I’m studying for my Philosophy class and need an explanation.
In their discussion of Arguments by Analogy (p. 91 7/E, p. 95 8/E, p. 99 9/E), the authors of your textbook briefly mention Judith Jarvis Thompson’s famous Violinist Analogy, from her essay called “A Defense of Abortion”. This is one of the best known essays on the subject, and is one of the most-reprinted philosophy essays every written. In a brief (600-750 word) essay, please give a thorough, critical analysis of Thompson’s violinist analogy from that essay. In addition to the discussion in the text, please review this excerpt. Additionally, you can review the entire essay by clicking this link.
Given the above, your essay should include at least three citations: our textbook, Thomson’s essay, and the checklist you identified from Module 6.
Notice carefully that you’re not writing an ethics paper about moral permissibility of abortion. You’re writing a critical thinking paper about this particular argument by analogy, in which you apply the tools for analysis of argument by analogy. If you’re unclear about the difference, please ask on the discussion board.
By this point in the term, you have many, many tools at your disposal to construct a high quality, critical analysis of an argument by analogy. In addition to the many tools and techniques we’ve practiced throughout the term, I invite you to make good use of the “checklist for arguments by analogy” that we developed during Discussion Forum 6. Please carefully cite the checklist that you use, regardless of whether it was written by you, or another student.
Finally, please review the two additional documents, called “First Essay Instructions” and “First Essay Criteria”, before you begin. This assignment is due via the dropbox in iCollege, and must be submitted no later than 11:59pm on Sunday.
Your paper should include:
- A short introductory paragraph, with a clear thesis statement (e.g., I shall argue that Thomson’s argument is sound/unsound because…). Your thesis statement should almost always be the last sentence of your introductory paragraph.
- A charitable summary or paraphrase of the argument as presented by the author (you may, but need not, use standard premise/conclusion form). In such a short essay, it is best to confine your analysis to the smaller argument, from within the larger article. That is, focus on the actual analogy, rather than her larger argument.
- An evaluation of the argument in terms of logical validity and truth/soundness. That means that, for any premise, if you think it’s false, you should explicitly show why, as well as consider counter-examples to your criticisms. Since this is an argumentative essay, this evaluation is the most important part of the essay, and will constitute your principle criticism. Remember that a criticism doesn’t need to be negative, but it should make a meaningful point. Take some time to develop it carefully.
- A brief answer to your principle criticism in your evaluation, on behalf of the author.
- Your reply to the answer on behalf of the author.
- A brief, suitable concluding paragraph.
- At least one source, and at least as many non-internet sources as internet sources (Read that sentence again to be sure you understand it). Thomson’s paper, and checklists for analyzing argument by analogy from the discussion forum both count as a non-internet source.
- No direct quotations. It is not necessary to directly quote any author. When it is important to do so, simply explain the position which he/she is defending. It is, however, necessary to cite all authors whose ideas you reference. Thus, if you begin a sentence with, e.g., “According to Socrates…”, you should end that sentence with a citation. Essays that include “direct quotations” will not receive a grade higher than a D. (Read that sentence again, too, to be sure you understand it).
- A clear and complete bibliography
- Please submit just one document. This should include the required cover page, your essay, and your bibliography. Please combine all of these elements into one document before you submit. It is not necessary to submit two or three separate files.