critical thinking

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CASIMIR - This is final paper (thought I'd get it out there now) using the approved Critical Theory and Systems Theory as the subject. Please take the opportunity to read through it to capture the professors' nuances. As always!!! Thanks Note: The website timeline request only goes to 23 days. This isn't due till 29 Nov. Also being out that far, the recommended budget was $80 but I bumped this up based on my enormous income 😀 (after I win the lottery) and your awesome support

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Final Paper Assignments Systems Thinking for a Complex World—SYS 5850 (Fall 2018) ** Read this entire document very carefully and ask for clarification if there is anything you do not understand.** I. Basic Information 8-9 Pages (double spaced). Due Thursday November 29th. II. The Assignment You are encouraged to develop your own appropriate topic based on the course material. You are also strongly encouraged to discuss your topic with me to ensure that it is appropriate and manageable. You may send me a brief description of your topic, which should include your thesis and outline what the main argument for your thesis will be. You may choose to write on one of the topics below or develop a topic arising from any of our weekly discussion topics, if you have a particular interest in some other topic in the course, I welcome alternate essay proposals. However, if you do this it is strongly recommended that you HAVE THE TOPIC APPROVED FIRST. You should clearly explain your topic and how you plan to cover it. Your topic must be relevant to the main themes of the course, appropriate, and manageable. If a proposed topic does not meet these criteria I may suggest modifications or that you chose a different topic. Feel free to discuss any of your topic ideas with me beforehand. Whatever topic you chose: 1. You must argue for a position (vis. Have a clear thesis) related to systems theory. 2. Your topic must focus on more than just one of the thinkers in the course. 3. You must find and incorporate a consideration of at least one external source (either a book or a scholarly journal article) that is relevant to your topic/arguments. III. Topic Ideas 1. Critical Theory and Systems Theory. The critical theory tradition (via the work of Habermas) has taken on board some insights of a systems analysis of society, but it maintains that viewing the entire social sphere simply in terms of a system is a profound reductionist mistake that blinds us to the true nature of our communicatively structured lifeworld. Examine this critique of systems theory. Is it correct? Does critical theory succeed in incorporation what is useful in a systems perspective while leaving aside what is problematic? 2. Competing Accounts and Applications While overarching agreements do seem to exist, within different strands of systems theory (broadly conceived), there are different ways of characterizing what a system is and what constitutes a systems thinking approach. Relatedly, there are differing accounts of what questions or problems systems thinking can most fruitfully be applied to. Focus on some possible area of tension within systems theory. Explain it. Then defend one approach or account against possible alternatives. 3. Evaluation of the Systems Theory Alternative Various strands of thought falling under the heading “systems theory” have understood themselves as innovative approaches that offer distinct advantages over other ways of looking at the world. Describe how systems theory in general (and/or a specific thinker or tradition) has characterized its own advantages over previous accounts, which it tends to reject for being reductionist and mechanistic. Is systems theory a better way of looking at the world? How so? Why or why not? Consider counter arguments. How might a more traditional theorist respond? Are there any problems or dangers associated with a systems approach? IV. Tips and Guidelines 1. Specific Instructions The first part of your essay will be particularly focused on your ability to comprehend and clearly communicate course content. The latter portion will require more analysis—making connections, drawing conclusions, and supporting your own reasoned position. Thoroughly and consistently use proper referencing in APA style. Do not use informal or familiar language. Do NOT avoid the use of first person pronouns. (This is not a convention in our field as it is in some sciences) Do not include a general introduction; just start right in by declaring your topic and what you intend to argue. This essay requires great concision. This means you should find it a struggle to fit your content into the allotted space. If you find it easy to fit your material into the allotted space this is a sign that you have not done a thorough job. While I do ask that you find, consider, and incorporate a reference to one relevant book or article, this is not a research paper. The main focus is on understanding and engaging with the course texts. As long as the paper is centered around course texts you may cite as many outside sources as you wish, including major works in the history of thought or contemporary articles. Just remember; never appeal to any text or thinker as an authority. Citing some famous theorist who agrees with some claim does not lend support to that claim. Only good reasons (wherever they come from) support claims. Err on the side of caution; cite all sources carefully to avoid inadvertent plagiarism. Avoid extensive use of direct quotation in the main body of your paper. One purpose of the assignment is for you to put the relevant issues in your own words. Avoid any statements of mere opinion. Only make claims that you establish with arguments. Don’t tell me what you think; tell me why I should think it. 2. More General Advice Have a clear thesis and stay focused. Do not ramble or stray off topic. Set up your problem or question. Explain the theories and concepts operating in the background of your discussion. Then make sure your discussion is focused on showing why your answer is the most compelling. Keep all your discussion closely grounded in the course text. You are attempting to contribute to a discussion by explaining and commenting on problems that arise in the context of an intellectual conversation already in progress, and moreover the context of a specific text or set of texts. You are not answering a question by starting from scratch. Make sure you adequately set up your topic/problem before you try to solve it. It is necessary to spend time explaining why something is a problem. Your reader must see something as a real problem before its solution can make any sense. Showing that something is a problem worth considering requires argument before we start presenting augments in support of any particular solution. Within the first page or two of any good paper you need to answer the question “who cares?” Tell the reader why the topic you are discussion is important any why the insights or arguments you are going to offer make a difference. Go slow. Take the time to clearly, carefully, and precisely do the explanatory work. Connections that may seem clear or obvious to you—the person who has done the reading/thinking and come up with the arguments—may not be so clear to your reader. Put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Assume they are not experts and do not know what the problem is that you want to address. Don’t let them get lost. Take them by the hand and lead them carefully, step by step, through the relevant background theories and the arguments you want to relate. Always focus on clarity. Do not try to use big words and fancy language when plain language will do. Weak thinkers take simple and easy ideas and make them seem grand and overly complex with fancy and obscure language. Good thinkers are able to take complicated and profound ideas and make them seem simple by using clear and well-organized language. Don’t skip the thinking step. Many people fall into this trap. They spend all their time reading, having a few thoughts pop into their head, and then writing. They absorb ideas—then write them down. A few initial reactions occur to them and they write those down too. Then they hand it in. For every hour spent reading/writing you should spend an hour with a notepad critically and actively reflecting on those ideas. Do the theories or arguments which you have read, or that you thought up yourself, make sense? If you read or come up with what seems like a good idea do not stop there. Test it. Try to think of problems or objections to it. Often, people's arguments are subject to obvious and serious criticisms or internal inconsistencies that they would have thought of themselves, had they only spent 20 minutes reflecting critically on what they said. When you do consider objections to your thesis (which you should always do) choose the best objections and try to present those arguments as forcefully as you can before responding to them. Weak thinkers and ideologues react to a bunch of poor objections to their position in order to make it appear stronger. They also present counter arguments in a terse and sloppy way, which fails to make their full force apparent. In this way weak thinkers shy away from difficult problems, and ideologues are more concerned with appearance than achieving understanding. Powerful thinkers, on the other hand, directly face the difficulties at the heart of the issues they tackle. Even when there are tensions that seem intractable, it’s better to acknowledge them than try to hide them. Good theory aims to shed light on issues, not obscure them. Proof read often and carefully. ...
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CASIMIR
School: University of Virginia

Hey bro! Plea...

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Anonymous
Thanks, good work

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