Length: 2 pages (about 600-800 words)
Prompt: Using some (or all) of the distinguishing features of science identified by Okasha (http://shamiller.net/phi031/readings.d/okashaChapter1.pdf), give reasons why either economics, political science, or computer science should be considered a genuine science like physics, chemistry, or biology; then give reasons why either economics, political science, or computer science should not be considered a genuine science. Give both sides of the argument, though you do not have to take a side. Note: You should only pick one of the options of economics, political science, or computer science — which are defined below — not all three.
Purpose of the assignment: To apply Okasha’s ideas about the nature of science to a specific (potential) science and to give you practice writing.
- The individual sentences of your paper must be grammatical.
- Your train of thought should be clear; that is, the reader should be able to follow the flow of your ideas.
- You should support your ideas with reasons; that is, you should explain why we should think that economics, political science, or computer science is or isn’t a science.
What to avoid:
- No fluff, filler, or wasted words, e.g., don’t start the paper with: “From the dawn of humanity philosophers have debated the nature of science…” Make your words count.
- Don’t make unsupported assertions, e.g., “Physics is the best science.”
- Watch our for repetitive writing as it is often a sign of disorganized thinking.
Writing advice: Do more than one draft of the paper. Revise your work to improve clarity.
- Economics: the branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth.
- Political Science: the branch of knowledge that deals with systems of government; the analysis of political activity and behavior.
- Computer Science: the branch of knowledge concerned with the principles and use of computers.