Befriending a Philosopher Project PHIL 1013 1
Befriending a Philosopher: Creative Project 1
Assignment: to read a primary source from a philosopher, to complete a project that demonstrates
your knowledge of your new philosopher-friend, and to present what you have learned about your
new friend. Befriending a Philosopher is 1 of 2 Special Projects for the course. In this project, you will
be researching a chosen philosopher and read from his/her primary texts.
You must engage with the philosopher’s original work by reading at least 50 pages, which means it
must be something written by the philosopher, not just about the philosopher. The philosopher must
be listed as the author and not just as the subject.
Points Possible: 175
- To demonstrate knowledge of philosophies and philosophers learned in this class
- To integrate reasonable and varying evidence from experience, knowledge, and course
- To achieve a tone that is both personable and academic
- To follow best-practice guidelines for your chosen medium (MLA format for essays)
This project has four steps. See each week’s Moodle section for details.
Step 1/Week 1 (25 pts): Choose topic (philosopher and original work)
Step 2/Week 2 (25 pts): Read at least 20 pages of original work; find one source
Step 3/Week 3 (25 pts): Read all 50 pages of original work; begin project
Step 4/Week 4 (100 pts): Competed project
Form of Project:
You have the freedom to use the best medium to communicate your new philosopher-friend. You may
choose one of those listed below or get approval for another.
- Essay: MLA format 3-5 pages
- Video: 3-5 minutes with a slide/image listing sources in MLA format
- PowerPoint: 10-12 slides with a slide listing sources in MLA format
- Platonic dialogue: 5-7 pages; styled as a conversation (dialogue) between you and your
Befriending a Philosopher Project PHIL 1013 2
You may choose one of the following or get approval for another:
- a major philosopher (Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hume, Hegel, Heidegger)
- a religious philosopher (Augustine, Aquinas, Kierkegaard, Barthes, Otto, Eliade, Bonhoeffer)
- political philosopher (Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Rawls)
- existentialist philosopher (Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus, de Beauvoir)
- social progressive philosopher (de Beauvoir, Gillian, Friedman, Patricia Hill Collins, J. Butler,
Dewey, Ursula LeGuin)
Whatever form the project takes, you should include:
- an introduction of biographical information (use outside source and correct MLA citations)
o use only relevant and interesting info
- an evaluation of the philosopher’s historical time (outside source)
o explain what was happening at the time the philosopher was writing that may have
influenced the work
- an analysis of the philosopher’s main ideas (only your own thoughts; no outside research)
- a sharing of your reading experience from the philosopher’s own writing (only your own
o explain whether this experience was enjoyable
- a personal reflection on how the philosopher impacts our 21st century life and especially your
own life and thinking (your thoughts and maybe an outside source if the philosopher’s work is
now being used in a new way)
o apply the philosopher’s views to our current society (are the views still relevant?)
You will post your presentation for your classmates to read/watch in a discussion during Week 4.
Befriending a Philosopher Project PHIL 1013 3
PHIL 1013 Befriending a Philosopher Scoring Guide
MLA format (10 points) • MLA format for essays • Best practices format for non-essay projects
Purpose (15 points) • Appropriate for subject, purpose, and audience • Min. of 3 full pages of text for essay; 5 for dialogue • 10-12 slides for PPT • 3-5 min. for video
Sources (15 points) • Reputable outside sources • Citation of philosopher’s original work • Appropriate inclusion of all • Smooth integration • Documentation in MLA format • Use of in-text citations
Composition (15 points) • Grammar and mechanics • Academic style • Unity and coherence • Engaging introduction • Satisfying conclusion • Logical organization
Content (45 points) • Originality/creativity • College-level analysis • Inclusion of all content requirements • More analysis than facts/summary
Total points possible (100)
In this project, you will be researching a chosen philosopher and reading from his/her primary texts. See the attachment below for instructions and expectations.
You must engage with the philosopher’s original work, which means it must be something written by the philosopher, not just about the philosopher. Please read a minimum of 50 pages of your chosen philosopher.
This project has 4 steps. Steps 1-3 are showing me your preparation work and planning for your final project submission. Step 4 will be that submission. Your final project can be in many forms: MLA format, video, Platonic dialogue, Prezi, Power Point, or a creative approach that is your own.
Choose a topic (a philosopher) and the original work you will read. In a Word document, in MLA format, answer the following questions:
- What philosopher will you cover? Why did you choose this person?
- What original work will you read by the philosopher? Why did you choose this one?
- Have you ever read anything written by a philosopher and not just something written about a philosopher? If so, what was it?
- What do you think will be the biggest obstacle to this project?
- What questions do you have so far?
Your document should fully answer all questions asked, should be in MLA format, and should be a minimum of 3 pages