Critical essay (2-3 pages, APA format). Essay topics and guidelines are provide

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Critical essay (2-3 pages, APA format). Essay topics and guidelines are provided below. 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 001
Select one topic 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 (included here) for more specific instructions. Please be sure to document any sources that your discussion relies on or refers to.
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?
Explain the “religious epistemology problem” that Plato raises in the Euthyphro. Socrates wonders how Euthyphro can be so sure of what the gods approve and disapprove of. How do contemporary religious believers defend their claims to know God’s moral will?
Discuss the Socratic Mission as described in Plato’s Apology. What are the main
elements of Socrates’ ethical teachings? What role does religious belief and inspiration play in Socrates’ mission? What contemporary moralists remind you of Socrates?
Critically evaluate the arguments Socrates offers in the Apology to support the claim that it is irrational to fear death.
Select one or more traditional arguments for the existence of God (i.e., the cosmological or teleological argument) for critical evaluation.
Evaluate Blackburn’s critique of dualism in ch. 2 of Think.
What is the problem of evil (as defined in lecture and the text)? Evaluate one or more attempts to resolve this problem.
Explicate and evaluate William James’ defense of theism in The Will to Believe.
Pascal held that religious belief should be based on “inspiration” (i.e. religious experience) rather than logical argument. Explain and analyze his position.
Discuss the problem of free will and determinism. Which response to the problem (libertarianism, hard determinism, or compatibilism)
seems most promising and why? Please read Blackburn’s chapter and my lecture (Lecture on Free Will I was Caused to Write).
Analyze the skeptical arguments that Descartes presents in Meditation 1. What does Descartes think he has shown? What do you think Descartes has shown?
Evaluate Locke’s empiricist theory of the acquisition of knowledge.
Explain and evaluate Aristotle’s views on the acquisition of virtue and the nature of virtue as a mean between extremes.
Evaluate Kant’s categorical imperative by applying his theory to contemporary moral controversies.
Discuss the relative merits of Kantian ethics and utilitarianism by applying each theory to a contemporary moral controversy.
Evaluate Sartre’s argument for the claim that morality is subjective in Existentialism
and Humanism.
Explain how Tolstoy’s character Ivan Ilyich exemplifies what later existentialists describe as the inauthentic life. How, according to Tolstoy, does Ilyich overcome his inauthenticity?
Explain how Camus’ character, Meursault, exemplifies Camus’ atheistic existentialist outlook. Critically evaluate Camus’ contention that “nothing matters.” Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeThesis
Precise thesis stated in the introduction.
5 pts
Full Marks
0 pts
No Marks
5 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeOrganization and structure
The essay is well organized with an introduction, body and conclusion.
5 pts
Full Marks
0 pts
No Marks
5 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAdequate research
Adequate research on the selected topic informs the student’s discussion.
5 pts
Full Marks
0 pts
No Marks
5 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSyntax
The paper is relatively free of syntax errors (less than three).
5 pts
Full Marks
0 pts
No Marks
5 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeArgument strength
Thesis of the paper is defended with strong supporting arguments.
10 pts
Full Marks
0 pts
No Marks
10 pts

 

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