Thursday, September 13, 2007

Comment Papers

I hate to bump Jay's thoughtful post from the top of the blog, but a word is in order about comment papers.

The first one is due by 5:00pm this Sunday. Its focus should be on the assigned readings for Monday. It should not be focused on our single old reading so far, the introduction to Williamson's book.

In general, each comment paper will comment on the readings for that week. In each of these papers, I want you to (i) present an important argument, or an important claim, from the reading for that week, and (ii) offer a critical remark. By "present an argument" I mean that you should try to explicitly display the premises and the conclusion in the argument you are considering and you should try to make your presented argument valid. By "present a claim" I mean clearly identify a particular claim. By "offer a critical remark" I mean a criticism from you, not one from one of the authors we're reading.

An example of what I do not want would be comments of the form "I did not understand what x meant by saying P". You are free, however, to discuss in a comment paper some things that x might mean by saying P and why none of those make sense. I do not expect polished work, but I do expect some evidence of your having thought about the reading.

Finally, these should be short. As brief as a paragraph or two and by no means longer than two pages. You can submit a hard copy by sliding it under my door, an electronic copy by emailing it to me, or you can post your comment to this blog.

Please comment on this post with any questions you may have re: comments. Now please read Jay's post below and let him know what you think.

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