Brandeis University, Philosophy Department
Fall 2013
Brandeis University Web Stite

Philosophy 1A


Professor Andreas Teuber
Andreas Teuber


The Case of the Speluncean Explorers
"A Cave Drawing for the Ages"

A Credit/No Credit Paper

Drawing on the reading and your own considered opinion and good judgment, did the speluncean explorers trapped in the following situation do the right thing? If so, on what grounds? If not, for what reasons?

In defending your position, offer what you believe are the most principled arguments you can make.

In arguing for or against what you believe the spelunkers should or should not have done, think of the best possible objections that someone on the other side might come up with. Try, really try, to give yourself a hard time. If you can respond to the other side at its strongest rather than at its weakest point, that can only help to strengthen your own argument and make it that much more persuasive.


The paper will be graded credit/no credit.

To receive "credit" your paper must show "signs of life," that is, some signs of thought. More precisely, this means you need to make an argument for your view, entertain several powerful objections to your view, and respond to them.

I If you receive "credit, "the percentages for weighting the three other graded writing exercises in the course will break down as follows: 40% for your best effort and 30% for next best effort and 20% for the least successful of the three. The paper will also receive a grade to give you a "rough" idea of how you did, but that grade will only count, if, by counting it, it helps you at the end of the semester, that is, if, at the end, it gives your overall GPA for the course a boost. The grade you receive on the first paper will be given a weight of 20% with the three remaining pieces of work weighted as follows: 35% for your best effort, 30% for your next best effort and 25% for the one that is the least successful of the three. The remaining 10% of your final grade in either case will be 5% for participation and 5% for the quiz.

If you fail to get "credit" on the first paper, "no credit" will amount to a "zero." The remaining three writing exercises will total 70% plus 10% for participation and the quiz. So "no credit" would appear to be something to avoid. 20% of your final grade will be for nought. We will do our best to help everyone to receive a passing grade, that is, to receive "credit." But much of the work will fall to you.

Papers should be double-spaced.

Please number pages.

We would like to have two copies, marked COPY ONE and COPY TWO.

Papers should be stapled, not held together by
Paper CLIP, Elmer's GLUE, Dentyne GUM,
SPIT, James BOND or Origami FOLD.

Papers are due, at the start of class, on Tuesday, October the 8th.

Spelunkers 2013




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Last Modified: 09/27/13
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