Higher Pleasures

Assignment INSTRUCTIONS: Your first sentence should be your thesis sentence. Choose to explain either position: “I will outline and explain Mill’s argument for higher pleasures. I will agree with Mill and argue that higher pleasures are better than lower pleasures.” Or, “I will outline and explain Mill’s argument for higher pleasures. I will critique Mill and argue that it is not true that higher pleasures are better than lower pleasures.” Paragraph 1: Introduce the topic and define higher and lower pleasures. On Page 8, Mill talks about qualities of pleasure. What distinguishes between higher and lower pleasures? What are some examples of higher pleasures and lower pleasures? Paragraph 2. On page 9 (second column) Mill says that higher pleasures are better than lower pleasures. Find a quote from Mill that you feel captures his belief. Be sure to cite, following the format (Author’s last name, date of publication: page number). Then, explain the quote in your own words. Do not use the internet. Paragraph 3. Given an ARGUMENT OUTLINE Mill’s argument to the conclusion that “higher pleasures are better than lower pleasures.” An argument outline is a list of premises and conclusions, in valid modus ponens format. Mill is arguing that higher pleasures are better than lower pleasures. There are several formulations of the argument, so don’t worry about “getting it right.” Just try your best. Make sure you use the argument on page 9. Paragraph 4-6. Explain Mill’s argument. Remember, an explanation of an argument requires explaining each premise and conclusion, in a separate paragraph each. Use your own examples. Paragraph 7. Give ONE argument or critique of Mill’s argument. Do you agree that higher pleasures are better than lower pleasures? Do you think Mill gives a good reason for his belief? Your argument should be at least a paragraph long. Give examples or scenarios and really persuade your reader of your thesis. This is your chance to create your own argument. Include bibliography. Note that essays have a standard structure: Give a thesis statement; define terms with examples; give textual evidence (this is what the quote is for); explain arguments; apply concepts; assess or critique arguments. Make sure to keep paragraphs separate– one topic per paragraph. Only assess or critique AFTER you have explained the argument. Keep this structure in mind for writing future essays (for any class). ————– “How to USE quotes to support your arguments.” A selection from APA citation HELPSHEET .pdfPreview the document Using quotes to support your argument is a skill. Note the word “using” quotes, which is different than simply placing quotes in your paper as a filler. When you use a quote, you are supporting your own argument with someone else’s idea. Do not overuse quotes, or let the author do the talking for you. Never use stand-alone quotes, which are quotes that do not introduce who the author is, or do not summarize what the quote says. Always introduce the quote, and then summarize the quote in your own words. The reason is that everyone interprets quotes different, or may focus on something different than you, or may draw opposite inferences than you intend. For a short paper, you should use quotes sparingly (no more than one quote, and no more than five sentences long). If the quote is less than three sentences long, indicate it with quotation marks. When you directly quote from an article, use block quotes by formatting the quote in single space, no quotation marks, and a .5 inch indentation on both sides of the quote, followed by the citation. Here is an example of a block quote, using Thomson: One argument against abortion states that a fetus is a person from the moment of conception because it may grow up to be an adult. Thomson points out that this argument contains a slippery slope. The slippery slope assumes that if the first step (the adult) is a human, then so is the next step (a child), and the next step (a baby), and the final step ( a fetus). In other words, if an adult is a person, then so is a fetus. Thomson thinks the final step does not follow, and she argues with an analogy: “Similar things might be said about the development of an acorn into an oak tree, and it does not follow that acorns are oak trees” (Thomson, 1971: 47). In other words, an acorn is not an oak tree, even if it might develop into one. Analogously, just because an adult started out as a fetus, it does not make it a person. There are other necessary properties that a fetus must possess in order to count it as a person, just as there are necessary properties that an acorn must possess before it can be considered an oak tree. Notice how the quote is introduced (we know it is Thomson who gave the analogy), and then summarized. The author of the above passage uses Thomson to support his own argument that a fetus is not a person. The author goes on to define what a “person” is, and gives 2-3 pages explaining what the necessary properties of a person are. Thomson is only used to here to introduce an analogy, and this analogy is original to Thomson. When you summarize someone’s argument, you must also cite the author. Otherwise, the reader might think that you are the author of the argument. Summaries are important to condense the author’s argument into a clear and concise way to both help the reader understand the argument, and to focus on the exact part of the argument that you want to critique. Here is an example of the use of a summary of Thomson’s argument: One may argue that a fetus is a person from conception because the fetus may develop into a child and then an adult. Because the child and adult are considered a person, then so too must the fetus. Thomson points out that this is a slippery slope by making an analogy: An acorn is not an oak tree simply because it may develop into one (Thomson, 1971: 47). In other words, just because an oak tree (fetus) might develop into an oak tree (child or adult), we should not call the acorn an oak tree. Notice that there are no quotation marks, because it is a summary of Thomson’s argument, in the author’s own words.

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