Senior Literature Review Fall 2017

Will’s Final Presentation


We read Will’s draft of his final literature review.

One thing that we suggested was the use of sections to break up the material. An oddity of sections is that they should be roughly equal: it’s something people expect. A benefit of sections is that they can help with a problem that Peter noted about repeating an author’s name at the beginning of each paragraph. This is because a section devoted to a particular author’s arguments would not have to continually identify the author.

I suggested starting the document with a less formal explanation of the motivation behind the topic.

For example, it seemed to us that the basic idea behind permissivism is driven by examples. There are just some things about which it seems obvious that people can reasonably come to different conclusions.

The uniqueness thesis, by contrast, is driven by an apparently simple abstract line of thinking, namely, that any evidence that counts in favor of one proposition necessarily counts as evidence against a competing proposition. Since this is so, it is hard to understand how I could think that you and I could start with the same evidence and reasonably reach incompatible conclusions.

Anyway, the idea was to start with the basic ideas motivating the contending positions and then develop those positions more precisely and possibly challenge the apparently plausible motivating ideas with which we started as the paper goes along.