Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Comment Paper 1

I've received a few questions about the nature of the comment paper. Let me try to address them. First, don't worry if you don't understand all or even most of the material in Chapters 1 and 2. The point of reading them now is to begin to familiarize yourself with Priest's ideas. You are not at all expected to be an expert or even fluent. Fluency (or at least comprehension) is the goal of presenting the logical material in class. Many things in the first two chapters we haven't had a chance to discuss. So don't worry if they are opaque to you. But it is worth emphasizing that there are several points discussed in the first two chapters that do not require technical sophistication to grasp. For your first comment paper, focus on one of these points and don't worry about the symbol nightmare. Good strategies for writing comment papers involve either (1) clarification: show how some point made by Priest can be made more precise; (2) criticism: criticize some aspect of the material in Priest; (3) question: if you have a question that came up in the reading, state that question and consider possible answers to it; (4) comment: say something relevant about a point in Priest that is neither a clarification, a criticism, or question.

Any of (1-4) and combinations of (1-4) are good ideas for comment papers. If you have further questions or concerns about comment papers, comment on this post.


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