In this assignment, you will be asked to show that you can summarize and then compare two different philosophers’ ideas on the self. The issue of how we understand what the self is, and how it relates to our memory or our physical body and brain, is a recurring issue in philosophy.
This assignment supports the following unit objectives:
Compare and contrast a soul-based theory of the self (as illustrated by Descartes) with a psychological-based theory of the self (like that of Locke) and a skeptical view of the self (like that of Hume).
Articulate how memory relates to our definition of the self.
Articulate the identity theory of Locke.
Explain the connection between personhood and “consciousness” as articulated by Locke.
Compare Descartes and Locke’s views on personhood and guilt.
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Choose any two of the philosophers that we read in Unit 2. Recap each philosopher’s main view about consciousness/the self/personal identity. Explain at least one difference between the two philosophers’ views and state which view you prefer. Then, offer an argument (i.e., evidence) against the view that you reject.
Start with making a careful summary of two of the philosophers we read in Unit 2. What were their main concepts and definitions, what were their distinctions? How did they imagine that the self was different from the brain or different from the mind? Restate their theory and include “direct quotes”, specific references from their work.
Explain carefully how these views compare and contrast. Be sure to identify and explain at least one difference between the philosophers’ views. How do they define a key concept or make a major distinction differently?
State which view you prefer.
Offer an argument against the view that you reject.
The body of the essay must be 5-6 pages (1250-1500 words) in length.
12-point, Times New Roman font
Include a Title page
Include a Works Cited page – cite all quotations/paraphrases used by naming the author of the work, the tile and the chapter/section that you are citing from.
Properly use MLA in-text citations for paraphrasing and direct quoting (Purdue OWL MLA Formatting and Style Guide). Here is an example essay with MLA citations.
File Submissions: Please submit your file as a DOCX. or PDF file.
John C. Bean, in his book Engaging Ideas (2011) cites three ways that students tend to avoid a thesis or write in spite of the ones they have developed. Take care not to commit any of the following mistakes in your writing:
“And Then” Writing – “And Then” writing is essentially chronological, narrating a person’s life or series of events. Students often do this when they are asked to analyze text(s). They, instead, just tell you what happened, event by event. Or, you might see this in a literature review in which a student just summarizes the articles in the order in which they are read.
“All About” Writing – “All About” writing strives to say EVERYTHING about a topic or issue. The paper may be somewhat organized because the student has addressed things topically but s/he has also failed to produce a thesis or position that guides the paper. The topics are, then, not reasons for the thesis. The structure is inappropriate and ineffective in a thesis-governed paper.
“Data Dump” Writing – “Data Dumps” on the other hand have no apparent structure. There is little transition or cohesion between the things that are stated and discussed. The student has no guiding thesis, no guiding idea, and so s/he goes to Google and grabs it all. These are often the most likely to be plagiarized because the student is just cutting and pasting from websites (and occasionally books or journals). It is incomprehensible and unoriginal.
Plagiarism in any form is unacceptable. Please ask if you have questions about what constitutes plagiarism. Your words and your ideas must be your own. All papers submitted in this class are reviewed via Turnitin.com, a proprietary software database that identifies unoriginal material in papers. Please review the syllabus statement regarding the penalty for plagiarism.