Natural law critique

Order Instructions/Description

This is the question that needs to be answered:

Different types of views dispute the natural law claim that evil law is not law. Choose a critique from the reading (Austin, Hart and Holmes all have some critiques) or find one in the literature, and assess its merits: Does the argument work to disprove the claim that bad law is not law? Does it have some flaw or weakness? Can the view be amended to accommodate the criticism?

General advice on writing the paper:

-Write an outline first. The sort of paper philosophers want is one that has a clear rhetorical path – something like: Here is the position I will be considering (cite reference), here is the argument I will asses (cite reference), here is how the argument works (explain), here is a problem with it (explain), here is a solution to that problem (or maybe, ‘I can’t see a solution to this problem’), This is how the argument affects the position (explain) etc. etc. For this sort of paper, you can’t expect to write a good one unless you’ve thought out all the moves in advance. So think out the paper, and write out an outline listing what you are going to do, in what order, in advance.

  • Pay attention to the arguments. They are the stars of the show. Don’t waste time on biographical or bibliographic details, don’t bother with history (unless it’s directly pertinent to the arguments) just get to the positions, arguments and counter-arguments. Don’t worry about writing a good intro or conclusion. It’s perfectly fine to start with “Aquinas claims that p”, where p is some philosophically interesting claim, and end with the last substantive sentence, without any “In summary, I think that…” although, of course, you can add such a conclusion.

  • Take small bites. The topics I’ve outlined above are tailored so that they don’t ask you to tackle too much at once. It’s difficult to get a feel for how big a topic needs to be, but for papers as short as this, the simple rule is ONE position, ONE or TWO arguments, no more. It will take you at least a page to set the stage (describe the position, etc) and at least another page to describe the argument completely, which means before you even get to the analysis of the argument, you’re on page 3, of 5. So don’t try and survey a bunch of arguments, just pick one. Deep and narrow is almost always better than wide and shallow in philosophy.

-Read and think about the material. This might sound superfluous, but it’s really important that you spend some time thinking about the arguments and positions. You’ll know that you’re thinking about them properly when you begin to see knew things in them, or your opinions about them begin to change.

Style Guidelines

Citations can be in any style (e.g. MLA parenthesis, footnotes, endnotes, etc) so long as the style is properly followed. Unless the bibliographical information is included in the references, provide a bibliography (works cited) page.

There is no maximum or minimum number of citations, but this isn’t meant to be a survey of the literature, nor is it an unreferenced think piece. 2-5 references is a rough guide.