Philosophical Argument

Your task is – in 400-500 words – to reconstruct an argument from one of the philosophers we discussed and develop a potential objection to it. That is, we want you to (i) explain how a philosophical argument is meant to work, and (ii) point out a potential flaw in the argument. Finish Hobbes’s reading, then reconstruct and critique the argument: Hobbes’ argument that it is always rational to act justly if it is possible to do so. This is articulated as a critique of ‘the fool’ and his actions (especially on pp.66-7 of the reading). Criticizing an argument is no easy task. It takes both ingenuity and rigor.  In order to criticize an argument effectively, you must first explain the argument well. So, it is critical to spend time (i) identifying the question the author is concerned with, (ii) stating the author’s answer (or conclusion) to the question, and especially (iii) explaining the support (or premises) that the author provides for the answer. When coming up with an objection or criticism, one important thing to remember is that effective criticism does NOT attack the answer or conclusion of the author, at least not directly. Rather an effective criticism attacks the support or premises that uphold the answer. If you take out even just one of the premises, the conclusion will necessarily fall along with it. 

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