Blog Assignment 4 – Disagreement

Adam Morton’s essay “Empathy for the Devil” makes an argument about the “barriers” to empathizing with those who commit atrocious or evil acts. Now that you have summarized the article along with a partner, I want you to practice turning a summary toward your purposes and beginning to implement counterargument in your treatment of a scholarly source.

Find some aspect of Morton’s argument with which you disagree. This does not need to be Morton’s entire argument, but it should not be such a trivial point that disagreement on it makes no significant difference in understanding the question at issue in Morton’s argument. Once you have identified the point on which you want to disagree, revisit your summary and make sure that this aspect of Morton’s argument is featured as part of the “how/why” portion of your summary (if it’s not, revise your summary to make its importance clear).

After you’ve incorporated your summary, explain why you disagree with Morton on this point. To do so, you will use your own reasoning, but you will also incorporate a scholarly source of your own choosing to assist you in making your point. This means that you will have to do some independent research using the methods our class librarians went over in class on Tuesday.

Finally, conclude your essay by explaining why a different perspective on this aspect of Morton’s argument might lead someone to rethink his overall position. If this is an important aspect of Morton’s argument, would a person need to reject his position outright if they agree with your perspective on it?

So, in summary, your assignment with this blog post is to:

  1. Incorporate the summary of Morton you completed with a partner in class, revising that summary if necessary to make it clear how the aspect of Morton’s argument with which you disagree fits into his larger argument.
  2. Explain why you disagree with this aspect of Morton’s argument, using a scholarly source of your own choosing to support your own position on this.
  3. Conclude by suggesting how this disagreement might cause someone to rethink Morton’s overall position in light of your counterargument.

Your post should be about 500-750 words, and is due by classtime on Thursday (10/13).

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