Final Individual Papers
- Day of
PresentationHand in 1page outline of your presentation with an abstract of what you
will discuss in your talk.
presentation (approximately 10 minutes). Dates to be decided.
- A final paper
due on May 13th. The paper will be approximately 6-8 pages long.
Remember: Your presentation/paper should be a formal
presentation where you analyze specific parts of the required readings and any
supplementary reading you do. Review the requirements explained in the course syllabus and
our seminar on how to write a philosophy paper for further details.
I am happy to read drafts of your papers and
to review topics before your presentation. As noted, the earlier you come see me the
better. I can help you much more if you allow time to incorporate our discussions into
Oral PresentationsI have to give an
1. Plan the structure of your presentation. For a 10 minute
talk, the following breakdown will work:
minute: Body of talk-- 7 mins: Conclusion 2 mins
2. Leave your audience something to think about
along the way, so they not only feel enlightened but drawn into and excited about your
attempt the impossible in a 10 minute talk. Concentrate on getting across a small number
rush. Include pauses to give time for the audience to think or reflect on your points. It
should take about 2 ½ minutes to get through one page of text.
to the time allotted (10 minutes). Practice your talk out loud to yourself, friend, or
family member so you know if you need to add more or cut out material. You do not need to
allow time within this 10 minutes for questions. You are not expected to engage your peers
in a discussion. There will be time after your presentation for brief questions and
comments from your classmates.
is not primarily a research assignment. I will not automatically give you extra points for
using lots of sources (this applies to your written work as well). Your presentation
should demonstrate your understanding of the political/social theories under discussion.
7. Finish on a
positive and definite note. This is very important since your final comments remain in the
minds of those assessing the talk. You can conclude by reminding people of the key points
or asking a question of your audience.
You can read
your presentation or alternate between reading your paper and explaining your points
without reading directly from your paper. Remember to read with enthusiasm and interest in
your subject. This means that you need to think carefully about the readings/topics you
choose. Pick issues/concepts/readings that interest you the most. Even though I am not
grading your primarily on your ability to deliver a paper (content is the most important
aspect of evaluation), it is important to read slowly and clearly.
The main aspect of evaluation will be
evaluating how prepared you are for your presentation and the information presented in
your talk. I am also looking for your ability to relate theory to practical contemporary
moral issues. I am not grading your ability to engage the class or field questions. Your
presentation is one part of your grade for this assignment. The other part of your grade
is based upon the paper you write following your presentation (see criteria above for
writing Philosophy papers, section V. syllabus). I will discuss details concerning the
paper in class.
Some possible Topics:
You may write on any topic that has been covered this semester.
Your paper/presentation should be substantially different from other papers you have
written for the course. You may write on articles you have previously written on as part
(only part) of this final project. You may relate the course readings to a contemporary
issue in the media, film, or book of your choice in order to further clarify your
viewpoints. This is not a research paper. It is a philosophy paper.
1. What is it like to be a philosopher? Compare at least three
approaches to philosophy discussed this semester.
2. What is the connection between the mind and the body? How are
the body and mind connected? How would Descartes and Ryle respond? What are some of the
ways that modern science and medicine splits off the body from the mind (assumes they are
3. What is the
connection between genius and gender according to Linda Nochlin. Does gender matter when
it comes to art and music and literature? Is there such a thing as womens music,
womens writings, male films? Explain your answer.
- What is the relationship between
religion and philosophy? You might look at the role of religion (or lack of it) in the
moral theories we discussed, Socrates and religion, and/or the readings from philosophy of
- How would a utilitarian deal with a real
life moral problem (for example: whistle blowing, lying in office, animal rights,
- How might Hassans article and
peace and education influence the talks going on today about the relationship between
Islamic countries and the US?
- Compare and contrast Indian philosophy
with the views of Socrates/Descartes/Hobbes (pick at least two).
There is no final exam for this course. This is
your opportunity to shine for the last time in the course! Lets make these as great
Even though this is not a research paper, you
may want to read one or two outside articles. I have lots of resources! Once you have your
general topic picked out, come talk to me about good outside readings that will help you
in your work.