Spring, 2000

GRC 362E/PHL 365:

Continental Philosophy: Books that made the West

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Assignments

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1) 8 - one-page précis @6 % each = 50 % of grade (extra two % a gift)
*For a how-to, see the attached description and follow the directions.

2) 2 five-page papers, the first one with a required rewrite (grade = average of two versions).
2 papers @ 25 % each = 50 % of grade

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PAPER 1: Phenomenology

Take an essay by one of the founders of modern phenomenology (either Husserl or Heidegger), and argue for or against existentialism as its linear descendent. That is, assess how far (if at all) an essay by Jaspers, Sartre, or de Beauvoir moves beyond the original work, and what impact the changes (if any) will have. The goal of your paper is therefore to assess how original existentialism is, and to explain in what ways.

PAPER 2: Marxisms or "The Linguistic Turn"

IF you want to work on Marxisms:

Take one essay by either Rosa Luxemburg, Georg Lukács, or Antonio Gramsci. Compare their approaches and achievements with those of a Marxist from a later generation (including Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse, Jürgen Habermas, Louis Althusser, or Hannah Arendt).

IF you want to work on various poststructuralisms:

Take an essay by either Ferdinand de Saussure, Claude Lévi-Strauss, or Jacques Lacan, and then compare their approaches and achievements with any later essay.

In either case, the goal of your paper is to explain which presentation of the issues you identify are more convincing, and why. That means you will have to SET and EXPLAIN benchmarks against which these thinkers are to be assessed . Are they "modern," "useful," "anti-humanist," for instance, and what DO those terms mean, as you see them as part of an intellectual tradition? This is thus an exercise in arguing the superiority of one thinker's account over another, as seen from a particular point of view.

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FORMAL CRITERIA FOR BOTH PAPERS


1) A paper has the same sections as a précis:

THE GRADING FOR EACH SECTION IS JUST LIKE THAT FOR A PRÉCIS.


2) A paper is TYPED, double-spaced, in a non-funny font, on white paper, in black print. Don't forget that computers have spell-check, too.


3) A page in a paper has 250 words. Slight over-runs or under-runs are OK, but massive miscalculations will result in deductions.


4) A paper has a title page or a title block, with a title, your name, the date and the course for which it is written.


5) All pages of a paper must be numbered sequentially, either on the bottom, or at the upper-right corner.


6) A paper has a bibliography of works cited (format: APA, University of Chicago Manual of Style, or MLA Style Sheet -- ask your librarian if these do not sound familiar, and pick the one that best approximates the style in your field/major).


7) A paper will include quotations from the texts you are discussing, with the source and page numbers indicated in footnotes, OR in parenthetical documentation (again, see the style sheet of your choice for clarification).

Note that there are DIFFERENT punctuation conventions and typing questions for quotations included in your running text. Hint: Long quotations look different on the page than short quotations -- your mission is to figure out the difference.

Note, in addition, that paragraphs should usually NOT end with dangling quotations -- a quotation needs to have a closing comment, tying it to the theme of the paper.


EACH OF ITEMS 2-7 CAN BRING YOU A DEDUCTION OF UP TO AN ENTIRE LETTER GRADE. PROFESSIONAL FORMATTING IS A SERIOUS ISSUE.