This project comes in two parts. The first part calls for you to present a specific argument. In the second part, you will present a critical discussion of that argument. The idea here is for you to show in question one that you understand the basic argument and in question four that you can go beyond it.
When answering question one, be as clear, specific and fair as possible. Longer answers are not more impressive; they tend to suggest that you don’t quite grasp the important point yet and just are throwing words at the problem while hoping that some of them will constitute an answer. Similarly, do not distort arguments in order to provide for an easy response. Since philosophical claims, in particular, get their substance in part from contrast, diminishing alternative claims really does diminish your own claims.
You have a great deal of latitude for question two. You might: criticize the argument, compare it to some other argument made by the philosopher in question, compare it to an argument made by someone else, provide a new example, present a new application of the argument, present other conclusions that might be drawn from the same basic considerations, discuss the context of the argument and what importance that might have, etc. etc.
While a formal word count is not part of the grade for these assignments, I would anticipate answers for question one running about 300 words, with answers for question two running about twice that.
While no outside research is required to complete any of these assignments, you are free to do so. Any outside reading done, though, absolutely must be documented fully. Please read the plagiarism guide found under “course links” before writing.
Question 1: Why does Quine think that observations cannot be tested individually? How does he think testing does work?
Question 2: Discuss critically the argument presented in question 1.