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The course’s final paper is 2 up to 3 pages draft on any of the excerpts from the previous texts. In order to do it so, also read the excerpt below:
The value of philosophy is, in fact, to be sought largely in its very uncertainty. The man who has no tincture of philosophy goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from the habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his mind without the co-operation or consent of his deliberate reason. To such a man the world tends to become definite, finite, obvious; common objects rouse no questions, and unfamiliar possibilities are contemptuously rejected. As soon as we begin to philosophize, on the contrary, we find, as we saw in our opening chapters, that even the most everyday things lead to problems to which only very incomplete answers can be given. Philosophy, though unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts which it raises, is able to suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom. Thus, while diminishing our feeling of certainty as to what things are, it greatly increases our knowledge as to what they may be; it removes the somewhat arrogant dogmatism of those who have never travelled into the region of liberating doubt, and it keeps alive our sense of wonder by showing familiar things in an unfamiliar aspect.
(RUSSELL, Bertrand. The value of Philosophy. 1919).
In other words, choose one quote from course’s text and write about it, thinking of a current problem or topic of our times and trying to think about it using the excerpt above from British philosopher Bertrand Russell. It would be best if you used the same procedures from the seminars, now using the three combined:
1) further explain the excerpt, justifying why you chose it and why it interests you. Maybe create interrelations with the excerpt from the prompt (above).
2) formulate a question or a problem that goes beyond what you have read; by reading and explaining the excerpt, you might have come up with an insight, a new problematic emerged; you might be using your creativity, your curiosity, your theoretical imagination, hypothesizing about new conjectures, even posing some questioning to the author you have selected.
3) attempt to answer this problem/question, applying the theoretical approach of the excerpt to another (correlated) topic, issue, a current event of our time, daily experience, etc., using the implicit/explicit worldview, reasoning style, or the concept from the excerpt. You may use other texts from the course, helping you to develop your approach and compare two different authors’ text.
Combined and in sequence, the three procedures cover some crucial steps of the critical and creative thinking that concerns philosophical practice.
YOU CAN USE ANY OF THESE TO COMPARE