Philosophy Second Essay
1. The assignment we are concerned with is the “Philosophy Second Essay” which is the following:
In this essay you may select your own topic. It may relate to metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics or any combination of these.
Show off your understanding of at least three philosophers we discussed from Descartes onward through this week’s discussion of Nietzsche.
The length should be at least 700 words and include any references used, of course.
2. Your three philosophers for the 2nd essay should be from this list:
Descartes:Epistemology: Foundationalist, rationalist, Metaphysics: dualist, body and mind Ethics: virtue ethics based on learning the control of emotion.
Hobbes: Epistemology: Empiricist Metaphysics: monist, materialist. Ethics: Contractarian ethics is simply fulfilling our contracts, social contracts
Locke: Epistemology: Empiricist Metaphysics: Dualist. Primary and secondary substances Ethics: Natural Rights
Berkeley: Epistemology: Empiricist Metaphysics: Monist, idealism
Hume: Epistemology: Empiricist Metaphysics: Ethics, moral sentiments
Kant: Epistemology: Kantian Metaphysics: Transcendental Idealism. Ethics: Categorical Imperative; Aesthetics are a means to intuit truth outside of categories
Hegel:Epistemology: Dialectic. Metaphysics: Absolute Idealism; Aesthetics are a means to view the absolute will at work.
Kierkegaard:Epistemology: Subjective Phenomenolgy Ethics: Existentialism; Aesthetics are a way to transcend the horrors of life.
Marx:Epistemology: dialectic. Metaphysics: materialism. Ethics
Utilitarians: Bentham, James Mill, J. S. Mill: Ethics: Utilitarianism
Nietzsche: Epistemology: Subjectivist Metaphysics:Eternal Recurrence Ethics: Nihilism/Existentialism
3. Your topic should come from at least one of the following:
Epistemology; How we know what we claim to know?
Metaphysics: What there is?
Ethics: How should we live? What is good?
Aesthetics: What is Beauty?
Find philosophers who have positions that may relate to your question.
4. Your essay could be organized as follows: (not required just a suggestion for those new to such things.)
a) In the first paragraph put forth your question and why it is important to you.
b ) Explain which philosophers you will use and why
c) Take the earliest in time and present the position as it addresses the issue you are investigating. Be sure to show off your knowledge of that philosopher’s position as it pertains to your question.
d) Take the second in time and present the position as it addresses the issue you are investigating and show off as above.
e) Take the third in time and present the position as it addresses the issue you are investigating and show off as above.
f) Put forth your position about how you think the issue should be addressed. Give at least three reasons, or at least one or two, that support your position.
g) Consider any objections that others might make to your ideas and respond to them. For example, what would one or more of the three philosophers that you cite in your essay have to say about what you are arguing?
h) Summary statement and conclusion.
i) Bibliography of any resources used in developing the essay other than our textbook.