Portfolio Elements

The portfolio has three versions (or volumes), v1, v2, v3, with the following elements:

v1 due 10/07 v2 due 11/18 extended to 11/20 v3 due 12/11
Richards Lecture Reaction [1-2 pages]
Media/Science Analysis [1-2 pages]
Plagiarism self test
Other Themester Event Reaction [1-2 pages]
Media/Science Analysis [1-2 pages]
Empirical Study Report [3-5 pages]
Revised Themester Event Report
Revised Media Analysis
Revised Empirical Report
New: Judge's Decision, "Star Witness" [4-6 pages]

Explanation of Components

  1. (v1) Plagiarism Self-Test Certificate: take the test after doing the IU School of Education plagiarism tutorial
  2. Themester event reports:
    1. (v1) Reaction piece on Richards Lecture [1-2 pages]
    2. (v2) Reaction piece on one other Themester event [1-2 pages]
    Suggested structure for these reaction pieces, in two paragraphs. (1) Identify an interesting (to you) claim that was made or reported by the presenter and that is significant to the topic of the course. (This claim need not be the presenter's personal view, but could be someone else's view that was presented, e.g. Darwin's.) State the claim as clearly as you can, give as much of the context for the claim as is necessary to understand it (you should imagine your reader was *not* at the event), and any argument that the presenter provided for the claim. (2) Explain why you find the claim interesting or significant. If you agree with it, suggest an additional reason to believe it that the presenter could or should have mentioned. If you disagree with it, give the reasons for your disagreement.
  3. (v1,v2) Critical analyses of a media report and the associated scientific paper (you must cover different reports and papers for v1 and v2). Precleared media sources are: NY Times, Scientific American, Science News, Wired, Time, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, BBC. Ask individually about others. (Hint: Many scientists have links to media stories about their research on their websites.) Sample questions: Did the media presentation use anthropomorphic terms more than the scientific paper? Was the research presented accurately? [1-2 pages each report; provide copies or links for items discussed]
  4. (v2) One "empirical" study [3-5 pages]. Progress in the science of animal minds depends on clever ideas for experiments or observations, but also on understanding trends and developments within the science. The goal of this part of your portfolio is to describe an actual or potential study that would advance the science of animal minds. You should describe a study (experimental, observational, or "metascience" -- see below) that you have carried out, or would like to see carried out. Your report should have these five elements:
    1. 1. A brief introduction to the topic of your study that provides a hypothesis that you would like to test, and a clear rationale for the study, referencing any similar studies that you have heard about or read about for this class;
    2. 2. A description of the methods of the study.
    3. 3. A description of the results, if you actually carried out the study, or a discussion of what you predict you would find if you were to carry out the study;
    4. 4. A discussion of the significance of the actual or expected results;
    5. 5. A concluding section summarizing the findings, noting any limitations in the study, and listing suggestions for further study.
    The kinds of empirical studies we have in mind fall into three categories. You will be graded on originality and rigorousness of the study design -- does it, or would it, show what you claim it shows? -- and the thoroughness with which you document it according to the 5 parts above. Extra credit will be given for actually carrying out a study rather than merely describing a possible study, however very creative ideas for potential studies will be considered equivalent to actual investigations. Because you will be required to revise this part of your report between the v2 and v3 editions of your portfolio, you may wish to describe your study concept for v2, drafting all 5 sections of the report, and then actually execute the plan for v3, once you've received feedback from your A.I.
  5. (v3) "Star Witness" brief (instructions at top of p.36), or an argumentative paper of your choice (topic must be pre-cleared with A.I. [5 pages]
  6. (v3) New or substantially revised versions of these items:

See my Guide to Writing Philosophy Papers for additional help.