In what sense is and in what sense isn’t matter part of a thing?
PAPER TOPICS: ARISTOTLE
The third paper covers the material we’ve read in Aristotle. Write on any one topic listed below. Your paper should be roughly 1300 words, due in hard copy at class
time on Tuesday, 24 February. This paper will be worth 15% of your final course mark. The lateness penalty is 5% per day of lateness; the clock starts at class time.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you don’t know what counts as plagiarism, check the description in the course syllabus and the web links immediately!
You’re writing an argumentative paper, presenting and defending your view; it’s rather like writing an editorial. Explain the position, and then marshall evidence and
argument on your side. Whether attacking or defending some position, your best strategy is to consider the strongest objection to that position and to show how it
succeeds or fails. Draw distinctions as necessary. Make sure that what you think, and your reasons for thinking it, are clear. Be sure to put your own name on your
paper, as well as the name of your TA. You may use footnotes or endnotes, separate bibliography or details in the notes, whatever — as long as the relevant information
is there somewhere.
A few ground rules. First, use correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Second, make your references precise by using the Bekker numbers (those numbers/letters
printed in the margin); if you use outside sources (there is no need to), be sure to cite them properly, giving credit where it is due. Third, strive for clarity and
perspicuity: just because Aristotle may sometimes be obscure doesn’t give you the same license! Finally, remember that you’re writing an argumentative paper, defending
some view you hold; everything should be directed to that goal. No fluff, please.
 In what sense is and in what sense isn’t matter part of a thing?
 Why is there no essence of ‘white man’? What kinds of things have essences? How do the accidental qualities that differentiate things of a kind relate to the
essential qualities that they all share?
 In what way is the Unmoved Mover a cause? What is the “life” of the Unmoved Mover like?
 The Function Argument identifies the formal and final causes of a thing, in an attempt to spell out what the good of a thing is, but what is the connection between
‘being a good example of what makes X different’ have to do with ‘being what makes X happy’?
 What is the best life for human beings? Why?
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