Introduction to Philosophy Reading and Discussion assignment


Answer the following questions, Be sure to number your answers, so they correspond with the questions.

Each answer to each question should be at least one paragraph or more. Answers may come from the textbook, from resources provided here in the course in Blackboard, and from your mind.

No work should be submitted from outside sources the Internet or other sources (there are a lot of bad resources on the internet, so stick with what is provided here – I’m interested in your ability to think through and discuss these issues, not copy from external sources). 

Be sure to use standard English grammar and spelling.

Chapter 4

1. Compare, contrast, and evaluate the views of John Searle and René Descartes on dualism.

2. Compare, contrast, and evaluate the views of George Berkeley and Thomas Hobbes on the mind.

3. Explain and evaluate what David Hume means by saying that we have no evidence of the self.

4. How is Hume’s view of the mind related to that of the Tibetan Master Milarepa’s on this subject?

Chapter 5

5. Explain, compare, and contrast the views of Anselm and Gaunilo regarding the Ontological argument.

6. Explain, contrast, and evaluate the views of Freud and Nietzsche, on the rationality of religious belief.

7. Explain, compare, and evaluate the views of Tolstoy and Kierkegaard, on the rationality of religious belief.

8. Explain and evaluate Pascal’s Wager. Would belief based on such an argument get you into heaven?

9. Explain and evaluate William Paley’s version of the design argument. Does the argument provide a rational basis for belief in some sort of creative intelligence behind the universe and life?

10. Explain and evaluate the problem of evil.

Chapter 6

11. Compare and contrast the main tenets of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism.

12. Explain in detail the connection between the Tao, Ying, and Yang.

13. Articulate how principles of Taoism serve as the foundation of the art of Feng Shui.

14. Explain and evaluate the views of Sogyal Rinpoche regarding death and human activity in the modern world ( from the readings at the end of chapter 6).

15. Consider and explain the evidence for reincarnation and the experience of other levels of reality presented in the chapter.