III. Critical Assessment of an Argument III: Taking a stand in a debate (5 pages)
Critically assess an author’s position on a topic and assess whether or not it is convincing given the other positions in the debate.
Note: A strong answer will clearly identify the positions that the author is arguing against when explaining the author’s position. This will help you to locate your own evaluation within the context of the debate as a whole. This mode of presentation of your position is much more forceful than just stating whether or not the author’s position is convincing to you personally.
Readings: Any article defending a complex position in an established debate. Some suggestions:
Thomson, A Defense of Abortion
Williams, A Critique of Utilitarianism
Nagel, Moral Luck
Nagel, War and Massacre