Paper length: 1000 – 1500 words.
Late papers: Starting with week 2 any assignment submitted after the due date/time will receive a one-third grade point deduction (i.e., B to B-) for each week (or part thereof) following the due date.
Grading: The paper is graded on your understanding of the assigned readings and the lectures as well as on your ability to write in a clear and concise manner. You are neither required not encouraged to use sources other than the assigned readings and lecture slides.
Guidance: For general guidance on writing philosophy papers please consult the Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper. Please also read Plagiarism – Policies and Definitions. both texts are available at the top of the course website in the “Course Information” module.
Paper Prompts: Write on ONE of the following topics:
(1) The paradox of analysis is suggests that conceptual analysis is either false or uninformative. Explain the paradox of analysis and your favorite solution.
(2) Explain and defend your favorite definition of technology.
(3) Discuss the pros and cons of human gene patents from an ethical point of view.
(4) Explain the paradox of constitution. Ted Sider distinguishes four solutions to the paradox of constitution. Which of these solutions strikes you as plausible and why? What, if anything, is problematic about your favorite solution to the paradox of constitution?
(5) Explain the Ship of Theseus paradox. Explain the transitivity of identity. Why can we not solve the paradox by imposing a threshold of how many parts of thing (e.g., a ship) may be changed (e.g., 5%) before it is not the same thing any longer? How would you solve the Ship of Theseus paradox?
(6) “There are … no tables and chair, and there are no other artifacts. … Artisans do not create; not, at least, in the sense of causing things to exist. They rearrange objects in space and cause bonding relations to begin to hold or to cease to hold (as in the case of the sculptor who chips away at a block of marble) between objects …” (Peter can Inwagen, Material Beings, Cornell University Press 1990, p. 116). Do you agree with the view expressed in this quote? Explain your answer.
(7) According to Heidegger, what is the danger of modern technology? Do you agree with Heidegger? Explain your answer. According to Heidegger, how can we achieve a free relationship to technology? In what sense is the artistic/poetic orientation to the world free?
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