Dan Hausman
5197 Helen C. White Hall
cell phone: 608 354-6120

Office Hours:
Thursday 2:30-3:30
Wednesday 2:30-3:30


Philosophy 521 Syllabus


Human being live in societies, and their aspirations, characters, and possible ways of thriving depend on societies. At the same time, through their choices human beings constitute, reproduce, and change societies. Yet societies seem not to be material things, like houses, which also influence human beings and are constructed and changed by human beings. What are societies? Can they be studied in the same way that the physical world is studied? Do they have an objective existence and their own laws, or are they more like plays created and played by people? Are there alternative defensible ways of studying societies, some of which resemble the natural sciences, while others are radically different? Do the different domains of social inquiry (psychology, anthropology, economics, political science, and sociology) call for fundamentally different methods? To what extent should the natural sciences be a model for all of social inquiry?

Course Goals:

1. To provide a compact introduction to the philosophy of the natural sciences as a point of comparison.

2. To develop some of the main themes and distinctive features by examining classics in the social sciences (and in methodological reflection on the social sciences) from the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century: Smith, Mill, Marx, Weber, and Durkheim.

3. To explore three central philosophical issues concerning the social sciences: methodological individualism, functional explanation, and rational choice explanation.

4. To explore briefly the distinctive methodological questions raised by the different social sciences, especially sociology, anthropology, economics, and political science.

5. To help you to develop your abilities to present and to criticize arguments both in discussion and, in particular, in writing: Every good essay, regardless of the subject matter, is an extended argument for some thesis or conclusion. The only thing special about philosophy essays is the extent to which one focuses upon the logic of the argument. This course should help you to write more sharply organized, focused and effective essays.

The extent to which these course goals can be achieved is, of course, largely up to you, but it is important that you appreciate what I am trying to accomplish. If you cannot see how any particular lecture or reading assignment relates to the goals of the course, please be sure to ask about it. In abstract matters it is especially important and especially difficult to be clear on what the point is. Keep asking "So what?" Since this course is much more concerned with mastering skills than with merely acquiring information, it demands your active participation, and I think that the interest and importance of the issues we will be addressing will reward that participation, too.

What this course does not aim to do:

1. This course is not a replacement for a serious course in the philosophy of the natural sciences. We will slide over many details and omit central issues that happen not to be as important to the social sciences.

2. This course does not aim to provide a comprehensive or balanced introduction to any of the social sciences. Though we will be examining some striking theses and achievements from the history of the social sciences, the various social disciplines have (of course) moved far beyond these texts.

3. This course does not aim to provide a comprehensive or balanced introduction to the history of the social sciences. Indeed by focusing on only a few major figures, it gives the mistaken impression that the history of the social sciences turns entirely on a few crucial figures.

Note: Students are encouraged to discuss problems concerning the teaching of this course with the instructor and/or the TA. If students wish to pursue a complaint with someone else, they should contact James Anderson, Assistant to the Chairperson, Philosophy Department, 5185 H.C. White Hall, 263-5162.

Students with Disabilities:

I hope to make this course as accessible as is feasible to anyone with a disability. Please let me know as early in the course as possible if you need accommodations in the curriculum, instruction, or assessments in this course to enable you to participate fully. I will attempt to maintain confidentiality of any information you share with me.


Samir Okasha, Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction.

The rest of the readings will be available online on the learn@uw site for the course.

Course Web Site:

A variety of material, including the syllabus will be available on the web. Some of it will be on a public web page: http://philosophy.wisc.edu/hausman/521Spring2015/521Spring2015.htm. Other resources (such as student access to grades and discussion forums) will be available via the Learn@UW web site, https://learnuw.wisc.edu/.

Course Requirements:

There will be two essays, three quizzes, homework, and a final examination. Your semester grade will depend on the essays (40%), the quizzes (10% each, 30% total), the homework (10%), and the final (20%). In addition there will be an attendance bonus or penalty.

LECTURES Attendance is optional, but you need to write a precis of any missed lecture within two weeks of the missed class or else face a penalty. (The point is to keep everybody up to date with what is going on in class.) I welcome questions and comments and hope that we will have extensive and useful discussion.

HOMEWORK (AND STUDY QUESTIONS): Before most of the class meetings, I will distribute study questions on the material to be covered. These should help focus your reading and help to structure class discussion. On most Thursdays, at least one of the study questions will be designed as a homework assignment. Your task is then to write a short answer: 80 words maximum and to email it to me by noon on the following Monday. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can submit (also by email on noon on Monday) a carefully formulated question about the reading that you would like to have the class discuss. Homework should be sent to me either within the text of an email message or, preferrably, as a single-spaced email attachment in Microsoft Word. Each homework will be graded on a pass-fail basis. The standards for passing are both substantive -- the answer or question should show a grasp of the assigned readings -- and formal. Since the responses are short, they should be vigorously and lucidly written, free of grammatical mistakes, awkward circumlocutions and so forth. (For more on my high expectations for your writing, see the material near the end of the syllabus.) Your overall homework grade will then depend on how many you pass. You can fail to hand in or simply fail two of the homework assignments without any grade penalty. After that, each missed or failed `homework assignment lowers your homework grade by 10% (or, in other words, your semester grade by 1 point).



QUIZZES AND FINAL EXAM The course divides roughly into four parts. The three quizzes cover the first three parts, and the final exam covers the fourth part as well as reviewing the material during the whole semester.

Attendance: If you attend every class or write a precis for every class that you miss, you will receive 2 points of extra credit. Each class you miss for which you do not write a precis will cost you one point off your semester grade. If you miss a class, get hold of notes from some other student in the class and write an organized essay summarizing the content of the class you missed. The essay should be at least 500 words in length. Please email it to me in word, rtf, or text format (or paste it into an email message). Missed lectures must be made up within two weeks of the class you miss or by Friday, May 8, whichever is sooner.

WARNING!! Philosophy challenges complacency. It’s hard to know what the truth is concerning hard questions like the ones we will be addressing this semester.

Course Outline: The following outline is both tentative and ambitious. I will not be surprised if we fall behind and have to make changes.

Tuesday, January 20: Introduction: Philosophy of the Social Sciencs and Philosophy of Science. What are the questions?

Thursday, January 22: A crash course in philosophy of science I: What is science? Scientific Reasoning, Induction, Confirmation and Probability

Samir Okasha, Philosophy of Science, Chapters 1 & 2

Tuesday, January 27: A crash course in philosophy of science II: Scientific explanation, causality, reduction, and realism

Samir Okasha, Philosophy of Science, Chapters 3 & 4

Thursday, January 29: A crash course in philosophy of science III: Scientific revolutions and problems of specific sciences

Samir Okasha, Philosophy of Science, Chapters 5 and 6
Start James Woodward, "Explanation and Invariance in the Special Sciences"

Tuesday, February 3: Introduction to the philosophy of social science

Martin Hollis, "Introduction: Problems of Structure and Action"

James Woodward, "Explanation and Invariance in the Special Sciences"

Thursday, February 5: Adam Smith and the origins of social science

Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Book I, chapters 1-5 (xerox, pp. 1-18)

Tuesday, February 10: Social forces and unintended consequences

Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, Book I, chapters 6 and 7, Book III, chapters 1 and 4, Book IV, ch. 1 and 2 (xerox, pp. 18-49)

First version of introductory paper due.

Identify some significant explanation that Adam Smith gives in the Wealth of Nations and discuss how well it fits Woodward's model of explanation in the special sciences. If you like, you are welcome to compare how well the explanation fits Woodward's model to how well it fits the deductive-nomological model.

The introductory papers should be about 1200 words (roughly 4 double-spaced pages with a 12-point font). They should be correct in their spelling, punctuation, and grammar. When you refer to various texts, be sure to document your references. It is sufficient to include parenthetical references in the text such as (Smith, p. 12). What is crucial is that your readers be able easily to consult the passages you refer to.

Be sure that your paper is well-organized as an argument for a some substantive thesis concerning the particular explanation you discuss or concerning Woodward's model of explanation and causation in the special sciences. Be sure that your exposition of Woodward's views and Smith's explanation is integrated into your argument for your interpretation and assessment, rather than appearing as prelude to your paper. I recommend that you pay attention to the details of Smith's explanation.

Though there is no formula for writing a thoughtful paper, one logical way to proceed would be to begin by describing Smith's explanation, raise the question of how it works, say something about Woodward's account and then state your thesis concerning how illuminating or useless it is to interpret Smith's explanation in Woodward's terms. The body of the paper would then, in any organized way, develop and defend your thesis.

There is a good deal of information and advice on writing papers near the end of the syllabus as well as references to resources on paper-writing that are available on the web. Please consult that information and try to profit from that advice.

*Thursday, February 12: Quiz #1 on Philosophy of Science and Adam Smith

Tuesday, February 17: Game theory and the explanation of social order

D. Hausman and M. McPherson "Game Theory"
Colin Camerer and Ernst Fehr, "When Does "Economic Man" Dominate Social Behavior?"

Revised version of introductory paper due

*Thursday, February 19: The social sciences as sciences of human nature

D. Hausman and M. McPherson "Game Theory"
Colin Camerer and Ernst Fehr, "When Does "Economic Man" Dominate Social Behavior?"
John Stuart Mill, A System of Logic, Book VI, chapters 1-3 (xerox, pp. 1-10)

Tuesday, February 24: Mistaken methods of the social sciences

John Stuart Mill, A System of Logic, Book VI, chapters 4-8 (xerox, pp. 10-38)

Thursday, February 26: The deductive method and the inverse deductive method

John Stuart Mill, A System of Logic, Book VI, chapter 9 (xerox, pp. 38-61)

Tuesday, March 3: History and social science

John Stuart Mill, A System of Logic, Book VI, chapter 11 (xerox, pp. 61-69)

Thursday, March 5: Quiz #2 Mill and Structure vs. individual action in society and social theory

Tuesday, March 10: Marx, materialism and Hegelian philosophy

G.W.F. Hegel, Excerpt from the Philosophy of Right
Karl Marx, "Estranged Labor", "Introduction to a Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right", "Theses on Feuerbach," and The German Ideology

Thursday, March 12: Historical materialism

Karl Marx, The German Ideology and "Preface of A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy"

Tuesday, March 17: Introduction to Weber: Facts versus Values

Max Weber, "Objectivity in Social Science" (xerox)

Thursday, March 19: Weber, Laws, History and Causal Explanation

Max Weber, "Objectivity in Social Science" (xerox)

Tuesday, March 24: Weber: ideal types and methodological individualism

Max Weber, "Objectivity in Social Science" (xerox)
J. N. Watkins, "Ideal Types and Historical Explanation" (xerox)

Term Paper Due

Students are welcome to write on a wide range of topics, provided that they talk with me first and get approval. I will also post some suggested topics on the web.

Whatever topic you address, be sure that your essay has a definite substantive thesis and that it is organized as an argument developing and supporting that thesis. Your exposition of the arguments of others or of any other material should be integrated into your argument rather than serving as a preface to your argument.

Term papers should be about 2200 words long (roughly 8 double-spaced pages). They should be printed double-spaced with at least 1" margins, and they should be correct in spelling, punctuation, grammar and so forth. When you cite any texts,you must give references so that I can check them. Formal footnotes are not necessary. It is enough to put a reference such as "(Marx, p. ..)" in the text. But references are not optional, and your grade will be lowered if references are missing.

Be sure to consult the general directions on writing philosophy papers near the end of the syllabus.

Thursday, March 26: Individualism and holism, social facts and causal explanations

J. N. Watkins, "Ideal Types and Historical Explanation" (xerox)
Durkheim, "What Is a Social Fact? (xerox)

*Tuesday, April 7: Wednesday, April 28: More on Individualism vs. Holism

Durkheim, Suicide, Book 3, chapter 1
Durkheim, "Evaluation of Marxism"
Steven Lukes, "Methodological Individualism Reconsidered"

Thursday, April 9: Quiz #3 on Marx, Weber, Durkheim, individualism and causal explanation in the social sciences

Tuesday, April 14: Functionalism

Marvin Harris, "Mother Cow"

Thursday, April 16: Historical materialism and functionalism

G.A. Cohen, "Reply to Elster on "Marxism, Functionalism, and Game Theory"

Tuesday, April 21: Are there successful functional explanations in the social sciences?

Marvin Harris, "Mother Cow"
G.A. Cohen, "Reply to Elster on "Marxism, Functionalism, and Game Theory,"
Jon Elster, "Marxism, Functionalism, and Game Theory," pp. 453-63

Thursday,, April 23: Functional analysis versus functional explanation

Christopher Boorse, "Wright on Functions"

Tuesday, April 28:What do functional explanations explain?

Philip Pettit, "Functional Explanation and Virtual Selection"

Thursday, April 30: Rational choice theory, folk psychology, and decision theory

D. Hausman, Preference, Value, Choice, and Welfare, chapter 4.
Jon Elster, "Marxism, Functionalism, and Game Theory," pp. 463-73.

Tuesday, May 5: Rational Choice Theory, Psychology, and Social Structure

Debra Satz and John Ferejohn, "Rational Choice and Social Theory"
Colin Camerer and Ernst Fehr, "When Does "Economic Man" Dominate Social Behavior?"

Revised term papers due

If you submit a revised version, you must also hand in the original graded paper and a brief explanation of what you changed. Only substantial revisions will be accepted.

Thursday, May 7: Catch-up and Review


I value your questions, and I think that philosophy is best learned through active discussion rather than passively listening to a lecture. So please feel free to ask questions, raise objections, and express your views.

Office Hours:

If my office hours, (Thursdays and Wednesdays 2:30-3:30) are not convenient, see me after class to arrange another time to meet. My job is to help you to master the skills and material with which this course is concerned, so feel free to come see me.

Use of Email:

Email can be a great convenience, but it can get out of hand. Feel free to email me at dhausman@wisc.edu with any specific questions you have about assignments or requirements. If the question and answer are relevant to others, I may post them on the course discussion page or send it to the class list. If you do not want your question posted, you should let me know. Otherwise I will assume that in emailing me, you’ve given me permission to post your question. That way I can serve as many students as possible. Some questions are not appropriate. For example, "Could you please restate the last three lectures?" And some questions are better discussed in person than over email. I’ll do the best I can to be helpful.

A Note on Plagiarism:

A Note on Plagiarism:

Plagiarism is a serious offense, for which there is no excuse. All sources and assistance used in preparing your papers must be precisely and explicitly acknowledged. If you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism, please come talk with me or with your TA. Ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism is not a defense. It is your responsibility to be sure. The web creates special risks. Cutting and pasting even a few words from a web page or paraphrasing material without a reference constitutes plagiarism. If you are not sure how to refer to something you find on the internet, you can always give the URL. It is generally better to quote than to paraphrase from material on the web, because in the absence of page numbers it can be hard to find passages that are paraphrased rather than quoted. The minimum penalty for plagiarism -- even of just a phrase -- is a zero on the assignment.

In my experience, plagiarism usually happens because it is 3 a.m. on the morning when a paper is due. Your rough draft is going nowhere. You're exhausted and increasingly desperate. And you've come across an obscure web page that says pretty much what you've been trying to say. And ... well you can fill in the rest, perhaps even what happens when you get caught. This is the time to stop and go to bed. Much better to talk with me and get some help, take the mild penalty for not handing the paper in on time, and write a paper that gives you some satisfaction and that doesn't risk expulsion from the University.

The role of the readings in the course:

Unlike some professors, I often do not devote my lectures to the exposition and discussion of the readings (though I am happy to entertain questions about how my lectures relate to the readings). Critically engaging with the arguments in the lecture is your most important task, but you may have a hard time understanding my arguments if you do not study the readings carefully. I selected the readings to represent a variety of different perspectives, and even when the readings are mistaken, there are valuable lessons to be learned from understanding their mistakes. The quizzes and final examination will ask not only that you have mastered the material in the lectures but that you be able to relate the arguments in the lectures to the arguments in the readings and to respond intelligently to questions concerning the important arguments in the readings.

Some Hints on Reading Philosophy:

Although you will not be able fully to understand every reading assignment completely, that is the goal. Here are some detailed hints about how to achieve it:

1. Use your highlighter very sparingly. It is much more useful to pencil in marginal notes summarizing or querying specific points than to highlight passages. Actively engaging the author is much more valuable than merely trying to assimilate the prose. And if you do highlight, only highlight a small percentage of the text. (There is not much point to highlighting everything, apart from adding color to the page!)

2. The assignments are usually fairly short, and you should plan on reading the assignments at least twice. During the first reading you should ask yourself:

a. What is the author's position?

b. What is the general structure of the paper? Is it a collection of separate arguments, or does it aim to make one main argument?

c. What are the author's main assumptions? (Where is the author coming from?)

d. Against whom does the author take him/herself to be arguing? What is the context in which the piece was written?

e. What is the main line of argument (or what are the main lines of argument)?

f. What objections does the author address and how successful is the author in answering them?

g. How does the author's position relate to your views? To what extent does the author reinforce or challenge your views?

h. How do the author's arguments relate to the arguments developed in lecture and in other reading assignments? What criticisms would the author make of arguments developed in lecture or in other readings? To what extent is the position of the author open to criticisms made in lecture or in other readings?

During the second reading of the assignment, you should proceed more slowly and critically. Rather than merely asking questions about what the author's purposes, organization, and argument are, you should try to assess all of these and particularly the author's arguments

General Directions on Writing the Papers:

Style and references:

1. You are expected to give references when you cite detailed claims or arguments made in the readings, and your papers should, where appropriate, show familiarity with relevant materials from the lectures or reading for the course. But you are expected to write essays, not examination answers. So don't introduce irrelevant matters to demonstrate that you have done the course readings. (But you must not ignore relevant supporting arguments and, particularly, objections in the readings.) Cite the readings only when they are relevant. Be sure that your paper is a well organized argument for some clearly articulated thesis.

2. When you quote, paraphrase, or make use of a point made by others, be sure to document the source. I am not particular about what style you use. All that matters is that your references be precise and usable. If you say that Marx says that capitalists are pigs, it should be clear on what page Marx supposedly says that. The easiest way to give a reference is simply to put the source and page number in parenthesis. Papers without clear references (where needed) will be marked down.

3. Papers must be typed or printed double-spaced with wide margins (at least one inch) on all sides, so that there is plenty of room for marginal comments. Be sure to keep copies of your papers. Please do not use binders.

4. Papers for the course must be essentially correct in their "mechanical" aspects-- spelling, punctuation, grammar, typing, and so forth. Papers with more than 3 or 4 errors per page will be marked down, and if they are very messy, they will not only be penalized, but they will also be returned for correction before they are graded. Obviously spelling and typing are of no intrinsic importance, but messy papers are hard to assess; and it is not unfair to expect you to take responsibility for making sure that your papers are correct in these regards. If you have difficulty with the mechanical features of paper writing, please get someone to proofread your paper before you hand it in.

Hints on Essay Writing:

1. The paper topics are not recipes for writing your essays. You have to decide what it is that you want to maintain in your essays. Do not regard the paper topic as an essay examination question. Although your papers must be on the assigned topic, the point is to write a well-organized and unified argument for some clearly enunciated conclusion.

2. The task of writing a good essay is virtually identical with the task of thinking out a clear thesis or conclusion that you want to defend and then elaborating and defending it. You should be able to say clearly and precisely not only what your paper is about, but also what your paper maintains. Be sure each of your papers has both a thesis--that it asserts something definite--and a logical organization. Once it is clear what you what to show, you will have a criterion to decide what is relevant and the basis for organizing your paper. Can you put your main point clearly in a sentence? Can you say clearly in a sentence what your paper shows or proves? Are all the parts of your paper relevant to your main point? Is the structure of your argument clear? No good essay merely summarizes things you have read and then offers your remarks or points of comparison or differences you noticed. Every acceptable essay integrates its remarks into an argument of its own. Exposition of the views of others should always be part of your argument for your thesis.

3. Note that a well-organized paper is not merely orderly. For example, a paper that argues that Durkheim argues for claims 1, 2, and 3 and that one can defend claim 1 as follows, claim 2 as follows, but not claim 3 is certainly orderly, and it certainly has a thesis. But it would only be well-organized--truly one paper rather than three--if the discussions of the three claims bore some relations to one another and if the paper added up to some unified and substantive statement.

4. Avoid first paragraphs that say things such as, "First I will discuss the views of Marx and Mill. Then I will discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Then I will compare their conclusions and formulate my opinion." Passages such as these make it sound as if your argument will begin only on the last page. Exposition of the views of others has to find its place within your argument, not as a preface to your argument. If you think in terms of what you want to establish, and outline your paper in terms of stages in your argument, your essay will be much stronger.

5. Try to say exactly what you mean. Pay careful attention to your language. Sentences such as "Marx is a mistaken principle" are unacceptably careless. Value your words and use them accurately.

6. To help in organizing your thinking, you should attempt to answer the following three questions:

1. What is your thesis--that is, what is it that you are trying to maintain or show or prove? What is your main argument for your thesis?

2. What is the most important objection to or criticism of your thesis that you need to consider? Formulate that objection or criticism as an argument.

3. What is your argument in response to the objection or criticism mentioned in answer to question 2?

If you cannot answer these questions clearly and easily, then there are serious problems with your paper. Do not regard your papers as finished or acceptable until each clearly implies answers to the above questions. (But an essay is not, of course, a list of answers to any set of questions.) Taking the task of answering these questions seriously can make a big difference in the quality of your paper.

Special Considerations in Writing Philosophy Papers:

1. In a political debate, the point is to win, and one consequently tries to make the arguments of one's opponents sound as ridiculous and worthless as possible. In a philosophical debate (or in writing a philosophy essay), in contrast, the objective is to learn the truth. So you should try to make the arguments conflicting with your views as compelling as possible, before you answer them. If there are any objections to what you are maintaining that you cannot answer, then you cannot be sure that you are right. Work hard at trying to see "the other side".

2. Although many sociological and historical facts are relevant to the issues you are addressing in your essays, be careful to keep your focus philosophical. If you aren't sure whether your papers are philosophical or not, check with me.

Some Recommendations on How to Write Badly (adapted from Martin Hassel  http://lacasahassel.net/cv/martin/howto.htm):

1.  Begin with a sentence that is clear and direct:
Karl Marx vigorously condemns capitalism.

2. Change its verbs, adjectives, and adverbs into abstract nouns:
Karl Marx presents a vigorous condemnation of the acceptability of capitalism.

3. Make the sentence passive:
A vigorous condemnation of the acceptability of capitalism is found in the works of Karl Marx.

4. Use two words where one would do:
A vigorous and strong condemnation and critique of the acceptability of capitalism is found in the works of Karl Marx.

5. Use plenty of 'in regard to,' 'as to' and similar terms:
A vigorous and strong condemnation and critique in regard to the acceptability of capitalism under possibly allcircumstances is found in the works of Karl Marx.

6. Sprinkle with words that add little or nothing
An interesting and quite vigorous and reasonably strong condemnation and forceful critique in regard to the acceptability of capitalism under possibly all circumstances is compellingly presented in the works of Karl Marx..

7. Use negatives:
A not uninteresting and quite vigorous and not unreasonably weak condemnation and not timid critique in regard to the unacceptability of capitalism under not unrestricted circumstances is not uncompellingly presented in the works of Karl Marx.

8. How awful can you make the sentence?

Seeking Help :

When working on the final versions of your essays, feel free to come to your teaching assistant or me for help. You do not need to do further research, but you can consult with us if you want references for further reading.

There are some excellent resources on the web for writing philosophy papers. I particularly recommend:

www.sfu.ca/philosophy/writing.htm This is brief, clear, and helpful.

http://www.princeton.edu/~jimpryor/general/writing.html Excellent, but much lengthier.

www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/philosophy.html For those who are serious about philosophy.

www.cofc.edu/~portmord/tips.htm Contains lots of references for further study.

A terrific general source on writing is Strunk and White's The Elements of Style. The first edition is available on the web at http://www.bartleby.com/141/

Paper Grading Criteria:

An "A" paper typically has all of the following virtues, although in exceptional cases papers with only five of the six virtues might merit an "A"

1. It has a well-defined thesis and a logical organization.

2. It shows good sense, intellectual honesty and struggle. It attempts to defend a defensible thesis and takes seriously objections to that thesis.

3. It is well-informed. If there are passages in the assigned readings for the course that are particularly relevant to the matters under discussion in the essay, these are cited and discussed. The paper shows an awareness of conceptual dis-tinctions and clarifications developed in the course.

4. It is intelligent, logical, and careful. The argument is carefully articulated and developed. Obvious difficulties are anticipated and answered, and gaps are closed.

5. It is significant. The issues discussed, although typically matters of detail, are of some importance, and their importance is made clear within the essay.

6. The paper is written in a lucid and grammatical style.

A "B" paper has the following virtues:

1. As before.

2. As before.

3. As before.

4. It is logical and not careless. The argument is well articulated.

5. It is not trivial. The essay provides some motivation for its topic.

6. The paper is grammatical.

A "C" paper has at least the following virtues:

1. It is orderly and has some focus.

2. It shows some serious concern with the issues it deals with.

3. It is not uninformed. Where relevant, it shows awareness of the content of the course.

4. There are some definite and cogent arguments in the essay.

5. The paper has some point.

6. The paper is readable and minimally grammatical.

A "D" paper

1. Has some intelligible organization.

2. Shows some concern with the issues it deals with.

3. Shows minimal awareness of the course content.

4. Makes some relevant and sensible argument

5. Has some point.

6. Is comprehensible.