philosophy writing assignment 2

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.

Grading criteria:

  1. The individual sentences of your paper must be grammatical.
  2. Your train of thought should be clear; that is, the reader should be able to follow the flow of your ideas.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Don’t make unsupported assertions, e.g., “Physics is the best science.”
  3. 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.

Definitions:

  • 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.

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