Is free will an illusion? In these two papers, Wegner argues that all human actions are caused and that humans only experience free will as a side effect of consciousness. Donald disagrees. He believe

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Is free will an illusion? In these two papers, Wegner argues that all human actions are caused and that humans only experience free will as a side effect of consciousness. Donald disagrees. He believes that humans may actually be causal agents (and this is due to the unconscious mind). While Daniel Wegner was a psychological scientist (and thus, strictly a determinist) Merlin Donald is a philosopher.

Please download and read the

argument analysis instructions

very carefully. This document includes instructions for the argument analysis paper and the argument analysis discussion post. As a reminder, you’ll be discussing the best and worst evidence presented for each side of the issue.

The articles you will read this week are below:


Donald


Wegner

Is free will an illusion? In these two papers, Wegner argues that all human actions are caused and that humans only experience free will as a side effect of consciousness. Donald disagrees. He believe
Is free will an illusion? Melissa Santiago My position is against the ability to think of something or an idea and make it happen. Position 1: My position is that free will is an illusion and that our thoughts prior to an action, is not a causal link from our thoughts that lead to an event. At best, the evidence to support this conclusion is in a study where participants were told to “Think negative thoughts” (Wegner, p 229) about a victim before using pins on a voodoo doll. This led participants to think that their actions toward the doll would affect the victim. No harm had even been done; therefore, this shows concrete evidence that there is no link between the two. At worst, the weakest evidence is a study that revealed a tendency to believe that someone who imagined an event, had caused a positive outcome because of the simple thought of the outcome. Mental causation isn’t something that can physically be seen and is simply an illusion where the outcome just happens by chance. (Wegner, p 230). Position 2: My position is that free will is not an illusion. Our thoughts prior to an action, is the causal link from our thoughts that lead to an event. At best, the evidence that support this conclusion is an experiment where participants are following an authoritative figure’s orders to apply an electric shock on another participant, because of their failure to perform correctly. Under the direction of someone else, it mentally took the responsibility off the participant following the orders to shock. They continued to shock the individual after being instructed to when they could have objected, since they had the ability to stop at any point during the experiment. (Wegner, p 233). At worst, the weakest evidence that support this is an experiment where “Participants experienced arm movements of a second person as if the movements were their own.” (Wegner, p 231-232). By standing behind the participants with their arms in place of theirs to look like it is their own arms while they performed movements, instructions had to be consistent with the participants thoughts. The act itself was not an illusion; However, paired up with correctly timed thoughts of an act is what creates the illusion.
Is free will an illusion? In these two papers, Wegner argues that all human actions are caused and that humans only experience free will as a side effect of consciousness. Donald disagrees. He believe
Argument Analysis Assignment Please follow the instructions outlined here to complete the article analysis and discussion board posts. *Introductory note about debate articles . Please be aware that journal articles come in two forms. There are primary source articles and secondary source articles. Primary source articles are original, empirical articles written by researchers for the purpose of describing specific research that they conducted. These articles include methods and results sections (e.g., actual data). Secondary source articles or chapters come in two general forms —the meta – analysis or the literature review article. Here, a researcher will describe a specific area of research conducted by him or herself in the past and/or by other researche rs. Literature review articles do not contain data. Instead they contain descriptions of data. A meta -analysis may also be described as a secondary source article because a meta -analysis is a mathematical and descriptive summary of a broad range of finding s. The important point is that debate articles take both forms. Sometime s an author will make claims in a primary source article (by discussing his or her own data collection and r esults), and sometimes an author will make a claim and support it via the use of previous research conducted on the topic. One source type is not inherently better or worse than the other. An author who describes his or her own data collection may be just a flawed in his or her reasoning (or as brilliant) as an author who descri bes other’s previous research. Please keep this in mind as we progress through the semester. Step 1: Summarize both articles Before you are able to analyze an argument you must be able to summarize it. Good summaries include a description of the author ’s ideas including any claims made by the author. Good summaries also review evidence used to advance the argument. To prepare to s ummarize the text, read it to get a general idea about the points. Then, reread the text and mark it up by circling key terms and underlining claims. Finally, chart individual paragraphs or sections and examine the overall structure of the text. As you read, take note of:  What is this section about? What is the author saying in this section ?  What is the author doing in this para graph or section (use verbs like introducing, reviewing, interpreting, challenging, asserting, illustrating)?  Does the author make a claim? What does he or she argue? Make note of central claims.  What evidence is provided to advance the argument? Be awar e of your own biases and avoid inaccurate interpretations. Keep this portion for yourself. Do not turn it in . Step 2: Analyze both article s Choose one or two centr al claims made by the author (s) and describe and analyze the evidence that is used to support it (i.e., for the assignment discuss at three pieces of evidence ). Finally, evaluate the evidence used by the authors . The questions below should serve as a guide to help you evaluate evidence. Some questions will not be relevant to the article that you are reading. A. Use the questions below to evaluate the evidence. First decide what type of evidence the author using. Then, d escribe the evidence and then analyze it. The questions below will help you analyze and evaluate the argument.  Is the evidence based on generalization ?  Is the evidence b ase d on analogy, specific cases , personal experience or anecdote?  Is the evidence based on authority ? o The author uses an authority figure (another author, a doctor, an academic) or an institutional authori ty to support claims  Does the author provide empirical e vidence ? Is the evidence based on experimental data? Observational data? Survey data? To evaluate empirical evidence consider the questions below. o Is a causal claims made (recall that only true experi ments allow for causal inferences) ?  If yes, is a causal claim possible? Was random assignment used ? Was an experiment used? o Is a correlational claim made (recall these are claims about the strength and/or direction of a relationship between two or more va riables)?  If yes, a re there other potential explanations for the data (e.g., potential third variables)? o Decide if the evidence /data is generalizable (e.g., is the data external ly valid )  Is the data robust? Can it replicate in a number of settings with dif ferent samples (e.g., is there overreliance a specific sample) ?  Is it ecologically valid? Would it happen in real life, outside of the lab?  Is it relevant? Does it matter? Are the findings useful for solving problems or improving the quality of life? B. Why is the author using t his evidence? Is it convincing? C. To write an argument analysis, describe the main claims and explain how the author supports each claim.  What are the main claims ?  (describe the main claims)  How does the author support and/or advance the argument ?  (describe the evidence)  What kind of evidence is used to support the claim ?  (evaluate the evidence)  Based on your evaluation of the evidence, h ow convincing is the evidence used to support the author’s claims ?  (what are your con clusions) You may use the structure below to develop y our writing. Please note that your argument analysis will likely be much longer than that below. The paragraph below is simply an outline. Remember, you will need to turn in two of these papers (one for each side of the debate). Write it up and t urn in both analyses in the same word document. Argument Analysis Template _____________ _____________________ ___ that _________________________________ (citation: last name(s) and yea r) (verb, e.g., cla ims, asserts, argues) (paraphrase the main claim(s) ) He/she _______________________ this claim by first ____________________________________. (supports, develops) (explain/describe the evidence) Then, _________________________________________________ __________________________ . (explain/describe the evidence) _______________________ purpose is to ____________________________________________ (citation: last name(s) and yea r) _____________in order to __________________________________________________ _______ (what does the author want the audience to do, think, or feel as a result of this paper) The evidence in support of this claim is _______________ for the following reasons. (strong/weak) First, __________________________________________. Further,______________________________ (evaluate the type of evidence used, and why it is strong or flawed) (evaluate another piece of evidence and _________________________________________. Finally, _________________________________ it’s strengths or flaws) (evaluate the type of evidence used, and why it is strong or flawed) Instructions for Discussion Board Posts 1 Occasionally during the semester, you will need to pick a side. First, you should post your answer to the board. Then , you should eval uate another student’s side and provide feedback. To complete this task, you will need to analyze the paper in the same way as you would for an argument analysis. You will read, summarize, and evaluate each paper. However, here you will chose to analyze t he overall claim (the broad claims such as “violent media causes aggression” or “media violence doesn’t cause aggression”). Then, you will need to decide, based on your evaluation of all the evidence in the paper, which pieces of evidence provide the stron gest and weakest support for the claim and why When you post your answer please use the format below: 1. Issue Name_________________________________ 2. Your Name_________________________ 3. My position is pro or anti____________________________ Position 1: _____ _____________ (describe the main claim) At best __________________________________________________________ (describe the strongest evidence in support of this side , and describe why the evidence is strong ) At worst_________________________________________________________ (describe the weakest evidence in support of this side , and describe why the evidence is weak ) Position 2: __________________ (describe the main claim ) At best ______________________________ ____________________________ (describe the strongest evidence in support of this side , and describe why the evidence is strong ) At worst_________________________________________________________ (describe the weakest evidence support of this side , and describe why the evidence is weak ) Here is an example: 1. Violence causes aggression. 2. Jamie Hughes 3. My position is that violent media causes aggression. Position 1: Violent media causes aggression. The best evidence in favor of Bushman and Anderson’s (2001) claim was the study that was conducted…….blah…blah…blah. This provides strong support because the study was…..blah, blah At worst, Bushman and Anderson (2001) presented evidence that ……blah…blah…blah. This evidence was particularly weak because…… Po sition 2: Violent media does not cause aggression At best, Freedman (2002) argued convincingly that the research conducted on this subject lacked…….blah blah blah. This is problematic for those who think media causes aggression because …. At worst, Freed man (2002) discussed blah blah which did support his main thesis because…… When you provide feedback to another student : 1. Issue Name_________________________________ 2. Your Name_________________________ 3. My position is pro or anti____________________________ 1 N.B., a discussion board post is due in week 3 and week 4 only . 4. Describe why you agree or disagree with the student’s position by challenging the students claims with evidence (if you disagree) or by adding evidence for the student’s claims (if you agree). Grading c riteria for argument analysis Your argument analysis will be evaluated as follows . Category Unacceptable (D) Problematic (C -) Satisfactory (C, B) Good (B+, A) Identified and described main claims o Inappropriate o Incorrect o Incomplete o Relevancy vague o Major inaccuracies o Lacking completeness o Relevancy implied o Minor inaccuracies o Too broad o Relevancy described o No inaccuracies o Thorough Identified and described supporting evidence o Inappropriate o Incorrect o Incomplete o Relevancy vague o Major inaccuracies o Lacking completeness o Relevancy implied o Minor inaccuracies o Too broad o Relevancy described o No inaccuracies o Thorough Evaluated supporting evidence o Inappropriate o Incorrect o Incomplete o Relevancy vague o Major inaccuracies o Lacking completeness o Relevancy implied o Minor inaccuracies o Too broad o Relevancy described o No inaccuracies o Thorough Interpretation & Integration o Improper format for question o Several grammatical/spelling errors o Unclear or haphazard organization o Proper format for question o Few grammatical/spelling errors o Focused and integrated organization The debate activities are written to give you practice with thinking critically about research evidence. For each debate paper, the same three basic, inter -related indicators of quality are applicable: – The extent to which the ideas are ap propriate and relevant to the question – The extent to which the statements made or work shown is correct and accurate – The extent to which a complete or thorough answer is given Put simply, a good answer clearly communica tes a clear, insightful, and elegant answer to the question at hand. A concise, but thorough, statement is always the ticket to a good grade; an unnecessarily lengthy answer gives the reader the impression that you are not organized and that you do not ful ly grasp the topic. Similarly, instructors can only judge the quality of an answer by what is explicitly written, not by what the student “had in mind” when writing the answer. In general, your level of performance in achieving these indicators of quality can be judged on the following general rubric. For each task involved in an answer, performance on that task will be rated as being one of the following: – Performance does not meet the quality expectations for the task (65%) – Performance meets low quality expectations for the task (66 -73%) – Performance meets normal quality expectations for the task (74 -87%) – Performance meets high quality expectations for the task (88 -100%) The specific criteria that the instructor will look for when reading your debate papers are:  Identify and describe the main claims: I expect that you will identify and explain the main claims clearly (article comprehension).  Identify and explain the supporting evidence: I expect you identify and describe the main evidence used to support each claim clearly (comprehension)  Evaluate the supporting evidence: I expect that you will analyze empirical evidence by evaluating internal and external validity. To examine evidence in this way yo u must distinguish between correlational and causal evidence, you must consider the robustness and relevance of empirical evidence, and you are expected to find flaws or strengths in the empirical evidence used to support a claim.  Interpretation and Integ ration : Finally, your responses should be more than a bulleted list or disorganized jumble of statements and claims. You should concisely integrate the concepts and examples to answer the question at hand. I want to see that you are able to organize your a rgument and justifications into a coherent and elegant written piece of work Rubric for discussion posts is below Unacceptable or problematic (60 – 70%) Satisfactory (71 -88%) Good (89 -100%) Content: Use of claims and evidence 9 to 12 points 11.75 to 13 points 14 to 15 points o Inappropriate o Incorrect o Incomplete o Relevancy vague o Major inaccuracies o Lacking completeness o Relevancy implied o Minor inaccuracies o Too broad o Relevancy described o No inaccuracies o Thorough Organization and Grammar 4 to 5 points 6 to 8 points 9 to 10 points o Improper format for question o Several grammatical/spelling errors o Unclear or haphazard organization o Proper format for question o Few grammatical/spelling errors o Focused and integrated organization o Proper format for question o No grammatical/spelling errors o Focused and integrated organization

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