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METAPHYSICS Debate Question: What is the nature of reality?

 

Are you FOR or AGAINST Cartesian Dualism?

 

Descartes’ (Cartesian) Metaphysics: DUALISM

 

God = Infinite Immaterial Substance; transcendent, teleological substance.

 

Mind (Soul)

Body (brain)

Immaterial/Transcendent: No extension in time and space; transcendent

Material: Extended in time and space; measureable objectively

Consciousness

Matter in motion, governed by the laws of nature, e.g. physics, biology, etc.

Free will (thinking, affirming, denying)

Mechanism (Determinism)

Terminology: for Descartes, Soul = Mind =

Transcendent Substance

 

 

Select an opponent for dualism from these philosophical alternatives:

 

Darwin & Dennett

Monism

Sartre’s Existentialism

Nihilism

 

 

Instructions: Write a one page essay in which you:

 

  1. State your thesis for or against Cartesian dualism.
  2. Select (and include in your thesis statement) an opponent for Cartesian dualism: either Darwinian monism OR existentialist nihilism.
  3. Clarify the basis/criteria of your argument, e.g. logical, rational, parsimonious, common-sensical, etc.

 

EXAMPLE: “In this paper I will argue Cartesian dualism offers a more parsimonious explanation of reality than Darwinian monism.”

 

  1. Make an argument for your position and support it with an original analogy, e.g. reality is like a machine, e.g. clock or computer; or, mind/body relation is like a captain steering the ship.
  2. Consider and refute your opposition, including a critique of their analogy.
  3. Use only textual sources assigned in this course in the composition of your essay. Indicate the pages numbers, e.g. (23) for all references to text.

 

Reminders:

 

  • DO NOT USE ANY PHILOSOPHICAL SOURCES IN YOUR PAPER OTHER THAN THOSE ASSIGNED. This is not a research paper.
  • One page limit means keep it on one side of one piece of paper with standard margins. Everyone strive to respect this length limitation as an invitation to be concise, on point, towards an end-in view.

 

  • All written work for this class must be typed, single-spaced, font 11 or 12, with paragraph indentation, and must include a header with name, assignment #, due date, and section number. Please submit your paper in Canvas.

 

  • Essays handed in late will be assigned a 10% penalty, per day, beginning on the day it is due, at the beginning of class. You must submit your paper via Canvas 30 minutes before the start of class on the day it is due to count as on time.
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