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COMPOSITION ONE
Self-Sketch

DUE (Due Monday 2.5 )

InterQuest contains four Compositions. These are graded and required works. The first of these is an assignment titled "Self-Sketch " (so titled for the sake of the assignment directions. Please give your work it's own appropriate title). This short writing assignment is designed to focus your thinking about your own philosophical beliefs and values.

Composition One is worth a total of 100 points. The course grade is based on a total of 1000 points. This gives you an opportunity to practice your writing in InterQuest on a lower risk project.

You will submit Composition One electronically. The surest way to accomplish this is to draft, edit, and save your essay using a word processor. Just about any contemporary word processor program will do, so long as you can cut and paste text from it. The least successful way to create these compositions is by writing it all on-line in one sitting. This gives you much less opportunity to revise and develop your work. It also puts you at risk of losing your work with no backup. See Copy & Paste Method.

To write this Composition One, you must have selected a Philosophical Framework. If you have not, please go to Week 1 and do so now.

Consider the Philosophical Framework you selected. The description provided is probably not a complete or accurate representation of your own philosophical beliefs. Still, it may well have some strong connections to your own philosophical belief system. Your task in Composition One is to pick a central idea from your own philosophical belief system (using the Philosophical Framework as a guide) and write about it as clearly and cogently as you can.

Be sure to see the Online Writing Philosophy Papers: A Student Guide for assistance. See the links below.

In a 500-1,000 word (2-4 page) written composition, provide the following:

1. An expression of your own philosophical belief system by stating a some major claims from it. It would be a huge task to explain and justify your whole belief system. Instead you are being asked here to select some important philosophical claims from your belief system and write about those claims. Remember that you are writing this for an intelligent peer who is not informed about your beliefs or philosophical ideas in general.

2. Select one claim from what you write for part 1 above. That claim is a declarative sentence that makes a statement about the way things are. Your task in this part is to give an argument in support of that claim. Strive to make your argument as clear and as complete as possible. Lay it out in a logical order so that anyone can follow your reasoning.

3. Consider the argument you gave in part 2. The claims of that argument contain concepts (words and phrases). Assume that your reader is not clear on what you have in mind when using these concepts. Your task in this part is to make clear what you mean by providing a definition of the important concepts in your argument. You will have to make a judgement about which concepts to define. Base this judgement on your sense of which concepts are the most central and unique to your belief system and reasoning. (note: a definition here is a form of thoughtful explanation. Dictionary definitions are not sufficient. You need to explain what you mean by a concept and how it fits into your thinking. Explore how a concept in your belief system relates to others -- that is what makes it a system).

4. Consider the four methods of fixing belief proposed by Peirce in The Fixation of Belief. Two of these are: the method of tenacity and the method of authority. Do either of these two methods affect your beliefs and the ways that you hold them? That is, do you see in yourself a tendency to use either of these methods in maintaining your own beliefs? Peirce says that people commonly do use these methods to hold onto their beliefs. Is this true for you in any way?

You are encouraged to treat this as an opportunity to think your beliefs through. It is not expected that you have complete proof and explanation of your belief, here. You must show an attempt to make progress towards those aims.

A Sample Composition is provided to help clarify how the parts of this sort of writing go together.

You will also find useful information for writing this composition in Writing Philosophy Papers: A Student Guide. This guide is available from the Oregon State University Bookstore, direct from Kendall-Hunt Publisher, and is now available in an Online Edition (see the Assertion Essay portion in particular).

Making progress towards the aims of stronger support and greater clarity of your own beliefs is a primary objective in InterQuest.

 

Copy & Paste Composition Submission Method

Composition Submission Form

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