This assignment is intended to help you develop your ability to reconstruct an author?s argument as it appears in a reading, apply an argument in a context the author does not consider and create your own evaluation of the quality of an argument.
Choose Simpson?s argument for hate speech restrictions or Brenkert?s arguments about corporate censorship (not both). After stating the argument, give a Millian or Kantian (not both) critique of the argument and explain why the critique succeeds or fails.
In presenting Simpson?s or Brenkert?s arguments, do not attempt to cover the entire work. Focus narrowly on some important individual argument. Briefly explain the argument?identify the premises and the conclusion, and briefly explain the relevant* defences the author gives of the premises. In stating the Millian or Kantian critique, the paper should do 2 things. First, briefly explain the relevant portion of the Mill or Kant reading (again, do not attempt to summarize the entire reading). Then, explain how the Millian or Kantian view generates an objection to the argument you?ve chosen to focus on. Finally, explain why the critique succeeds or fails.
The essay must include a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph. It should adhere to the following pattern: [Simpson or Brenkert] argues that [insert the conclusion you focus on] because [insert the relevant reason]. [Mill or Kant], however, would reject [Simpson?s or Brenkert?s] argument because [insert the relevant reason]. [Simpson or Brenkert can/can not] overcome this critique because [relevant reason].
Here is an example using Boonin and Mill. Boonin argues that hate speech cannot be legitimately restricted as another kind of speech because the equivalence between the two is unconvincing, or renders the restriction unnecessary. Mill, however, would reject Boonin?s argument because hate speech damages both the speaker?s and the listener?s moral integrity?something that Mill claims is necessary for maximizing overall happiness. Boonin can overcome this critique because Mill?s argument equates hate speech and morally harmful speech, and this equivalence turns out to be unconvincing.
Length and Grading:
800 words, plus or minus 10% (720-880). The paper will lose 1/3 of a grade for every additional 10% deviation in length. So 881-960 words lose 1/3 of a grade, 961-1040 loses 2/3 of a grade, and so on.
Submit a word document. Use 12pt Times New Roman. Use double-spacing and one-inch margins. Use inline citations of the form ([Author?s last name] [publication year], [page number]). You do not need a bibliography. Use the following as a header: Phil 27, [Your Name], [Your TA?s name], Short Assignment.
*In deciding what?s relevant, think about the critique you will give as well as the response to the critique. Say what you need to for the argument to make sense, and for the critique and response to make sense.

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