please edit my essay 2

From my Professor: I think your introduction is still a bit generic. There are a few places where you mention ‘a given virtue’. But that’s just a placeholder: say which virtue you’re going to talk about, and what you’ll say about it. If open-mindedness is the focus of your paper, don’t leave your reader in suspense about it.

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The only other thing I noticed is that the ‘cultivation’ section at the end is also a bit generic. Here’s an example (I think I said something like this in class, but here’s a more specific version). Let’s say you’re writing about the practical virtue of physical fitness, the mean between laziness and, I don’t know, gym-obsessiveness. The goal is to develop habits where you work out the right amount. Let’s say your problem is that its really easy to come up with excuses for working out. Your goal would be ‘work out more’, but that isn’t a strategy for actually doing it. You might think that ‘be more disciplined, build better habits’ is a strategy, but it isn’t. Really, its just a redescription of the goal. Strategy looks more like, “I’m going to start setting out my gym clothes the night before and think ‘when I work out tomorrow’ instead of ‘if’”, or “I’m going to start a work-out group so I’m accountable to other people so I’ll feel bad if I bail”. Those are the kinds of concrete steps that help you build good habits.

So, in your paper, you should aim for that same level of specificity. You’re right that its important to analyze views from diverse perspectives. But how can we change our behavior/environment to make doing so a habit? Ditto for looking for common ground: easier said than done, so how can we make it more likely that we actually do it, given how easy it is to mess up?

One other related issue: this last part of the paper is a bit short compared to the other two sections. They’re all worth the same number of points, so you should take about the same amount of space.

Good news is, you can fix both these issues at once: just write another page or so to fill out the last section of the paper.

Other than that, things look good. Discussion of virtue is clear, and you found good outside sources (some of which I’ll have to check out myself). But now that I think of it, maybe you should go back and find a way to work in some of the other material from class (Riggs for sure, if only to show that you’re not talking about the same kind of open-mindedness he is; probably Zagzebski as well, maybe Yu and/or Montmarquet, maybe some others).

Please see attachment of my essay. I will also add other attachments.