General Description from the Course Syllabus:
“the student will be required to discover a good candidate argument for analysis, clarify and organize the sample argument, and evaluate the argument using appropriate evaluative criteria in ordinary language.”
Objective of this Assignment:
Upon successful completion of this assignment, students will be able to identify, explain, and evaluate arguments by analogy in legal and/or moral reasoning
Paper must be formatted according to your chosen citation style and follow all guidelines of that style, including whether the style requires separate cover pages and works-cited pages. Any references to outside sources must be documented with a properly-formatted citation. Follow citation rules as laid out in the Course Syllabus.
a. MLA, APA, and Chicago style are all acceptable; use the style you know best.Paper must be free of, or contain minimal, spelling and grammar errors.Paper must contain a reconstruction of an argument by analogy from the contexts of either law or morality. (What’s a reconstruction? See below.)Paper must explain how the argument by analogy works by identifying how the analogy contributes to the arguer’s ultimate purpose.Paper must evaluate the strength of the argument by analogy with references to the six principles of analogy evaluation in Chapter 9 of Hurley & Watson and include one way in which the analogy could be made stronger.Paper should be around 500-900 total words in the body of the text, which includes the original quotation but does not count citations, reference lists, or title pages. This should be around 2-3 double-spaced pages of 12-point text.
DirectionsLocate an argument from analogy within the context of the law or morality. For the law: U.S. Supreme Court cases are a rich source of analogies and other types of court cases will work as well. The full text of U.S. Supreme Court cases, both in terms of opinion and transcripts of oral argumentation, are publicly available at www.supremecourt.gov. For morality, nearly any publication that deals with contemporary moral or ethical problems will work. Naturally, philosophy essays on ethics are a rich – and therefore, recommended – source of analogies. The publication in which your analogy is contained must be publicly available so that anyone, in principle, could access it.Reconstruct the analogy within your paper. What’s a reconstruction, you ask? In short, a reconstruction is a paraphrase. A reconstruction is a complete, concise, and comprehensive retelling of the original argument in your own words. You must accurately and faithfully represent the original meaning of your target analogy without inserting your own opinion or other irrelevant detail. Include all detail that is necessary to understand the analogy, but leave out any irrelevant or unnecessary information.Explain how the analogy is supposed to work by identifying the purpose of the analogy. What role does the analogy play within the arguer’s overall argument? Along the way, identify the primary and secondary analogues and explain why the arguer thinks the primary analogues are relevant to the secondary analogue.Use the six principles of analogy evaluation to evaluate the strength of the analogy. Are the primary analogues numerous? Are the primary analogues diverse? Is the conclusion general or specific? Etc. Decide whether the analogy is strong or weak. You may express your verdict on the strength of the analogy in vague terms, such as “very strong,” “somewhat strong,” “somewhat weak,” or “very weak.” Use these six principles to justify your verdict on the strength of the analogy and suggest one way in which the analogy could be made better.Don’t bother to write a separate introduction or conclusion section of your paper – you only have a limited amount of space, so don’t waste it!
Criteria for Assessment
This paper will be scored on a 0-100% scale and is worth 15% of the final course grade. Letter grades mean the following:
• A (90-100%): no significant content mistakes; only minor/formal mistakes.
• B (80-89%): some significant content mistakes, but nothing major.
• C (70-79%): some major mistakes in content, possibly also in form.
• D (60-69%): many major mistakes in content, probably also in form.
• F (under 60%): same as D (difference is a matter of degree) plus conditions like not following directions or not submitting paper.
Paper 2 will be assessed according to the following criteria (sum of points is 100):
Identify and Reconstruct an Analogy: 25 ptsExplain the Purpose of the Analogy: 15 ptsEvaluate the Strength of the Analogy: 35 ptsIndicate One Way to Strengthen the Analogy: 15 ptsFormal Elements (Spelling, Grammar, Elements of Style): 10 pts
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