Category Archives: Philosophy

read a primary source selection from the end of each chapter, then write a short summary that identifies the thesis and outlines the main argument. 

· “Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals” by Immanuel Kant (starting on page 146)

Assignments which do not meet these requirements will be graded accordingly:

1. Reading Summaries should be a minimum of 250 words and a maximum of 500 words (approximately 1-2 pages in standard formatting)

2. All reading summaries must follow standard formatting requirements. (That is, standard margins, font size, and paragraph spacing is observed. Students cannot manipulate font size, margins, and paragraph spacing to meet length requirements.)

3. Reading Summaries require that you read a primary source selection from the end of each chapter, then write a short summary that identifies the thesis and outlines the main argument.  Reading summaries are not about your opinion or perspective – they are expository essays that explain the content of….

1- What is knowledge, and is it more valuable than belief? If yes, tell us why you think it is more valuable, and if not, what do you think is responsible for our fascination with knowledge?

2- Does it make sense to say that a statement or belief is true for a particular person? Can a truth be simply subjective? Give some examples, and explain what significance to give to the above expressions “is true for.”

3- If a belief makes a person who believes it happier and more secure, does that make it true in any sense?

4- If there were facts, what would they be?

5- Bertrand Russell once wrote, “Better the world should perish than I or any other human being should believe a lie.”….

demonstrate the student’s ability to write in proper grammatical sentences and use proper paragraph structure.

  The first paper is a short reflection usually on an experience involving a class activity. Given our current circumstances, the topic for this term’s reflection will be the covid-19 pandemic. I would like you to reflect on how the pandemic has affected your life. You may include any relevant research, but it is not required. I am more interested on your own personal reflections about the pandemic and what it has meant to you. The Reflection Paper must be at least two pages in length, double-spaced, normal 1-inch margins, and 11- or 12-point type in an easy-to-read font (e.g. Calibri, Arial, Cambria or Times New Roman). Papers should demonstrate the student’s ability to write in proper grammatical sentences and use proper paragraph structure. Be sure to include your….

Give a short synopsis of each of the four stories mentioned above.

As we learned with Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, philosophy has much to do with logic and argumentation to get to the truth about various issues we all face. Asian Philosophy also relies on logical reasoning as for example with the Nyaya school of Hinduism, and in China, The School of Names and the Mohists. But both the Greeks and the Chinese also harbor philosophers who believed that language gets in the way of thinking better. They used humor instead.  The Greek philosopher who is a master of comedy and repartee is Diogenes, the Cynic. He used his quick wit to ridicule the mindless and arrogant, including Alexander the Great. The Asian master of wit and storytelling is the Daoist, Zhuangzi (sometimes spelled Chuang-Tzu).

Zhuangzi is a master storyteller….

conduct a “mini-ethnography” over a period of a day or several days.

Ethnography of the Familiar…or the Unfamiliar  30%

This assignment requires students to conduct a “mini-ethnography” over a period of a day or several days. Like all ethnographies, you should follow ethical guidelines (e.g., “do no harm” and “obtain informed consent”) employ participant observation, interviews, and a variety of other ethnographic methods while writing up extensive field notes and exploring thick description as a mode of observation and cultural translation. Given our unusual circumstances and recognizing that you may be at home, living with family, etc. this assignment is flexible. You may choose between a micro-ethnography of the familiar or a micro-ethnography of the unfamiliar. You will conduct your ethnography, complete with fieldnotes, and write up your observations and findings in a short visual essay. You should include photos or other graphic representations of the….

explain whether it lives up to the standards of philosophy.

Suppose someone tries to show that we should believe God exists like this: Any proposition is either true or false. Thus, there is a 50% chance that any proposition is true. Since “God exists” is a proposition, there is at least a 50% chance that God exists. If there’s a 50% chance that God exists, it makes sense to believe that he does. Thus, we should believe that God exists.

Put this argument in your paper. Then, explain whether it lives up to the standards of philosophy. If you say it does, explain why. If you say it does not, explain why. Use 4 to 5 sources to help support your position.

evaluate the arguments Socrates offers in the ​Apology​ to support the claim that it is irrational to fear death.

2-3 page essay on one of the following topics. Research recommended. Use the Blackburn book as a source when possible.

Essay Topics for Philosophy 1

Select topics from the list below. Consult with the instructor first if you wish to write on a different topic. Refer to the handout ​Writing Philosophy Papers ​for more specific instructions. Please be sure to ​document ​any sources that your discussion relies on or refers to.

1. Using Plato’s ​Euthyphro​ as a starting point, discuss the relationship between morality and religion. Is morality created by divine command or do such commands conform to moral principles that are independent of God?

2. Explain the “religious epistemology problem” that Plato raises in the Euthyphro​.

How do contemporary religious believers defend their claims to know God’s….

create more and more sophisticated machines, and develop materials so that we can build robots that look exactly like humans – how are we going to be able to tell if they are ‘thinking’ or ‘conscious’ or not?

Topic 4 continued: Can machines be said to ‘think’? We know they can ‘compute’, and we know that brains also ‘compute’. So what is the difference between a computer and a brain? If Physicalism is true, could we build a machine that could be said to have a ‘mind’ like a human?

Required reading:

3) Alan Turing, ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’ 

Actions(Excerpted from Mind (Links to an external site.), 1950, 49: 433-460, annotated by)

3) John Searle,’Minds, Brains & Computers’ 

Actions(Excerpted from The Behavioral & Brain Sciences (Links to an external site.), 1980, Vol. 3, annotated by )

Media:

One issue connected with the question of whether the mind is, or is not simply the same thing as the brain, is the question of whether a machine could ever be said to be thinking. If the mind is really just, at….

provide background information on the public health issue and explain why it is relevant and/or prevalent.

You will do this project in a group of 5 or less. Each group or individual will sign up to present on a public health issue and intervention of their choice. They will provide background information on the public health issue and explain why it is relevant and/or prevalent. They will also determine if some of the factors discussed throughout the course (i.e. urbanization, vulnerable populations, health disparities, social determinants of health, public health ethics, health literacy, etc.) were major factors in the development and implementation of the intervention that they choose to highlight. The groups or individuals will prepare a presentation of their information as well as a paper to depict their findings. The presentation can be in any form including, but not limited to, a PowerPoint….