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PHIL233?A5: Columbus Assignment

 

A misconception persists that Christopher Columbus couldn?t initially get funding for his voyage to the

 

new world because potential investors believed the earth was flat. In fact, he couldn?t get funding

 

because he was a bad geometer. His estimation of the earth?s circumference was far smaller than it had

 

been known for centuries to be. Some blame the historical misconception (not Columbus?s

 

miscalculation) on Washington Irving?s biography of Columbus.

 

Part I

 

Do some investigation on Washington Irving?s biography on Christopher Columbus and comment both on

 

the adequacy of (1) Irving?s sources for his book project and on the adequacy of (2) Irving?s book as a

 

source on Columbus. Propose a reason for any difference you find between the adequacy of (1) and (2).

 

Part II

 

Read Chapter V in Book I of Volume I of Irving?s A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher

 

Columbus. The chapter, titled ?Grounds on which Columbus founded??, begins on page 52 of the book

 

which is freely available as a Google ebook: http://books.google.com/books?id=uIADAAAAQAAJ. Also,

 

look up confirmation bias. Say what it is and say whether Irving has established in that chapter that

 

Columbus committed that mistake in reasoning. Justify your position.

 

Part III

 

Finally, comment on the adequacy of your sources for this project. A suitable source of information

 

should be (1) disinterested and should be (2) an expert. You needn?t comment again on Irving?s book

 

but you should consider your sources of information about Irving?s book. Also consider the quality of

 

your sources on confirmation bias.

 

Type your paper and organize it well. Clearly mark the three parts of the paper. Write grammatically,

 

spell correctly and cite your sources in your favorite style. I will grade your assignment on mechanics,

 

organization (and clarity), your understanding of the material, and your reasoning (how well you defend

 

your claims).

 


 

 


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