entail lack of alternate possibilities?
- Does Frankfurt establish that moral responsibility is compatible with causal determinism?
Your writing assignments will be quite short, but it’s very important that you will know how to approach them. There are many ways to write a response but since this is a course in philosophy, I would expect that your responses would be argumentative. You have a rubric for each assignment that will guide you but I would like to give you some instructions on how you should structure a philosophical essay in general and your responses in this course in particular.
Here are some instructions:
- Your response should be constructed as an argumentative essay rather than a summary or descriptive response. You can of course start with a short description of the controversial issue, but the whole response should argue for a specific position rather than be a description of the issue. Since your writing assignments are very short, you have to be precise. I would recommend avoiding introductory sentences and starting with the argument. In general, don’t try to introduce your argument within a grand general narrative. Get to the point quickly and without digression. State your thesis clearly and concisely in your introduction so that your reader understands what your paper sets out to achieve.
- When you write an argumentative essay, you must choose aside.
- In argumentative or philosophical writing do not use weak qualifiers like “I believe,” “I feel,” and “I think.” Just state the position you are going to defend.
- It is important that you refer to or analyze the arguments in all the assigned readings for that particular week. It is not enough to discuss only one article.
- Avoid discussing more than one argument or set of arguments in one paragraph. Each paragraph should present only one single idea or set of related ideas.
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