Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Final Reports

For your final solo report (unless you've earned a full or partial bonus exemption):

Do a blog post or series of blog posts totaling 1,000 words or 4+ pages, with hyperlinks and relevant graphics, videos etc., plus a related solo class presentation of 10-15 minutes. Blog posts are informal (links instead of footnotes, chattier style etc.).


Do a 2,000+ word or 8-10 page posted essay, with appropriate footnotes and bibliography, on an approved subject. If you choose the 2,000 word option you don't have to do a presentation, but your essay should conform to the style requirements of formal scholarship and should be posted all at once. If you prefer not to post your essay you may print it and turn it in to me. My preference, though, is that you post it.

Remember, there are links to online philosophy resources at the bottom of our page. They include:

Blogs/essays to be posted in their entirety by the last regular class day.  

Pick one of these topics/approaches:

  • Write/present a philosophical/biographical exploration of a post-Cartesian (after Descartes) philosopher, identifying his or her main ideas and events in their lives you think contributed to their conclusions. OR
  • Develop one of the topics discussed in Philosophy: The Basics, with relevant research and critical analysis. Post your essay, at once or in installments.
  • Transcribe an imaginary conversation between yourself and two or three philosophers, including at least one pre- and one post-Cartesian (besides yourself). Initiate the conversation by posing a discussion question, having each philosopher respond, and responding yourself in turn. Post the conversation. OR,
  • Come talk to me about your idea for a final report project.

Your report should include a short posted summary of the main points to be covered in your presentation, along with suggested readings, relevant titles & links etc. The presentation should complement the written report, not simply repeat it. But it should be on the same general topic. 

For example: say you've decided to do a series of blog posts on what several different philosophers said about free will and determinism (let's say Spinoza, Nietzsche, Sartre, and James). You spread your posts out in four installments, each separated by two or three days and clearly labeled "Final report, #1 of 4" etc., with #4 going up no later than he last regular class date, Dec. 2/3. (So, #1 should have gone up by mid-November.) In your presentation, then, you could give a quick thumbnail account of each philosopher's view (accompanied by some of the interesting images, video, material from relevant websites etc. that you've posted) and then elaborate by telling us more about the view you find most appealing, and why.

Your report will be evaluated on its own merits, but as always you're encouraged to prepare by collaboratively discussing your ideas with classmates. Just don't steal or plagiarize. If a classmate gives you a good idea, give them a scholarly citation.

Have fun! Learn something and teach us what you've learned.

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