The short paper (1200-1500 words) on Socrates’ argument in Crito is actually an argument developed by each PHI-215 student that explicates and evaluates Socrates’ argument in Crito. So, the task is to: (1) explicate Socrates’ argument; (2) evaluate Socrates’ argument; (3) draw some conclusions about the persuasiveness of Socrates’ argument. In explicating, evaluating and assessing persuasiveness, each PHI-215 student is developing his/her own argument ABOUT Socrates’ argument.
In the beginning (introduction), the writer expresses the topic to be covered and ends the beginning with a CLEARLY STATED THESIS the writer will develop and defend in the middle (BODY) of the paper with substantive evidence taken from the primary source-in this case, Plato’s dialogue Crito. What was Socrates’ argument and what sorts of justifying reasons did Socrates offer Crito to believe the truth of each premise in Socrates’ argument? Specifically quoted words and phrases uttered by Socrates would be exactly the sort of “evidence” or substance to support a student’s claim about what reasons Socrates’ offered Crito and whether those reasons are judged by the PHI-215 student to be good, justifying reasons to believe the truth of Socrates’ Premises. If outside sources are used, include ALL borrowed material in footnotes.
Structure: Is the paper logically structured with a clear beginning, middle, and end? Is there a clear, controlling thesis in the beginning that the middle (the body) of the paper develops in a logical order (explicate; then evaluate logic and truth of the premises)? In the conclusion of the paper, does the paper briefly summarize the student’s argument (see your thesis) and assess the persuasiveness of Socrates’ argument?
Substance: Does the short paper cite reasons to believe Socrates’ argument is logically valid (deductive) or cogent (inductive) and does the paper cite specific phrases uttered by Socrates the (1) show what the Conclusion and Premises of Socrates’ argument happen to be; and (2) offer good reasons (or even bad ones) to believe that Socrates’ premises are true. Remember, Socrates’ is offering an argument to Crito, and you are explicating and evaluating Socrates’ argument. So, explicate the argument and evaluate it!
Mechanics: “Mechanics” refers to grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and avoiding run-on sentences, comma splices and sentence fragments.
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