The Appeal to Dire Consequences

USA“Having been a professor for quite some time, I have seen various gambits played by students in the hopes of passing a class or getting a better grade. One common gambit is what I call the appeal to dire consequences. The idea is this: a student who does not have the grade he wants will contact the professor and assert that he should either be given that grade or be granted special treatment that will enable him to get that grade. As a reason for this assertion, he will point out the dire consequences he will suffer should he not get the grade. For example, I had a student copy a paper word for word from the web, thus resulting in a zero on the paper. My policy is that the zero is non-negotiable …” (more)

[Michael LaBossiere, A Philosopher’s Blog, 17 April]

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