Prompt 1: The problem: The relationship between the mind and the body The opposing philosophical positions: Cartesian Dualism and Physicalism (Use both Ryle and Putnam) – You will 1) Summarize both positions, 2) Explain the arguments for and against each opposing position (why does their position do a better job explaining the mind. You may use Nagel’s arguments in this part), 3) Offer your own assessment of the dialectic using your own examples and reasoning; which side you think offers a more plausible model of the mind and why? Prompt 2: The problem: What makes our actions moral? The opposing philosophical positions: Utilitarianism (use Bentham) and Kantianism. – You will 1) Summarize both positions, 2) explain how and when each position differs from one another with respect to their judgments of the moral worth of actions. Describe examples where they come to different conclusions. 3) Offer your own assessment of the dialectic by discussing which theory offers more or less plausible grounds for justifying our actions. You may end up siding with one over the other, agreeing with both, or disagreeing with both. Make sure to focus on the reasons why you came to this conclusion. Prompt 3: The problem: What aspects of our identity are fundamental to understanding what makes us a rational person? The (potentially) opposing philosophical positions: The Kantian account of personhood and the situated personhood of social epistemology. – You will 1) Summarize Kant’s account of what it is to be a person. Then, explain the importance of aspects of our situated identity in Mills’ and Fricker’s accounts of ignorance and responsibly listening to testimony. Offer your own assessment of each point of view and argue whether, with respect to understanding what we need to do in order to be rationality, these points of view are more likely to be incompatible or compatible. Make sure to focus on the reasons why you came to this conclusion.
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