PHR-101: Introduction to Philosophy 2
nd Essay Instructions
For this essay, you have a choice of defending one of the following views about race or gender:
1. Defend Haslanger against Barnes or Appiah, or against race or gender essentialism.
2. Defend Barnes against gender essentialism.
3. Defend Appiah against Haslanger, or against race essentialism.
4. Defend gender essentialism against Barnes.
5. Defend race essentialism against Appiah.
6. Defend gender internalism against Barnes or gender essentialism.
Your essay should contain the following 5 sections, and they should be explicitly marked as such:
Section I: The Thesis. This section is a single declarative sentence which states your position
in a way that is clear, precise, and succinct. Example: The benefits of Haslanger’s
“terminological shift” explain why Appiah’s eliminativism about race is misguided.
Section II: The Core Argument. This section supports your thesis by providing a clear
exposition of the position/argument that you wish to defend. Make sure your exposition cites
directly from the source—use direct quotation, and do not worry about making a reference.
Your own reasoning for the conclusion, and your own thoughts on the issue, should not be
Section III: Possible Objections. An objection is essentially a perceived problem; when you
consider an objection to an argument, you are describing a problem or weakness in the
argument. Ideally, the objection(s) you consider will be a direct counter to the argument(s) laid
out in Section II. The direct counter can take the form of a counterexample (see Kaplan video
in the Resources section), a reason for doubting a key premise, etc. If using one of the
philosophers in this segment, make sure your exposition cites directly from their writing.
Section IV: Rebuttal. In this section, you reply directly (and on behalf of whoever’s view you
are defending) to the objection(s) raised in Section III, and explain why, in spite of the virtues or
strengths of these objection(s), the position you are defending is superior.
A rebuttal is an objection to an objection; make sure that the rebuttal is directed to the
objection(s) considered in III, and is not about some new subject or issue.
Section V: Conclusion. This section summarizes and reaffirms the position stated in Section
**Remember, that you feel something about the issue, or are committed to some view, is no
reason for anyone else to believe your conclusion. Attempt to rationally convince your reader
that s/he should adopt your position on the issue!**
Your essay should be 3-4 pages in standard formatting (double-spaced; 10-12 pt. font; 1-inch
margins). Please submit .docx or .pdf file formats. Moodle screen reader cannot read .pages
NOTE: Your essay should contain your own thoughts and reasoning, in your own words. The essay
should not require any research, but of course, you are free to do some. If you do wish to incorporate
another writer’s words or ideas, you must fully document what you incorporate with a footnote,
endnote, or parenthetical reference. In this case, full bibliographical details should also appear at the
end of the paper. You may use either APA or MLA formatting. Any college-level writing manual will
provide guidelines and examples of these. You can also check out www.easybib.com
If you have questions or problems, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am here to support you.