Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hi all,
As mentioned in class yesterday, there is no class with professor Nobis this Friday. So, reading and writing assignments are on the course blogs:
 

He will be at some events at the Emory Ethics Center and the Law School. FYI, the program for the Ethics Center is below and the law school event info is here:
http://www.law.emory.edu/academics/academic-programs/feminism-legal-theory/upcoming-events-workshops.html


ANIMAL STUDIES WORKSHOP

Center for Ethics
1531 Dickey Drive
Emory University
Friday, March 30, 2012

9:00 – 10:00
Killing Animals
“Animal vs. Human Euthanasia.” Paul Root Wolpe. Center for Ethics, Emory University.

Forging Animal Rights

“Communicating Concepts: How do we articulate animal rights concepts to
the public?” Lori Marino. Center for Ethics and Institute for Liberal Arts,
Emory University.

“Diversity and Nonhuman Rights.” Carrie Packwood Freeman.
Communication. Georgia State University.

Lunch

Thinking Animals I

“The Ethics and Poetics of Becoming Animal in Metamorphosis Literature.”
Naama Harel. Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies, Emory University.

Thinking Animals II

“The Philosophical Animal.” Sean Meighoo. Institute of Liberal Arts, Emory
University.

Sponsored by
Center for Ethics, Emory University
Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, Emory University

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

For Monday, we will have a reading and new kind of writing assignment on Charles Mill's "Do Black Men Have a Moral Duty to Marry Black Women? That essay is attached and a link is also available below.

There is NO CLASS FRIDAY: Professor Nobis will be at a conference at Emory Law school.

First, please read two things about writing, which were mentioned a few days ago:
1. An online article by Jim Pryor called "Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper":
http://www.jimpryor.net/teaching/guidelines/writing.html
2.
Some tips from me:

  • The most common comments I write on papers are these: (1) What do you mean? and (2) Why think that? The first is in response to unclear claims: write clearly. The second is in response to claims that need defense: give reasons.
  • Write in short sentences: if any longer sentence can be broken into two or more sentences, do it because it's easier to read then.
  • Each paragraph should deal with one, and only one, topic. You should be able to say, "This paragraph is about this: _____."
  • Omit all needless words and needless discussion. Your reader's time is valuable so don't waste it.
  • Make sure everything is clear. Use simple words: no need for anything nebulous.
  • Your papers should have a short introduction, culminating in a thesis, a main point, the point that your paper is supposed to defend. The most direct way of presenting this sort of thesis is this: "I will argue that _(short sentence here: 'all abortions are wrong', 'Dr. Doopy's argument against euthenasia is unsound,' etc.___."
  • Your introductory paragraph, or a paragraph immediately after it, should give the reader an overview of what you will be doing in the paper. It should briefly explain the overall structure (e.g., "First I will ___ and then I will ____. Finally I will ______.")
  • Omit anything totally obvious and uninformative (e.g., "This issue has been debated for hundreds of years."). Everyone already knows this, so don't waste time telling us what we already know.
  • Don't write, "Well, _____." No "well's".
  • Don't say, "'Mr. Bubbles feels that this is wrong." Say, he believes, or thinks, or (if he does) argues. His views are probably not his "feelings" or his emotional reactions.
  • Also, no ' . . . ' unless you are shortening a quote. No "trailing off" in hopes that the reader will think what you are hoping they will think.
  • Don't ask rhetorical questions. Make statements, don't ask questions. Your reader might answer your questions for you in ways you'd like. But if you do ask questions, make sure there is a question mark.
  • It's OK to use "I". People use "I" to communicate clearly, so use it.
  • "Arguments" are not people's conclusions. They are the conclusions and the reasons they give in favor of those conclusions.
  • If I ask you to raise objections to a theory, argument, claim, or whatever, it's fine to raise objections that are discussed in our readings. What's not good, however, is to raise an objection that is discussed in the readings but the author responds to the objection and shows that it's not a good objection. If you raise this same objection, but do not discuss the author's response (and respond to that response), this suggests that you didn't do the reading very closely.
  • If an author states a conclusion (or a main point) and gives reasons for it, then that author has given an argument. If an author has given an argument, do not say that the author has not given an argument: you might not have found the argument (yet), but the argument is still there! Keep looking!
  • Keep focused and don't argue for more than you can give reasons for.
  • You have succeeded in writing a paper if you can give that paper to a smart and critical someone who is not familiar with your topic and this person will understand the views and arguments you are discussing, as well as whatever criticisms you raise. You can do an empirical test to determine whether you are writing well, and it's basically just to see if others understand your writing! If not, you need to keep working at it.
  • Finally, good writing, like many things, takes a lot of time. If you don't take the time to work at it, you probably won't do very well and you probably won't improve. I recommend writing something about double the length needed and then editing down and re-organizing and re-writing to remove the needless words, irrelevant distractions, and -- most importantly -- improve your statement of whatever argument you are trying to develop.

Your assignment is to then write an excellent philosophy paper on Mill's essay. Your paper should conform to all the writing advice given above. It should have:
- an introductory paragraph;
- a thesis, where you state your evaluation of Mill's arguments, that you will argue for;
- clear presentation and evaluation of each of Mill's arguments.
Your paper should be well organized and very clearly written. To do this, you need to start early and revise, revise, revise.

Here's a way to put yourself in the right frame of mind: imagine you are going to give a presentation at Crown Forum (or a similar event) where you inform people about the arguments of this paper and offer your careful, critical evaluation of them. Have this paper serve as your "script" for such a presentation: you are going to read your paper (with feeling!) to this audience so that they might understand Mills' arguments.







Do Black Men Have a Moral Duty to Marry Black Women?
Authors:
Mills, Charles W
Source:
Journal of Social Philosophy, 25, 131-153. 23 p. June 1994.
Document Type:
Journal Article
Subjects:
AFRICAN AMERICAN
MARRIAGE
MORALITY
RACISM
SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY
Abstract:
The under- representation of blacks in philosophy means that controversies in the African- American community rarely get philosophical attention. This paper looks at the issue of interracial (black men/ white women) sexual relationships, and tries to evaluate the strengths and the weaknesses of six popular arguments against them: the Racial Purification Argument; the Racial Caution Argument; the Racial Solidarity Argument; the Racial Demographics Argument; the Tragic Mulattoes- to- be Argument; and the Questionable Racial Motivations Argument. The aim is less to take a particular position than it is to show how the range of concerns of conventional moral philosophy can be expanded.



Monday, March 26, 2012

Please read for Wednesday; this is also available in the Rethinking Masculinity book. It is attached and here:
https://docs.google.com/open?id=1KcMdm99-DZySTtEv0cvMX18KqXgIjdXKFvboY8fpjcxXuBF5I5YxN13tOwwl

Male Friendship and Intimacy
Authors:
May, Larry
Strikwerda, Robert
Source:
Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, 7(3), 110-125. 16 p. Summer 1992.
Document Type:
Journal Article
Subjects:
FRIENDSHIP
INTIMACY
MEN
SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY
Persons as Subjects:
ARISTOTLE
Abstract:
Our primary focus is the concept of intimacy, especially in the context of adult American male relationships. We begin with an examination of comradeship, a nonintimate form of friendship, then develop an account of the nature and value of intimacy in friendship. We follow this with discussions of obstacles to intimacy and of Aristotle's views. In the final section, we discuss the process of men attaining intimacy.

Friday, March 23, 2012

For Monday, please read this essay from the Masculinity book and write something that will prepare you to discuss its arguments.

“Real Me.” | pdf | . In L. May and R. Strikwerda (eds), Rethinking Masculinity. Rowman and  Littlefield, 1992, 59-74. 

http://www.hughlafollette.com/papers/REAL-MEN.HTM


"Real Men"

by Hugh LaFollette
in Rethinking Masculinity
ed. Larry May and Robert Strikwerda
Rowman and Allenheld 1996, 2nd ed. / 1992, 1st ed
[pdf version]

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Here are links to two of the books discussed in the introduction:

 

Refusing to be a Man: Essays on Sex and Justice [Paperback]

John Stoltenberg 
http://www.amazon.com/Refusing-Man-Essays-Sex-Justice/dp/1841420417
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stoltenberg

and


 http://www.amazon.com/Iron-John-Book-About-Men/dp/0306813769/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332431696&sr=1-1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bly


The Morehouse College



FACES OF MANHOOD

and

The Department of English Multimedia Writing Skills Lab



Invite you to attend



A LECTURE BY

Ricardo D. Trimillos, Ph.D., Ethnomusicologist



Gender in Asia: Onstage, in Literature, and in Imagery

Masculinity in the Performing Arts:  Images and Portrayals of Minority Males



FRIDAY MARCH 23, 2012

3:00PM Wheeler 214-F



Ricardo D. Trimillos is Professor Emeritus in Asian Studies and in Music. He was former Chair of Asian Studies at the School of Pacific & Asian Studies and Professor in Ethnomusicology at the Music Department, University of Hawai'i at Manoa in Honolulu. He publishes on the arts and issues of gender, ethnicity, cross-cultural presentation, and multicultural education. He performs koto music, gagaku, and narimono. He was educated at the University of Hawai'i/East-West Center, the University of Cologne, the Ateneo de Manila, and UCLA.


Here are some sources for suggestions on how to improve your writing; in my experience, one's writing can only be improved with reflective practice: writing, thinking about it and getting feedback from others and revising and re-writing. These sources give tips on how to do that:

1. An online article by Jim Pryor called "Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper":
http://www.jimpryor.net/teaching/guidelines/writing.html

2. Some chapters on writing from A Rulebook for Arguments;
http://www.amazon.com/A-Rulebook-Arguments-Anthony-Weston/dp/0872209547/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332425273&sr=1-1

VII. Composing an Argumentative Essay
A. Exploring the Issue
VIII. Composing an Argumentative Essay
B. Main Points of the Essay
IX. Composing an Argumentative Essay
C. Writing
&
I. Composing a Short Argument: Some General Rules
3. Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, the section III. ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION:
http://www.bartleby.com/141/strunk5.html

4. Some tips from me:

  • The most common comments I write on papers are these: (1) What do you mean? and (2) Why think that? The first is in response to unclear claims: write clearly. The second is in response to claims that need defense: give reasons.
  • Write in short sentences: if any longer sentence can be broken into two or more sentences, do it because it's easier to read then.
  • Each paragraph should deal with one, and only one, topic. You should be able to say, "This paragraph is about this: _____."
  • Omit all needless words and needless discussion. Your reader's time is valuable so don't waste it.
  • Make sure everything is clear. Use simple words: no need for anything nebulous.
  • Your papers should have a short introduction, culminating in a thesis, a main point, the point that your paper is supposed to defend. The most direct way of presenting this sort of thesis is this: "I will argue that _(short sentence here: 'all abortions are wrong', 'Dr. Doopy's argument against euthenasia is unsound,' etc.___."
  • Your introductory paragraph, or a paragraph immediately after it, should give the reader an overview of what you will be doing in the paper. It should briefly explain the overall structure (e.g., "First I will ___ and then I will ____. Finally I will ______.")
  • Omit anything totally obvious and uninformative (e.g., "This issue has been debated for hundreds of years."). Everyone already knows this, so don't waste time telling us what we already know.
  • Don't write, "Well, _____." No "well's".
  • Don't say, "'Mr. Bubbles feels that this is wrong." Say, he believes, or thinks, or (if he does) argues. His views are probably not his "feelings" or his emotional reactions.
  • Also, no ' . . . ' unless you are shortening a quote. No "trailing off" in hopes that the reader will think what you are hoping they will think.
  • Don't ask rhetorical questions. Make statements, don't ask questions. Your reader might answer your questions for you in ways you'd like. But if you do ask questions, make sure there is a question mark.
  • It's OK to use "I". People use "I" to communicate clearly, so use it.
  • "Arguments" are not people's conclusions. They are the conclusions and the reasons they give in favor of those conclusions.
  • If I ask you to raise objections to a theory, argument, claim, or whatever, it's fine to raise objections that are discussed in our readings. What's not good, however, is to raise an objection that is discussed in the readings but the author responds to the objection and shows that it's not a good objection. If you raise this same objection, but do not discuss the author's response (and respond to that response), this suggests that you didn't do the reading very closely.
  • If an author states a conclusion (or a main point) and gives reasons for it, then that author has given an argument. If an author has given an argument, do not say that the author has not given an argument: you might not have found the argument (yet), but the argument is still there! Keep looking!
  • Keep focused and don't argue for more than you can give reasons for.
  • You have succeeded in writing a paper if you can give that paper to a smart and critical someone who is not familiar with your topic and this person will understand the views and arguments you are discussing, as well as whatever criticisms you raise. You can do an empirical test to determine whether you are writing well, and it's basically just to see if others understand your writing! If not, you need to keep working at it.
  • Finally, good writing, like many things, takes a lot of time. If you don't take the time to work at it, you probably won't do very well and you probably won't improve. I recommend writing something about double the length needed and then editing down and re-organizing and re-writing to remove the needless words, irrelevant distractions, and -- most importantly -- improve your statement of whatever argument you are trying to develop.

On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction [Paperback]

William Zinsser

http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Well-30th-Anniversary-Nonfiction/dp/0060891548

 http://www.amazon.com/How-Write-Reflections-Richard-Rhodes/dp/0688149480/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332200135&sr=1-1


On Writing Well by Zinsser, How to Write by Richard Rhodes, On Writing by Stephen King.

http://www.amazon.com/On-Writing-Anniversary-Edition-Memoir/dp/1439156816/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332200225&sr=1-1

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

For Friday, please read the introduction to Rethinking Masculinity (attached, a link below and passed out in class) and develop some preferences for which articles you'd like to read from this book:

https://docs.google.com/open?id=1L4q8S6JMhaN_SPhza8Y4H5uJ2XTUEB-NaAudIVo69lW3pGYs4Yl0rM6Y5XlL

*Rethinking Masculinity: Philosophical Explorations in Light of
   Feminism*  Larry
May<http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&sort=rele...>(
Editor,
Contributor), Robert
   Strikwerda<http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_2?_encoding=UTF8&sort=rele...>(Editor),
Patrick
   D. Hopkins<http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_3?_encoding=UTF8&sort=rele...>(Editor)
(Rowman and Littlefield, 1996)
   http://www.rowmanlittlefield.com/Catalog/SingleBook.shtml?command=Sea...DB/CATALOG.db&eqSKUdata=0847682579&thepassedurl=[thepassedurl]
   ;

  Amazon link: http://goo.gl/fVPkJ

 Table of Contents:
 *Introduction*
 *Sex Differences*
 ·         *Sex and Social Roles*
Patrick Grim
 ·         *Behavior, Biology and the Brain*
Robert Stuffelbeam
 *Aggression and Violence*
 ·         *The Enduring Appeals of Battle*
J. Glenn Gray
 ·         *Masculinity and Violence*
Victor Seidler
 *Intimacy and Sexual Identity*
 ·         *Male Friendship and Intimacy*
Robert Strikwerda and Larry May
 ·         *Gender Treachery*
Patrick Hopkins
 *Romance and Marriage*
 ·         *Real Men*
Hugh LaFollette
 ·         *Do Black Men Have a Moral Duty to Marry Black Women?*
Charles Mills
 *Paternity and Responsibility*
 ·         *Bioethics and Fatherhood*
Daniel Callahan
 ·         *The Facts of Fatherhood*
Thomas Laqueur
 *Fatherhood and Manhood*
 ·         *Fatherhood and Nurturance*
Larry May and Robert Strikwerda
 ·         *About Losing It: The Fear of Impotence*
Richard Schmitt
 *Pornography and Sexuality*
 ·         *Pornography and the Alienation of Male Sexuality*
Harry Brod
 ·         *Erogenous Zones and Ambiguity: Sexuality and the Bodies of
Women and Men*
Laurence Thomas
 *Oppression and Empowerment*
 ·         *Honor, Emasculation, and Empowerment*
Leonard Harris
 ·         *Are Men Oppressed?*
Kenneth Clatterbaugh

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Here is the reading and writing schedule for the remaining chapters for Debating Sex and Gender. I'd like us to finish this up quick and move on to some more concrete topics: some of the essays from the Rethinking Masculinities book -- https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780847682560 -- and then a variety of issues in sexual ethics, all of which are fairly concrete: would doing X be wrong or not, and why?

This Friday:
Ch 3.

This Monday:
Ch. 4

Due Monday: reaction paper to chapters 3 and 4. What strikes you as interesting? Provocative? Controversial? What are your reactions to the chapter? Write about them!

Wednesday:
Ch. 5 and the conclusion, 6: reaction paper to chapters 5 and 6. What strikes you as interesting? Provocative? Controversial? What are your reactions to the chapter? Write about them!

As you know, you will have a final project in this class. One good idea would be to write a book review of this book. If you do a good job, you could likely submit it to an academic journal and get it published! More on that soon!