PHILOS 1E03: PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS
FIRST ESSAY INSTRUCTIONS AND TOPICS
Weight: 30% of final grade (or 20%)
The purpose of this essay is to provide you the opportunity to engage critically with the material in the course. You must organize your essay around the defense of a thesis. It is your responsibility to come up with a thesis and argue that it is correct. In the course of your argument you should: (i) carefully and methodically present your view to your reader; (ii) accurately summarize the views of the author(s) you are considering; (iii) consider and answer important objections to your view.
provided below are several topics which might help you narrow down the focus of your paper. You are not required to pick any of these topics. If you choose to develop your own topic
Remember, whether you pick one of the topics below, or a different topic, you must still organize your paper around the development and defense of a specific thesis.
Please submit the paper on Avenue in the assignment folder provided. Your essay should be 4-5 pages in length, double spaced with regular margins. Please only submit in MS Word or pdf formats.
You are not required to use secondary literature in the paper. However, you may make use of secondary literature if you wish. If you use secondary sources for your paper, please list those sources alphabetically by author in a bibliography at the end of the paper. Any citation style is permissible, so long as you (i) include all the usually information, (ii) reference page numbers, and (ii) are consistent.
Late essays will be penalized
Below is a list of essay topics. Remember, you are not required to pick a topic from this list:
- Can we know anything about the external world? In your response, either defend the
skeptical view of the world, or argue against the skeptical view.
- Is Hume correct that none of our reasoning about cause and effect is derived from our
experience? In your response, either defend Hume’s view against objections, or object to
Hume yourself and argue that he is wrong.
- Is Hume correct that we have no rational basis for believing the conclusions of inductive
- Moore thinks that he can give many proofs for the existence of the external world. Are the
proofs he provides truly proofs that an external world exist? If so, consider some
objections to Moore and answer them. If not, argue why his so-called proofs are not
proofs after all.
- In the “Theaetetus,” Socrates outlines three kinds of “accounts” that could possibly be
added to our true judgement to make knowledge. Consider one of these kinds of
accounts, and discuss whether Socrates’s and Theaetetus’s objections to them are
- Is knowledge justified truth belief? Using either Gettier’s or Zagzebski’s paper, consider
whether the JTB theory of knowledge can be defended.
- How can we modify the JTB theory of knowledge to make is sound? In your answer,
outline what is missing in the JTB account, and show how your contribution fixes what is
- Smart believes that sensations and brain processes are, upon final analysis, identical. Is he
correct in this view? Explain why or why not by considering one or more of the objections
he raises in his article.
- Nagel believes that physicalism cannot explain everything that happens within our minds.
Is this true? In your response, either defend Nagel’s view against one or two objections, or object to Nagel’s view yourself and argue that his view is false.
Type of service-Academic paper writing
Type of assignment-Essay
Pages / words-4 / 1100
Number of sources-0
Academic level-Freshman (College 1st year)
Language style-US English