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Pascal and Rousseau on Human Nature

Prof. Jon Burmeister Philosophy of Human Nature​​​​ Essay-Exam #3 Pascal and Rousseau on Human Nature The format of this essay-exam is a textual-analysis assignment. What does that mean? In a textual-analysis, your claims about the authors’ ideas do not come from your class notes; rather, they come from your reading of the authors’ texts themselves. You must provide specific, footnoted support from the assigned texts to support your responses to the questions below. How much textual support do you need? A good rule of thumb is to have 3 footnotes per double-spaced page of writing. At a minimum, your essay exam must include at least 7 quotations (with footnotes), and at least 12 footnotes in total. If your essay does not meet this minimum, it will automatically receive a failing grade (F). In 1500-1900 words A. 700-900 Words: Pascal’s Pensees 1. Being Human: Explain Pascal’s views on the dual nature of human beings: which particular qualities of humans make humans ‘great,’ and which particular qualities make humans ‘wretched’? Your analysis should address the many facets of this duality. 2. Being an Excellent Human: Explain (briefly) why Pascal sees Christianity as the best explanation of, and solution to, human wretchedness. B. 800-1000 Words: Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origin of Inequality 1. Natural Man: Explain Rousseau’s view of the ‘natural man’ by describing the natural man’s defining characteristics. You should explain both what their various capabilities are, and what their advantages are over the ‘civil man.’ (An interesting theme you might explore: in what ways is the natural man free, but also bound/enslaved?) 2. Civil Man: Explain Rousseau’s view of the ‘civil man’ by describing the civil man’s defining characteristics. You should explain both what their various capabilities are, and what their advantages are over the ‘natural man.’ (An interesting theme you might explore: in what ways is the civil man free, but also bound/enslaved?) Requirements – 5% deduction for each one not followed: ☐ Headings: Each section of your essay-exam should begin with the headings I’ve listed above: A.1, A.2, B.1, and B.2. ☐ Within each section, you must split up your responses into meaningful paragraphs. You should not have huge, page-long paragraphs. ☐ Use FOOTNOTES for your citations (I give examples below). Do not use in-text citations. ☐ Use double-spaced lines. ☐ Give your document page numbers. ☐ List the word count at the top of the document. General Notes: • Using the internet in any way for this assignment would be an act plagiarism, resulting in a 0 for the paper and being reported to the Dean of the College. • Whenever you present a quotation, you must explain the meaning of that quotation. • You should only refer to the assigned passages from the assigned texts. Do not use secondary sources. • You don’t need to write lengthy introductions and conclusions. You can get right to the point! • The deduction for late papers and assignments is 3% (one third of a letter grade) per day. • FOOTNOTES: When you make a significant claim, you should support what you are asserting with a footnoted quotation from the text. When you make smaller claims, you can support them with just a footnote (and no quotation). To make a footnote in Microsoft Word or Google Docs, hit Control / Alt / F at the same time. Your footnotes only need to include 1.) the name of the author, 2.) the title of text, and 3.) the page number you are citing. Here are examples of a footnote without a quotation, and then a footnote with a quotation: Kant argues that ‘enlightenment’ is the ability to think for oneself and to think freely. But what does he mean by thinking ‘freely’? Kant addresses this when he says, “For enlightenment of this kind, all that is needed is freedom. And the freedom in question is the most innocent form of all freedom: to make public use of one’s reason in all matters.” What Kant means here is that to think freely is to be able to express one’s views in public without fear of being punished. Grammar: Repeated grammar mistakes – sentence fragments, comma splices, etc. — will lead to large point deductions from your paper. One of the most common mistakes is improperly introducing quotations; see this link https://goo.gl/3DIIro for tips on how do it right. Your essay-exam can receive a deduction of 20 or 25 points just on grammar and spelling errors alone! Grammar errors can make your sentences impossible for me to understand. So use a spell checker and grammar checker on your essay before submitting it, and proofread it carefully – preferably by reading it out loud. This will save your paper from many point deductions. How Do I Get Started on this Essay? • Review your class notes and the Reading Guide, just to orient yourself. • Then you’ll be prepared to go back to the assigned texts themselves to formulate and actually support the claims of your essay. Due Date: Wednesday 4/21, 11:59pm.