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PHIL 3001 Argumentative Paper (Paper #2) Rough Draft Your goal in this – unicorp essays


PHIL 3001
Argumentative Paper (Paper #2)
Rough Draft
Your goal in this writing assignment is to write a rough draft of your argumentative paper.
The purpose of an argumentative paper (or thesis-driven paper) is to present and defend a specific view with your own reasons. In your argumentative paper for this course, you will be defending the view that an author has misidentified an assertion as bullshit.
Read these two articles on Trump’s bullshit:
Graham, “What Trump Did in Osaka Was Worse Than Lying” (The Atlantic)
Yglesias, “The Bullshitter-in-Chief” (Vox)
Pick one of the highlighted examples from one of these sources that you believe is not a case of bullshit even though the author has identified it as bullshit.
(a) Write an introduction that clearly states your thesis. That is, write an introduction that states specifically what position you are going to be defending in your paper.
(b) In the first paragraph of the body of your paper, explain Henry Frankfurt’s basic analysis of bullshit. Identify each of the three necessary conditions for bullshit and explain each condition. Don’t forget to illustrate Frankfurt’s analysis with an example.
(c) Then write a paragraph explaining how bullshit differs from lying. You don’t need to provide a full analysis of lying (of the sort you did in your analysis paper) to do this. Just focus on the specific differences between bullshitting and lying.
(d) For the final paragraph of the body of your paper, explain the example you selected and offer your reasons for thinking that, contrary what the author says, the example is not actually a case of bullshit (in Frankfurt’s sense). Further, if you think that Trump is actually lying in the example, argue that he is; and if you think that Trump is not lying in the example, argue that he isn’t.
(e) Finish your paper draft with a conclusion that restates your thesis and offers an explanation for the author’s mistake.
Writing Guidelines
1. Assessing whether or not someone is bullshitting can be very difficult. This is because bullshit requires that the bullshitter has no idea what she is talking about, and it can be difficult to determine whether or not this is true. That is, the bullshitter neither believes his assertion is true nor believes his assertion is false; and it can be very hard to figure out what someone believes (or doesn’t believe) about something. So, in this paper, when you argue that Trump isn’t bullshitting, you won’t be able to establish this by climbing inside of his head and just seeing what he believes (or doesn’t believe). That’s impossible. Instead, try to show that, given what the author says or implies about Trump’s beliefs, the author should not be claiming that Trump is bullshitting. Don’t engage in wild guesswork about what Trump actually believes. Just use the author’s own claims about what Trump believes (or likely believes) to argue that the author is misclassifying Trump’s assertion as bullshit.
2. In paragraph (d), after you argue that Trump isn’t bullshitting, I want you to also make a determination about whether or not he is lying. Perhaps he is lying rather than bullshitting. Or perhaps he is neither lying nor bullshitting. If you’re having trouble understanding this distinction, here is another example of misidentified bullshit that clearly illustrates it. One case from Fareed Zakaria’s article “The Unbearable Stench of Trump’s B.S.” is Trump’s claim that he sent investigators to Hawaii to do research on Obama’s status as a natural-born citizen. Zakaria says this claim is bullshit, but it’s pretty easy to see that it isn’t. The only way Trump could be bullshitting is if he has no idea whether or not he sent investigators, and that’s highly unlikely. Either Trump knows that he sent investigators, or he knows that he didn’t. If he knows he sent them, then he isn’t lying. And if he knows that he didn’t send them but he’s not trying to be deceptive when he claims that he did send them, then he is also not lying. But if he knows that he didn’t send them and he is trying to be deceptive when he claims that he did send them, then he is lying. The point is just that all three options are possible even after we establish that he isn’t bullshitting. I want you to figure out which of these options is the correct one with regard to the example you’re discussing in your paper.
3. Keep in mind that you’re not arguing for anything in paragraphs (b) and (c). In these paragraphs, you are just doing expository writing; that is, you’re just explaining the ideas your reader needs to understand so that he/she can follow your argument in paragraph (d). Specifically, resist the temptation to start giving your reasons for thinking that the author has misidentified your example case in paragraphs (b) and (c). You’ll give those reasons in paragraph (d).
Don’t forget the Writing Guidelines for the rough draft and final draft of your analysis paper. Most of them apply here as well! Here are a couple specific reminders:
4. You’re doing something completely different each of paragraphs (b), (c), and (d). So, remember to make your paper structure obvious to your reader with transition sentences.
5. You’ll need in-text citations and reference list entries (in MLA style) for both Frankfurt’s essay and the article you use for your Trump example.


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