Unit 1 Thematic Essay
Wilson (1998) and Harris (2010) Analysis (Both articles are linked on previous Unit 1 webpages.)
Topic: This essay involves an analysis of Wilson’s (1998) chapter “To What End” and the ideas in Harris (2010). Given the case made by Carr (2008) in “Is Google Making us Stupid?” regarding our short attention spans, you will want to read Wilson carefully and take notes. His writing is dense. (He could take a lesson from Pinker regarding simplicity and clarity.) The first chapter by Wilson outlines his central thesis through a personal narrative of discovery, but the second deals with what we might call the “so what?” question. His observations and overall thesis are closely related to the points and conclusions made by Harris (2010) in his discussion of science and morality.
If the connections between the two are not immediately apparent, it may be simply a function of their delivery style (Wilson’s heady prose compared to Harris’s straightforward narration) and the differing level of abstraction. Harris provides more real-world examples – issues “ripped from the headlines” while Wilson frames his discussion in the context of disciplines and domains of knowledge. Work with the materials until you start to see connections between Wilson and Harris.
In this essay, apply your critical thinking and interpretive skills to identify, analyze, and discuss connections between Wilson and Harris. Use summarization to convey what you believe to be the central thesis of both and use paraphrasing of specific points when you draw connections.
Guidelines: Your essay should be at least a full 2 pages in length (Times New Roman 12, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins left and right). It should be formatted according to APA guidelines for cover pages and reference citations (which do not count toward the two pages). Direct quotation is not required. However, you must use in-text citations when referring to paraphrased information and ideas found in the assigned materials. Keep in mind that this is a thematic, analytical essay; your interpretations and discussion should be guided by the assigned reading materials. Your personal perspectives on Harris (2010) should be reserved for your discussion board composition and comments.
Unit 1 Thematic Essay