Consider the following philosophical puzzle

Philosophical Essay: You will write a two-part 5-6 page essay using our Library Guide for PHIL101 and our Online Library to answer one of the following questions:

1.  According to Socrates, must one heed popular opinion about moral matters?  Does Socrates accept the fairness of the laws under which he was tried and convicted?  Would Socrates have been wrong to escape?

2.  Is it possible to have a theory of morality and to be moral without being dependent upon religious belief and practice?  The course materials to answer this question are in Week Six.

3.  Consider the following philosophical puzzle: “If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?” (1) How is this philosophical puzzle an epistemological problem? And (2) how would John Locke answer it?

4.  Evaluate the movie, The Matrix, in terms of the philosophical issues raised with (1) skepticism and (2) the mind-body problem. Explain how the movie raises questions similar to those found in Plato’s and Descartes’ philosophy. Do not give a plot summary of the movie – focus on the philosophical issues raised in the movie as they relate to Plato and Descartes.

5.  Socrates asks Euthyphro, “Are morally good acts willed by God because they are morally good, or are they morally good because they are willed by God?” (1) How does this question relate to the Divine Command Theory of morality? (2) What are the philosophical implications associated with each option here?

6.  Explain (1) the process by which Descartes uses skepticism to refute skepticism, and (2) what first principle does this lead him to? (3) Explain why this project was important for Descartes to accomplish.

Building off of the Thesis Statement, and Resources that you submitted in Week 4, the entire 5-6 page (excluding Works Cited) Philosophical Essay Part 2 is due by 11:55pm, ET, Sunday of Week 7, and will be graded according to the rubric categories.

Essay Part 2: At the end of week 7 the entire 5-6 page (excluding Works Cited) Philosophical Essay is due and will be graded according to the following rubric categories.

Grading Rubric for Part 2: Complete Philosophical Essay Due at the end of Week 7

Purpose: The writing engages the reader with an insightful approach to the subject through a clear presentation of complex and interrelated ideas. The writing fully, accurately, and clearly identifies the relevant issues in the question.  Points 25

Support: The writing develops ideas through careful explanations which are supported by reliable and relevant evidence based on appropriate research. Claims are supported and explained rather than simply asserted. Quotes and examples are used appropriately to support ideas and claims. The essay is written in the third person objective voice, rather than in the first person “I” subjective voice.  Points 25

Organization, Clarity, and Formatting: The writing flows smoothly and reasonably from a well-defined thesis. Ideas and concepts are fully developed, clear, and organized. Main ideas are not lost in surrounding supporting evidence. The essay is formatted in MLA style and adheres to the additional guidelines detailed in the syllabus.  Points 25

Syntax, Style, Grammar: The writing contains sentences that are always complete and grammatically correct, and free of confusion and ambiguity.  Points 25

Notes on Student Resources, Assignment Labeling, Formatting, and Submitting:

  1. APUS has many excellent online resources and tutorials for college research/essay writing, proper citation using uses MLA style, general layout, etc. All of these resources and can be found by accessing our Library Guide for PHIL101. You must be logged into the Online Library for all links to work.
  2. Forum posts are to be submitted as a “reply” to the prompt thread. Make sure to click the related assignments tab below the text box prior to submitting.
  3. Submit written assignments as Microsoft Word .doc or .docx files only, and with your last name and the assignment title. For example: Smith Essay Part 1.


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