148 Final Paper

Due: December 13 by 10:00 AM.

I will be in the classroom from 9:30 until 10:00 collecting papers. You may of course make arrangements to get the paper to me ahead of time, or you may (at your own risk) send it with a friend or classmate to the classroom at the appointed time.


The paper will be written about your choice of either the pair of essays about the ethics of abortion (the Thomson and Marquis papers) or about the pair of essays about machine intelligence (the Turing and Searle papers).


The paper has a MAXIMUM length of 2000 words. No particular format is required, no additional research is required, necessary, or even useful. Be sure, however, to properly cite these papers when necessary. I do tend to prefer footnotes or parenthetical citations to end notes.


  • Your paper should have the organization of any persuasive essay, and should flow as one coherent piece, suitably organized.
  • Specify which essay of the pair of papers you selected provides the better set of arguments. this need not match up with your personal views, which are irrelevant when evaluating the quality of arguments.
  • In the course of specifying which set of arguments is the better one, you should demonstrate that you understand what each set of arguments is and what it does. Your paper should not be primarily expository, however.
  • In choosing one set of arguments as the better set, justify your evaluation (this should be the vast majority of the paper). Specifically, since every argument involves reasoning of one kind or another, and since we have gone over every kind of reasoning and provided guidelines to evaluating each kind of reasoning, the way to justify your evaluation is through thorough, correct, and effective use of concepts covered in this course.