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Polarity and Belief
Composition #2
(Due Monday 3.19)


In a well written and reasoned 500 - 1000 word essay, reply to the following.

In his essay, Polarity, Richard Taylor says the following;

...we are suggesting here, such sharpness and precision are sometimes bought at the expense of truth, for reality is far too loose a mixture of things to admit of such absolute distinctions. And sometimes, both in our practical affairs and in our philosophy, we are led into serious errors, which are fervently embraced just because they seem so clearly to have been proved... The solutions to non-problems can only be non-solutions, however; and as these non-problems are sometimes the creations of our own thinking, the way through them is not through more of the same kind of thinking but rather through a revision of thought patterns themselves.

1. Explain what Taylor means by "Polarization". Note: An explanation is much more than a restatement. You must use interpretation of the text and your own examples (with clear directions on how to understand them do you need a model for using examples and explanations? Look carefully at how Taylor uses them in his essay). The task here is to present and explain Taylor's idea(s) as if to someone who had not heard of it before.

2. Taylor claims that polarization is the source of many confusions and fabrications. Consider here whether that is the case with your own belief system. Are there polarizations in your belief system? If so, be sure to explain them in detail. If not, be sure to explain how you avoid them (the philosophical framework that you chose does have polarity in it. How do you differ from that?) Consider other belief systems, from your own experience, as well and how you find that polarization fits into them (if at all).

3. Do you agree with Taylor that polarization is a source of confusion, fabrication, and error? It is, after all, possible that what Taylor has in mind by "polarization" is actually a reasonable and useful way to think. Determine whether you agree with Taylor's assessment or not, and give your clearest, strongest reasoning for your conclusion. In doing so, make sure to consider his position and how it relates to yours.