Akan Concept of A Person

Akan Concept of A Person

  • What is due?

Please choose one of the prompts (below) and write a paper 600 to 800 words long. Upload your paper as a word document (or equivalent; no pdf). Write the prompt (number and/or text) at the top of the first page. Prompts are below.

WHY?

This assignment is meant to assess your critical understanding of the contents, your capacity to reflect autonomously on them, and your capacity to formulate and defend a philosophical argument in a written text.

HOW?

A philosophical paper is structured like the defense of a thesis. This means that you must have a definite claim in your mind, state it clearly, and propose an argument in its support; in other words, you must provide reasons for your claim. The steps of your argument and the way they are connected should be clear for the reader, and the conclusion should be easily identifiable and follow logically from the argument.

TIPS

  • Use short sentences and a straightforward style. Do not try to impress with complicated phrases or terms you are unable to explain.
  • Do not take it for granted that your reader already knows the topics that you are dealing with. Although it is your instructor and TAs that will evaluate the paper, you are expected to define explicitly the main concepts that you are using.
  • Make sure your paper shows that you studied and understood the materials.
  • State your thesis at the very beginning of your paper.
  • Make your argumentative steps explicit: announce them in the first paragraph, and then follow them thoroughly.
  • Use your own words and possibly your own examples. This demonstrates autonomy and capacity of reflection. Examples help the reader understand better what you have in mind.
  • It is a good idea to identify a possible objection to your argument and respond to it.
  • Connect the conclusion of the paper to the thesis that you stated at the beginning.
  • Plagiarism (passing off as your own the ideas or words of someone else) is not allowed in any form. Always credit your sources. Be aware that papers are automatically checked for plagiarism.

QUESTIONS

  • How should I format the paper?

There are no specific requirements regarding formatting. Just write the prompt number and/or title at the beginning of the paper. The important thing is that the paper is written clearly.

  • Should I add a title?

Not required but encouraged. It contributes to the clarity of the paper.

  • Are quotes and references required? Are they allowed?

Quotes and references are not required, but they are allowed. If you quote, you should acknowledge the author, and add the reference at the end of the paper, in a separate paragraph titled “References”.

  • If I add references, how should I format them?

References should include author and title. If you have them, also add: year of publication; book title (for book chapters) or name of the journal (for journal articles); place of publication and publisher (for books or book chapters) or journal issue and pages (for journal articles). If you do not have the full reference it’s ok, just include author and title.

  • Can I add references outside the course readings?

Yes. However, your paper should not focus mainly on them.

  • Are footnotes allowed?

Yes, but keep in mind that footnotes are secondary additions. If you use them, do not use them to explain major points.

  • Does the word count include the prompt, references (if any) and footnotes (if any)?

No.

  • Can I send you a draft of my paper for before I submit it?

Sorry, no. In the interest of fairness, neither I nor the TAs will provide feedback on drafts.

DEADLINE AND LATE POLICY

The midterm paper is due by Feb 7th, 11:59 pm. Respecting the deadline is important! There is 1 point of penalty (out of 20) for each day (or fraction of day) of delay. Max penalty 40% of the full grade (8 points).

GOOD NEWS

There is, however, a grace period of one day for this assignment. This means that if you submit it late but within 24h after the deadline, there will be no late penalty. The late penalties will be calculated starting from 24h after the deadline.

PROMPTS

1) Which one among the three philosophical theories of the Pure Ego examined by James (Spiritualist, associationist, and transcendental) do you find more convincing? Why?

2) Choose a country you have never been to. Imagine being born there. Imagine you are your age, sex, and race. Which traits of your identity and of your personality do you think would remain the same, and which would be different? Why? What does this show regarding the concept of personal identity, as studied in this module?

3) There are different theories concerning what race is. According to some, we should actually stop using the concept of race. Do you think this would be useful or damaging? Why?

4) What does Ian Hacking mean when he says that we “make up” people? What are his central claims? Critically assess the plausibility of his proposal.

5) Choose one of the additional resources of week 5. Critically evaluate its contents with reference to the topics studied.

Rubric

Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeThesis
5 to >4.5 ptsAbove expectations

The thesis is stated very clearly, it is specific and original.

4.5 to >4.0 ptsFully meets expectations

The thesis is specific and it is stated clearly.

4 to >3.0 ptsPartially meets expectations

The thesis is stated, but it is too general and/or the description leaves some aspects unclear.

3 ptsMinimum benchmark

It is possible to identify a thesis, although it is not clear and/or it is not explicitly stated.

3 to >0 ptsUnder benchmark

There is no thesis.

5 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeArgument
5 to >4.5 ptsAbove expectations

The paper has a very clear structure; all steps in the reasoning are identified and properly connected in a logical way. Transitions between the different sections are smooth, with no gaps in reasoning. The author offers compelling reasons in support of the thesis and makes use of original examples. The conclusion is logically tied to the argument in a compelling and fully convincing way.

4.5 to >4.0 ptsFully meets expectations

The paper is organized in an easy-to-follow structure. Transitions between the different sections are smooth, with no gaps in reasoning. The author offers good reasons in support of the thesis and makes use of examples. The conclusion is logically tied to the argument.

4 to >3.0 ptsPartially meets expectations

The paper follows a structure, but introduction and/or conclusion are not clearly identifiable. There are some gaps in reasoning. The author offers some reasons in support of the thesis, but the content chosen and the examples, if present, are not always appropriate or relevant. The conclusion is identifiable, but it is only partially tied to the argument.

3 ptsMinimum benchmark

The paper has a structure, but it is partially unclear and not explicit. The reasoning lacks some logical connections between parts. The author offers limited reasons in support of some aspects of the thesis. There is a conclusion, although it does not appear to be logically tied to the argument.

3 to >0 ptsUnder benchmark

The paper lacks a proper structure; the argument is inconsistent; the author does not offer reasons, evidence, and in general the appropriate content to develop the argument. The conclusion is either not present or totally unrelated to the information discussed.

5 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeUnderstanding
5 to >4.5 ptsAbove expectations

The paper shows your complete and critical understanding of the issues involved. The main concepts are defined clearly and comprehensively, delivering all relevant information.

4.5 to >4.0 ptsFully meets expectations

The paper shows your correct understanding of the issues involved. The main concepts are defined and clarified so that understanding is not seriously impeded by omissions.

4 to >3.0 ptsPartially meets expectations

The paper shows a satisfactory, though not complete, understanding of the issues involved. The description of the main concepts leaves some aspects undefined or ambiguous.

3 ptsMinimum benchmark

The paper shows a partial understanding of the issues involved; the main concepts are not explicitly discussed.

3 to >0 ptsUnder benchmark

The paper shows that you did not understand the issues involved.

5 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeWriting
3 ptsAbove expectations

The paper skillfully communicates meaning with clarity and fluency, and it is virtually error-free in spelling, punctuation and grammar.

3 to >2.5 ptsFully meets expectations

The paper uses straightforward language that conveys meaning with clarity. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are correct, although there might be few minor errors.

2.5 to >1.5 ptsPartially meets expectations

The paper uses appropriate language that generally conveys meaning, although it may include some errors.

1.5 ptsBenchmark

The paper is readable but it uses language that sometimes impedes meaning because of errors.

1.5 to >0 ptsUnder benchmark

The paper uses language that often impedes meaning because of errors.

3 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeWord limits
2 ptsExcellent

The length respects the word limits.

1.5 ptsAlmost there

1 to 25 words below or above the word limits.

1 ptsCould be better

25-100 words above or below word limits.

0.5 ptsYou need to work on this

100-200 words above or below the word limits.

0 ptsUnder benchmark

More than 200 words above or below the word limits.

2 pts
Total Points: 20cycle

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