Texts and Ideas Unbelief

Texts and Ideas Unbelief

topic : Texts and Ideas Unbelief

UA400-060: Texts and Ideas: Unbelief

Professor John Guillory
Spring 2021
Paper #2 Prompt (Texts and Ideas Unbelief)

Length:6-8 pages, double-spaced; 12 pt Times New Roman; 1-inch margins

Submission: Papers should be submitted in accordance with the requests of their recitation instructor by April 12, 2021 at 12:00 PM EST. Late work will not be accepted.

For the second paper, we ask that you respond to one of the prompts below. You may choose to work with any texts that we have studied since Augustine’s City of God.

Knowledge, magic, and the divine. In his opening soliloquy, Doctor Faustus expresses discontent with a range of fields of human knowledge. He considers logic, medicine, law, and divinity, but finds flaws with all of them, and concludes, “Yet art thou still but Faustus, and a man” (1.1.6). What relation does Marlowe set up between knowledge of the natural and supernatural worlds? Can humans gain knowledge of the spiritual world, or does they push about against epistemic boundaries? How does Marlowe explore the limits and possibilities of human knowledge, and how does he leverage the technical possibilities of the stage to explore the boundary between the natural and supernatural?

The sky, the storm, and the natural world. At the opening of the Act 3, which is set on the blasted heath, Kent asks a gentleman, “Who’s there, besides foul weather?” and he replies: “One minded like the weather, most unquietly” (3.1.1-2). Here, the human psyche parallels the disorder and violence of nature. What does Lear’s unraveling alongside the disorder of the state and the raging storm convey about humans’ place in the universe? In a soliloquy in Act I Scene I, Gloucester muses: “These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good for us” (1.1.109-110). How do references to the heavens and celestial bodies help express the characters’ understandings of the role of nature and the gods in their lives? How does King Lear use parallels between the human world and the natural world to explore existential themes?

3. Radical skepticism. In the Apology for Raymond Sebond, Montaigne writes that : “Pyrrhonist philosophers, I see, cannot express their general concepts in any known kind of speech; they would need a new language: ours is made up of affirmative propositions totally inimical to them—so much so that when they say ‘I doubt’, you can jump down their throats and make them admit that they at least know one thing for certain, namely that they doubt. To save themselves they are constrained to draw an analogy from medicine: without it their skeptical humor would never get purged! When they say I know not or I doubt that affirmation purges itself (they maintain) along with all the others, exactly like a dose of rhubarb, which evacuates all our evil humors, itself included. (Skepticism can best be conceived through the form of a question: ‘What do I know?’—Que sçay-je, words inscribed on my emblem of a Balance.)” (pp.99-100). How does Montaigne deal here with the paradox of radical skepticism, which would seem to deny its own skeptical assertions along with every other “affirmative proposition”? Does this solution work for you? Is it like or unlike the position of Socrates? Would you say, then, that Montaigne is not a skeptic of the “Pyrrhonian” sort, that is, a radical skeptic? What kind of knowledge does he affirm? Does this knowledge include both human and divine matters? Many other questions might be raised about Montaigne’s position, and you should feel free to range as widely across the Apology as you wish.

4. You are also welcome to write on a topic of your own choice, provided you discuss it with your recitation leader first (must be approved by April 2,2021 12 noon).

We ask that you use MLA style for citations, including both in-text citations and a “works cited” at the end. Papers that do not use proper citation style or are not proofread will be penalized.

At the end of your paper, you must write a brief one paragraph reflection in which you score your own paper based on the attached rubric, explain why you’ve chosen this score, and reflect on what you perceive to be the strengths and weaknesses of your final paper.

Assessment: Papers will be graded based on the attached rubric. The rubric has been updated and adapted from previous assignments and from the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ Value Rubrics.

rubric for Texts and Ideas Unbelief

 

5

Exceeds Standards

4

Meeting Standards

3

Approaching Standards

2

Below Standards

1

Far Below Standards

Comprehension

Intentionally identifies multiple elements of the text studied to further the analysis or argument.

Explains implications of these elements beyond the text or classroom.

Accurately identifies multiple elements of the text studied to analyze.

Recognizes possible implications of these elements beyond the text or classroom.

Inconsistently identifies multiple elements of the text but in a tangential fashion.

Larger implications of the argument stated but left unaddressed.

Makes an attempt to identify an element of the text.  It is not clear why a particular element is identified for analysis.

Larger implications of the argument are not clearly stated.

Specific elements of writing or production are not identified.

Larger implications of the argument are not stated.

Analysis

Analysis is perceptive, original, thorough, clear, attentive to detail, and precise.

Organization of argument is thoroughly developed and successfully proven.

Arguments are specific, controversial, and thoughtful.

Analysis is clear and precise.

Organization of argument is complete and proven.

Arguments are clear, specific, and attentive to the task

Analysis is plausible but oversimplified and/or not well grounded in the text.

Organization stems from ideas, but progression may lack logical order or become generalized.

Argument has some minor flaws or missing pieces.

Analysis is oversimplified, too general, or unconvincing.

Organization stems from examples, not ideas and/or ideas lack cohesion and therefore argument is not proven.

Argument changes in direction or is inconsistent.

Argument relies almost entirely on summary or is not present.

Organization is scattered and has no logical connection.

No clear argument is made.

Use of Evidence

Supplementary evidence beyond the text or the performance is used to enhance the argument.

Appropriate evidence is chosen to support claims based on the kind of writing.

Evidence is chosen, but quotation may be too long or may be irrelevant to the argument.

No direct quotations are chosen to support claims, only specific references to the text.

Only vague references to the text are made in support of the claims and commonplaces are frequently used.

Organization and Development

Ideas are logically sequenced and transitions between sentences and paragraphs create seamless flow that make the argument’s progression clear and sophisticated.

There may be transitional phrases between paragraphs, but the transitions are superficial and generally don’t illustrate a clear relationship between ideas.

There are few transitions between paragraphs, ideas are disjointed or misplaced.

Relationship between paragraphs is unclear, ideas are scattered throughout and fail to support the thesis statement.

Paper is incomplete, or incoherent.

Context and Genre

Demonstrates a thorough understanding of context, conventions, audience, and purpose that is responsive to the assigned task and focuses all elements of the work.

Demonstrates adequate consideration of context, audience, and purpose and a clear focus on the assigned tasks.

Demonstrates partial awareness of context, audience, purpose, and to the assigned tasks (ie, begins to show awareness of audience’s perceptions and assumptions).

Demonstrates minimal attention to context, audience or infrequently uses conventions of academic writing.

Does not meet the standards of academic writing or is not appropriate for the genre of the assignment.

Information Literacy

Accesses information using effective, well-designed search strategies and most appropriate information sources.

Correctly uses all the following information use strategies for both primary and secondary sources; choice of paraphrasing, summary, or quoting; using information in ways that are true to original context; distinguishing between common knowledge and ideas requiring attribution.

Accesses information using a variety of search strategies and some relevant information sources.

Students correctly use three of the following information use strategies: choice of paraphrasing, summary, or quoting; using information in ways that are true to original context; distinguishing between common knowledge and ideas requiring attribution.

Accesses information using simple search strategies, retrieves information from limited and similar sources.

Students correctly use two of the following information use strategies: choice of paraphrasing, summary, or quoting; using information in ways that are true to original context; distinguishing between common knowledge and ideas requiring attribution.

Accesses information randomly, retrieves information that lacks relevance and quality.

Students correctly use one of the following information use strategies: choice of paraphrasing, summary, or quoting; using information in ways that are true to original context; distinguishing between common knowledge and ideas requiring attribution.

Information chosen is irrelevant to argument or inappropriate.

No information use strategies are utilized.

 

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