Position Paper – What is human knowledge? utilizing Plato, Hume, Kant, and Russell:

For your final research paper, you are asked to write a paper of 1700-words (minimum word count—any paper more than 150 words short of this minimum will not be accepted as a complete paper) to 2000-words (maximum word count—you may exceed this without penalty only if it is essential to attaining the purpose of your paper). Your paper must cite the work of at least four philosophers studied during the course; there is no upper limit on the number of sources you may use. A position paper follows a particular format. First, the thesis is clearly stated in the introductory paragraph (sometimes it is pushed into the second paragraph). The thesis expresses the author’s position on a specific issue related to the topic at hand, and the issue itself is introduced in the first part of the introductory paragraph. Your position on the issue is, in fact, your opinion, but it is your considered opinion. That means that it is your task in this paper to support your opinion with good reasons for why you hold that opinion (your position on the issue); that is, why you believe your thesis to be true. This is what it means to give or present an argument. You may have one or more separate arguments (or sets of supporting reasons/evidence) to bolster your position. You will be presenting your own argument in conjunction with an opposing view. Whatever format you use to present opposing or alternative positions, it is imperative to reply to each and every opposing claim you introduce; otherwise, your own case is severely weakened. You may consult external sources to find a counterargument or play “devil’s advocate” and come up with one yourself. Note that if there is no possible counterargument in opposition to your thesis, there is a problem with your thesis. Any significant thesis will assert a claim about which intelligent, rational thinkers may disagree. You must then reply to each counterargument and refute it, explaining or showing why any objection to your position raised in the counterargument fails and thus the counterargument may be rejected or simply dismissed. Finally, re-state your thesis in an expanded form as developed by your discussion and argumentation throughout the paper. This will stand as the conclusion of your position paper.