Write a thesis statement of your own choice.  Analyze it, defend it, and consider objections to it. 

Choose one of the prompts below. 1200-1800 words.

 

In the beginning of the Meditations, Descartes uses dreams to show that we cannot be certain of even basic knowledge.  Present Descartes’ argument, and then critically evaluate this argument.  Does the fact that we sometimes dream undermine the possibility of certain knowledge?  Could we be wrong about our basic perception of the world?  Why or why not?

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We encountered two different accounts of what a person is, each with its own serious difficulties—Materialism (and, e.g., the problems of qualia and intentionality) and Dualism (and, e.g., the problem of causal interaction).  Choose just one of these theories, present the major difficulties it faces, and explain how the theory in question (or a slightly revised version of it) might overcome these difficulties.
Consider an ethical dilemma you’ve encountered in the past, in which it was difficult to know the right thing to do.  Explain the dilemma, and compare and contrast Utilitarianism, Kant, and Aristotle on which option should be chosen, and why.  Critically evaluate the responses given by each of these theories: all things considered, which theory seemed to do best with this example?  Which seemed to do worst?  Why?

 

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Write a thesis statement of your own choice.  Analyze it, defend it, and consider objections to it.  The thesis statement must be from among the topics we’ve covered, and you must get my approval/feedback via email before working on your own customized thesis statement.
 
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