Free Will and Responsibility (Spring 2010) - Paper #1

Free Will - Paper Topic #1


Write a paper on the two topic below:

1. Explain Boethius' solution to the Problem of Divine Foreknowledge.

(This topic does not ask for evaluation. Explain the problem, and then explain the reply.)

Note: In order to explain an objection or a reply to a theory or argument, you must first explain the theory or argument. When possible, you should be explicit as to what premise an objection is directed.

Due Date

Tuesday, 2/23/2009


You have at most 400 words (roughly 1 - 1 1/4 pages, double-spaced, Arial, 12 point font).


You don't have much space, so you will need to be clear and to the point. Clarity should be your chief goal in writing this paper. Don't try to be clever or provocative; be clear. Pick your words carefully. Write to be understood. Assume that you are writing the paper to be read by someone unfamiliar with the issues. (*You must read the Perry essay "Writing Philosophy Papers" before you begin.)

You should not need to use any quotations. The goal of the assignment is for you to explain an argument in your own words, as clearly as you can.

This is simply a writing exercise. I am not asking you to evaluate the arguments. I just want you to explain the arguments as clearly as you can within the space limitation. The next paper will ask you to evaluate an objection. In that paper you will have to both explain the objection and consider possible replies. Here you just need to explain the argument and the objection.

I do not want papers that are longer than the word limit. The space limitation is designed to force you to practice verbal economy. That said, it is impossible to write an adequate paper on on any of the topics in much less space. You'll have to use most of the space, and use it well.


The paper must be typed. It should be double spaced. It should have one inch margins. You should use a 12 point font. I prefer Arial, since it is easy to read.


You are required to hand in a paper copy at the start of class on the due date. In addition you must submit the paper through Safe Assign via Blackboard by 11:59 pm on the due date (i.e., Thursday night). The link is on the assignments section on Blackboard.

Safe Assign is a plagiarism detection tool. It will compare your paper against others available online, in journals, submitted in this class, at Temple, and from all other universities that use the software.

Note: Plagiarism will result in a failing grade in the class, not just on this assignment.