Conceptual analysis in philosophy
February 14, 2020
Is Social Media Becoming Too Toxic?
February 14, 2020

Conceptual analysis in philosophy

An important aspect of philosophical thinking is the ability to do conceptual analysis. Greta ChristinaPreview the document’s paper is a great example of this. Throughout her paper, she proposes a definition of sex, discusses how that definition captures several cases that intuitively count as sex, but then discusses some more complicated cases that either show that the definition is too broad (i.e., it includes or counts some case as an instance of sex when intuitively it should not) or too narrow (i.e., it excludes some case from counting as an instance of sex when we intuitively think it should count).

This paper assignment is divided into two parts.

Part one:

Expand on one of Greta Christina’s several different definitions of sex and explain how that definition is problematic. For example, Christina says, “Perhaps having sex with someone is the conscious, consenting, mutually acknowledged pursuit of shared sexual pleasure.” You might explain this definition (or one of the other ones that she considers) by giving a (fictional) example and showing how it exemplifies each of the features listed in the definition. Then, you should explain why that definition is problematic. For example, you could explain how there are cases that we intuitively count (or don’t count) as sex but aren’t (or are) counted as sex according to the definition (i.e., state whether the definition is too broad or too narrow, or both, and show how).

Part two:

This part has two options. The first is less challenging than the second, but the second, if done well, can score higher points than the first.

Option 1 : Clearly articulate a second definition from Christina that attempts to address some of the problematic aspects of the definition you discussed in part one. Then, as you did in part one, explain how even this second definition could be problematic (Is it too broad? too narrow? both? Show how).

Option 2 : Propose your own definition — a definition of sex that Christina does not consider. Show how that definition might handle some of the complicated cases that she discusses. Then, clearly state what the shortcomings of your proposed definition might be. For example, you should clearly state how the definition could be too broad or too narrow (or both) by presenting relevant counterexamples.

Sample Solution

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