In this assignment, you will revise your 3rd essay into your final draft to form a more comprehensive, thesis-driven paper, on one of the most foundational questions in ethics—whether human beings are naturally selfish (i.e., psychological egoists), naturally altruistic (i.e., ethical creatures), or whether circumstance is primarily responsible for these tendencies in a culture. If you have chosen this third option especially, you will have to consider carefully whether the argument you made in your 3rd essay was as strong or as detailed as it possibly could have been at saying how and to what extent culture is able to influence our ‘nature’.
Remember: The first paragraph of any paper should tell your reader you’re your general topic is, what question you aim to answer, what your answer to that question will be along with the reason why you think so (this is your Thesis), and finally, you should tell your reader how you will go about answering the question in the rest of the essay (this is your Organizational Statement). A good organizational statement will read like a list of the topic sentences of the rest of your essay, so it’s a good idea to write it last. Hint: if your original essay is divided into three tasks, your organizational statement ought to list three tasks you will complete in the course of the paper. If you add an additional argument, the organizational statement needs to change as well.
First, looking at the your 3rd essay, make sure you have given an account of the topic using at least two of the articles below in the first part, and also that you cover the topic using at least two philosophical points of view in the second part. If not, correct this in accordance with your TAs comments. These articles approach the question largely from an experimental point of view. Make sure to give at least two opposing views in this part, but you do not have to decide who is right just yet.
Remember: Be sure to explain how ethical reasoning is different from scientific experimentation at some point in your account. A good transition sentence that leads from part one to part two is probably the best place to do this because your reader needs to understand why you are changing direction in a paper whenever you do. An example of a good transition sentence might be something like this:
Although these two studies seem to give us a clear picture of what humans tends to do when tested using ethical dilemmas, this does not completely answer the question as to whether they ought to act this way. Philosophical theories are different from scientific data insofar as….and thus, we should look to them to gain an understanding of the ethical point of view.
You should try to form similar transition sentences between paragraphs as you go. Creating good transitions, in line with a good organizational statement, lends a polished feel to your paper that will help raise your Organization score.
Second, check over all the mechanical aspects of your paper using my Essay Writing for this Course handout, which is published in Canvas along with this assignment. Remember, a high number of points for this assignment come from formatting and citing your sources correctly. None of these things are a mystery; the handout shows you exactly how the University want you to do this. Don’t lose points over this!
Third, add on paragraph to your essay that is only about a possible counter-argument to your thesis using an additional source (so you will also need to add it to your works cited). Adding a counter-argument entails having a strong thesis already and a clean essay that argues for that thesis consistently. Once your essay is at this point (and it is free of all mechanical errors) find a new source on par with those given to you in the 3rd essay that takes the opposite position that you take. If you are arguing that humans are egoistic, find an article in an online research magazine about altruism. Give it its own paragraph after you argue your own position (after part three of the 3rd essay and before the conclusion, likely). Make sure to account for this addition in the organizational statement (making a counter-argument is a notable step in how your essay will go) and in your conclusion (you will have to say something now to show why you still disagree with the counter-argument you make. If you already gave a counter-argument in your 3rd essay, bravo! I would like you to add the opposing point of view by giving it more evidence against your thesis. This new paragraph should add between 300-500 words to your 3rd essay.
Articles from Essay 3: Please find a new source not on this list. These are here for reference. Be sure to cite with a full works cited, using MLA, as noted in “Essay Writing for this Course”. Make sure that any other articles you find on the topic are of high enough quality to cite. For instance, they must have an author. They may not be written by staff.
Fields, Helen. “Mulling over a Decision Makes People More Selfish, Study Suggests.” Science, 19 Sep 2012, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2012/09/mulling-over-decision-makes-people-more-selfish-study-suggests.
Robinson, Matthew. “Are People Naturally Inclined to Cooperate or Be Selfish?” Scientific American, 1 Sep 2014, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-people-naturally-inclined-to-cooperate-or-be-selfish/ .
Pappas, Stephanie. “Conflicts of Interest: Are Humans Inherently Selfish?” Live Science, 23 Feb 2017, https://www.livescience.com/57991-conflicts-of-interest-science-humans-selfish-cooperation.html.
Chandler, Lori. “Study: Brains of Selfish People Immediately Seek to Exploit Others.” Big Think, 2016, http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/study-some-peoples-brains-are-wired-to-be-selfish.
Berry, William. “You’re So Selfish.” Psychology Today, 19 Apr 2016, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-second-noble-truth/201604/youre-so-selfish
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