Type: This is a “4 hour” writing assignment. See the explanation below. On pages 99-107 of The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss, David Bentley Hart gives an outline description of the main kind(s) of philosophical argument for the existence of God one encounters in the great traditions. In this writing assignment, you’ll analyze two of Edward Feser ’s arguments in Five Proofs of the Existence of God and relate them to Hart’s description, either by way of comparison, contrast, or both. To do so, you’ll need to offer a precise and concise summary of the two among Feser’s proofs which you pick. One of the proofs you pick must be either the Augustinian Proof or the Rationalist Proof. While giving these summaries, quotation is optional. Certainly don’t use any long quotations. Precision and clarity are key. These demonstrate your understanding of the proofs in question, and that is one of the main things I’m looking at in this assignment. Your thesis should be concerned with the comparison and/or contrast and/or claim you want to make regarding the relation of the two among Feser’s proofs you discuss to each other and to Hart’s description. Notice that, through the whole intro and body of your paper, the question of whether or not you agree with Feser doesn’t come into it. This is an assignment aimed, primarily, at understanding and comparative analysis. However, you have the option, in your paper’s conclusion, of using that conclusion to advance a line of criticism against one of Feser’ s proofs. You don’t have to do this, but it’s your choice. If you do so, be sure to take account of how Feser replies, or might reply, to your objection, and try to give a further protest as to why his reply (or your imagination of how he would reply if he heard your objection) is inadequate to meeting your objection. Again, issuing an objection against Feser is optional; but if you do so, do so with appropriate rigor. Also, notice that Feser’s later proofs sometimes rely on previous ones.
So, for instance, if later proofs rely on the Aristotelian proof in the way Feser works in various of the proofs with hierarchical series, or the way he derives various divine attributes from a claim about pure actuality. This might be important in your summary, and you’d certainly need to take it into account if you were criticizing one of those aspects of a later proof by doing your homework in the sense of making sure your criticism is good enough to work against his actual explanation of the feature in question as it is fully presented in the earlier proof. No bibliography is required for this paper since no materials will be consulted besides those we’ve been using in our class. Quotations from Hart or Feser may be cited with only the page number in parenthesis following the quotation. For example, “To my mind, however, the truly interesting question” (49). If it is ambiguous in context which author you’ re quoting, expand that to: (Hart, 49). Grading Rubric The grading rubric is as follows: A = strong and clear thesis and roadmap in response to the prompt, excellent execution with appropriate quotation. B = solid thesis and roadmap, solid execution and quotation. Perhaps a bit of weakness in the execution, or a bit of weakness/vagueness in your thesis, but overall still a very solid paper. C = significant weakness in one or (probably) multiple aspects of the paper, yet this paper still sheds some light on the material in light of the prompt D/F = drastic weakness in multiple aspects of paper, and/or a paper which fails to adequately address the prompt -note that I’ve said above that no quotations are required when you’re working just with Feser, only detailed and precise explanations/expositions of his arguments. However, if you’re drilling down into what he means by a particular term (like “hierarchical series”), then it might be helpful to quote from the line where he explicitly says what he means. Rubric Definitions thesis = your argument. Usually one sentence, which states what you will be showing/demonstrating in your paper. Something like, “In this paper, I will argue that….” This usually comes near the end of your introductory paragraph. roadmap = This usually comes right after your thesis, and is a sentence or two describing the structure of your paper by which you’ll demonstrate your thesis. Something like “To show x, I will first …, then…” etc. execution = all the rest of the paper after your introductory paragraph. In it, you demonstrate your thesis following the sensible and logical order laid out in your roadmap. A well- executed paper will usually contain appropriate quotation from the texts in question, neither too much nor too little, in such a way that your commentary/analysis on the texts you quote serve to demonstration of your thesis. Thesis Feedback (optional) I’