It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
UC Berkeley’s library buildings are open! Learn more.
One of the most difficult things about writing philosophy papers as a new undergraduate is figuring out what a philosophy paper is supposed to look like! For many students here at Cal, a lower division philosophy class is the first experience they have with philosophical writing so when asked to write a paper it can be difficult to figure out exactly what a good paper would be. Below are a few examples of the kinds of papers you might be asked to write in a philosophy class here at Cal as well as the papers written by professional philosophers to which the sample papers are a response.
In this paper, Michael Rea defends the position in ontology known as mereological universalism which he defines as that position which holds that "for any set S of disjoint objects, there is an object that the members of S compose."
In lower division philosophy courses here at Cal, the most common type of paper that you will write will be one in which you are asked to respond to some given philosopher's position by uncovering some difficulty in that position. In this paper, Max Deleon critically examines Michael Rae's paper "In Defense of Mereological Universalism"
Exposition and Amending of Existing Philosopher's Position
The section "Against moral Rationalism" in the article "Philippa Foot" from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy explores Foot's positions on moral motivation which Max Deleon deals with in the paper below.
In this paper Max Deleon looks at Philippa Foot's argument from "Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives," raises a few possible objections, and proposes emendations to Foot's position to respond to those objections.
One of the most influential paper in 20th century philosophy, Philippa Foot's "Morality as a System of Hypothetical Impreatives" tackles to dominant Kantian conception of the nature of morality and offers an alternative understanding of the nature of morality.