Your thesis must be a work of fiction !!!
SUMMARY REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR
ANALYTIC / REFLECTIVE THESIS
Write a three to five-page (double spaced) analysis of an issue or concept in philosophy, as it is expressed in a work of fiction. This issue or concept can reflect Metaphysics (Reality, Human Nature, Ultimate Reality). Epistemology (Knowledge Sources, Truth Tests, Aesthetic Experience), or Axiology (Political Philosophy, Social Philosophy, Ethics). The argument that you make in your paper must be valid (see Logic box on p. 36 of our text, Roots of Wisdom: A Tapestry of Philosophical Traditions). Your paper should contain the following elements:
1. Summarize the philosophical issue that is the theme of the work you have chosen to analyze. Does it concern Metaphysics, Epistemology, or Axiology?
2. Describe the key philosophical concept or concepts [no more than two) that will allow you to create a thesis for considering the authors assumptions in the work.
3. Use quotations from the work as evidence to identify and evaluate the relevance and quality of the elements created by the author in exploring a philosophical theme in a creative work.
4. Apply your thesis and conclusion to write a cogent and coherent philosophical analysis of how the quotations from the author’s work either effectively or ineffectively explore a philosophical theme.
DETAILED REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR
ANALYTIC / REFLECTIVE THESIS
Choose a work of fiction (novel, play, short story, movie) with a philosophical theme and then do the following analysis:
1. state and briefly describe the general theme: Metaphysics (reality, human nature, Ultimate Reality); Epistemology (knowledge, truth, aesthetic experience); Axiology (political philosophy, social philosophy, ethics). Name the major field — Metaphysics, Epistemology, Axiology. Then, create and clearly state a thesis to be argued in your paper.
2. relate the theme of the work you have chosen and your thesis about the work to the questions raised by philosophy, linking it to one or two specific concepts we’ve studied in class. See below for examples.
3. include the author’s life experiences (nationality, ethnicity, gender, e.g.) as shapers of his/her philosophical views (if applicable).
4. choose quotations which illustrate the author’s theme (at least four) — these are the heart of your paper and should be used to build and sustain your thesis
5. write your paper by defending your thesis and reaching a valid conclusion using these guidelines:
A three to five page (double-spaced) paper will consist of five to ten well developed paragraphs (assuming a paragraph consists of about 100-200 words). Your opening paragraph should state the theme of the work you have chosen, the major field it addresses, and the thesis of your paper. That thesis should be developed throughout the paper, using quotations from the work. Here are some things you might want to keep in mind as you write:
In your first paragraph, tell the reader the work you have chosen to write about and the philosophical theme you will be exploring as you defend your thesis. Try to be imaginative. Here are some general examples [keep in mind that you will be able to be more specific and your opening sentence should, therefore, be more interesting]:
§ In this song about Metaphysics or the nature of reality, the lyrics illustrate the Buddhist concept of the interconnectedness of all that is. My thesis is ….
§ Plato’s “Cave Allegory” serves as the inspiration for this short story about Metaphysics, which explores the true nature of reality. The thesis I will be arguing is …
§ Existentialism, a modern approach to Metaphysics and an exploration of a philosophical view of human nature, inspired this movie, directed by “x” and also inspired the thesis of this paper …
§ This film invites us to confront disturbing questions about Epistemology and leaves us questioning our ability to acquire reliable knowledge. Both rationalism and empiricism are rejected by the author, as I argue in my thesis.
§ Is there such a thing as Truth? This story challenges our ordinary, everyday certainty about Epistemology by providing multiple points-of-view and leaving us to wonder if any of them is finally true. My thesis argues that the author effectively explores …
§ This novel about traditional African views of consensus government takes us into the field of Axiology and makes us explore what we truly value. I will argue in my thesis that the author does not do an effective job in exploring this question.
§ Is the community more valuable than the individual? Axiology shapes the lyrics of this song about the questions raised in social philosophy. My thesis is …
§ Faced with a powerful, ethical dilemma, the narrator of this novel is forced to choose a path. Axiology gives the reader a framework to explore what she ultimately values, according to the author. As I argue in my thesis, the author makes an effective case for …
You also need to state both the title and theme of the work you have chosen to discuss and the philosophical view you will be developing in the opening paragraph. Together, they constitute the thesis of your paper — the thesis you will be developing over the succeeding three to five pages. Keep these ingredients in mind:
Ø Each paragraph after the first one should begin with a topic sentence that states the main idea of the paragraph in the same way that the opening paragraph states the main idea of the whole paper. Each sentence in the paragraph should support the topic sentence.
Ø Tell as little of the “story” as you must. This is not a retelling of the story, so you will want to give the reader only enough of the general idea to follow what you say and then move on to your discussion of the philosophical theme.
Ø Your paper should rely mostly on quotations from the work. Your job as a writer is to weave these quotations together as a way of explaining to the reader the philosophical views of the author. You will want to let the author speak. Your position as a writer will be clear through your selection of quotations and the way in which you weave them together to make a unified paper.
Ø Strive for a clear, readable, and lively prose style. Vary your sentences so some begin with phrases or clauses and not all proceed in subject/verb, object order.
Quality and Grading Standards for the Analytic / Reflective Paper:
Ø Minimum standards are those for any serious college-level paper: correct length and form, no spelling errors, no grammatical errors, and citations. When you quote, please reference the quote. If you are paraphrasing another, let me know that is what you are doing by referencing the source. Essentially, I want to see what comments are from another source (Good Research) and what are your own wonderful remarks and insights (Good Creativity). I require a citations page/bibliography for all papers. You may use either the MLA format [which is required in other classes at HCC], or the APA format. For formatting help, I recommend a resource called Purdue Owl: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ (Links to an external site.)
Ø The length of the paper must be a minimum of 3 5 pages in addition to any title page and a required citation page. The paper must be submitted in Canvas.
Ø All spacing should be double-spaced, including the space between your first page heading items, between the title and the first paragraph, and between paragraphs.
Ø Use a readable, 12-point font that looks like a typeface you might find in a book. Do not use fonts that look like handwriting or other fanciful styles. Present your work seriously if you want to be taken seriously.