Philosophical Reflection

As described in the syllabus, there will be a final paper. A polished draft of final papers will be presented by students to the class.

Each paper will be discussed by the class as part of a peer-review process. So that we may all contribute fully to the class discussion of student papers, those presenting their papers must email their paper to me TWO DAYS BEFORE they present and I will forward the paper to the rest of the class (for example, when you are presenting your paper on a Tuesday, then your paper must be emailed to me on the previous Sunday by 6:00pm). The earlier paper version that is presented to class should be 7 full pages in length, and later expanded after the class presentation. After you have incorporated suggestions from the class, the final, revised final paper is due Sunday, December 8th, by 6:00pm. Kindly send your paper to me by email.

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This paper is not a “research” paper. The paper is the result of your authentic reflections on a philosophical question. Any secondary literature is secondary, and it is not expected that you will research works outside what we have read in class.

All papers – both polished drafts and final versions – must be provided to me in an electronic version in Microsoft Word or PDF sent to All papers must be new, original work, written by the student for this class, in accordance with to the University plagiarism policy. Students who plagiarize will fail the course.

Papers are to be written in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with one inch margins. Pages should be numbered and each paper should have an exciting title. Any secondary literature should be referenced in footnotes, or with in-text citation and a bibliography.

All class members will read the papers and bring two typed substantial questions for each paper. Bring two typed copies of questions to class: one for the author of the paper, the other for me. These substantial questions will collectively count as a large quiz. Note: to receive credit for your questions you must be present in class and turned in typed copies of your questions during class.

No more than two students may write on the same topic. The Final Paper topics are:

1) Does Raymond Lull believe that it is possible to be trapped in situations where one is unable to avoid moral wrongdoing? Explain Lull’s view on moral dilemmas, using scenes from his autobiography as evidence for your position. Consider, for example, the perplexity he describes in the following scenes: his conversion, his difficulty with the Saracen slave, his confusion over which religious order to join, and the king’s edict. Consider also whether any of these situations are prior-fault or innocent-agent dilemmas. Consider Lull’s solution to resolving possible moral dilemmas and evaluate whether such a solution is plausible.

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