As we study the history of philosophy, we will also explore how philosophy’s methods may inform upon contemporary debates. One of the learning goals for this course is to recognize that philosophy is not an outdated discipline, nor do philosophers reside only in the ivory towers of academia. The philosophers of the past (and present) still offer lessons of value for us and our society. The purpose of this assignment is to open opportunities for students to explore issues of importance in such a way that you can directly experience the contemporary importance of philosophy.
Your assignment is to choose a news article (from a reputable source) from anytime this calendar year. Choose an article which pertains to an issue you are interested in. Discuss and analyze that contemporary topic from the point of view of a chosen philosopher. Here are some examples to illustrate possible ways of approaching the assignment:
- What would Plato say about the concept of corporate personhood?
- What would Jeremy Bentham think of the debate surrounding lethal injection drugs?
- How would the Buddha view the debate regarding interpretations of the Second Amendment?
- What would Kant say about the use of drones for domestic spying?
- How would St. Aquinas respond to the scientific possibility of immortality?
- These are only examples. Think about other issues you have discussed with friends and family and what one of the philosophers we have studied might have to contribute to the discussion.
Papers should be approximately 4 to 5 pages in length. Students are required to utilize at least two sources in addition to the news article, though your textbook may count as one source. General formatting, in-text citations, and works cited must follow MLA guidelines. For additional assistance regarding MLA formatting or avoiding plagiarism, explore the following resources: