Choose two topics in introduction to philosophy assessment

This is a paper that is requiring the student to choose two topics in introduction to philosophy assessment. The paper also provides additional information to use in the writing of the assignment paper. Below is the assessment description to follow:

Choose two topics in introduction to philosophy assessment

Introduction to Philosophy

Choose two of the following topics (2-3-page each).

4-6 pages per total, double-spaced, font size 12

1. Firstly, present the main transformations in consciousness –Humanism, Reformation, Science. Focus on and discuss one in particular. Explain your choice.

2. Secondly, present Descartes’ rationalist epistemology contained in the formula, Dubito ergo cogito, Cogito ergo sum (I doubt therefore I think, I think therefore I am) in relation to his metaphysical dualism of the res cogita (minds) and res extensa (bodies) (Descartes, Discourse on Method; Meditations on First Philosophy).

Descartes writes:

Accordingly, from the fact that I have gained knowledge of my existence without noticing anything about my nature or essence, except that I am a thinking thing, I can rightly conclude that my essence consists solely in the fact that I am a thinking thing. It’s possible that I have a body which is very tightly bound to me. But on the one hand, I have a clear and distinct idea of myself insofar as I am just a thinking and unextended thing, and, on the other hand, I have a distinct idea of my body insofar as it is an extended and unthinking thing. It’s certain, then, that I am really distinct from my body and can exist without it. (Rene Descartes, Meditation vi)

Choose two topics in introduction to philosophy assessment

In this passage and the passage on the analogy human body-clock or machine Descartes articulates a position of metaphysical dualism. He identifies the essence of the human being as the thinking thing or substance and that of the body as the extended unthinking thing or substance, i.e., a clock/machine. According to Descartes, what is the difference between the body and the mind? What is the relationship of the body to the mind? Where do the two interact? Does Descartes’ theory make sense? Is it an adequate description of your own understanding of body and mind, your own experience or intuition? Give an example that would prove or disprove Cartesian dualism.

3. Thirdly, present the main articulations of Locke’s epistemological empiricism: his denial of innate ideas, the theory of the mind as a tabula rasa, the common sense metaphysical assumption of the existence of the self, the world, and God (Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding)
4. Fourthly, compare Descartes’ rationalism with Locke’s empirical position. Descartes considers that reason can find certain knowledge and truth, while Locke argues that the mind is a tabula rasa on which experience writes throughout life. What are the problematic, vulnerable aspects in either theory or both? Which one of these two theories of knowledge is more attractive and better fits your own experience? Explain and illustrate.

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