Introduction to Philosophy, Fall 2020 Second Paper Assignment Use Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, double-spaced. Use page numbers. Word Count: 800 – 1000 (include word count on first page) Due date: Dec. 1st (by 11:59 pm) Submit your paper via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org Lateness penalty: 2/3 grade per 24-hour period Note: As always, you are free to make a Teams (or Zoom or Skype, etc.) office hours appointment with me (schedule it via email). I will not read drafts of papers, but I will answer specific questions about papers via email. Additional Instructions/pointers: • If you make a claim, give an argument for it. • Quote the text you are discussing only very sparingly, if at all. I want to see that you can accurately reconstruct the relevant argument(s) in your own words. • Do not consult or incorporate any outside readings or sources (e.g. Wikipedia, Sparknotes, Youtube, secondary literature, etc.). • Say no more than what the prompt asks you to say. • Be creative in thinking of possible objections and responses. However, aside from the objections and responses you come up with, this is not an assignment that asks you to be creative. So don’t, for example, propose your own terminology or theory. • Don’t wait until the night before the deadline—or even the night before that—to start writing your first draft. That will not turn out well for you! Start early and keep revising. Write an essay in response to exactly one of the following prompts. Prompt 1 After explaining what Searle means by ‘strong AI’, explain his “Chinese Room” example and how it is supposed to work as an argument against strong AI. Of the objections to his argument that Searle addresses, which do you think is the most successful? Explain that objection, and what you think makes it the most successful of the objections that Searle considers. Next, explain and critically evaluate Searle’s response to the objection you have chosen. In order to critically evaluate it properly, you need to (a) be charitable to Searle, (b) come up with an interesting and plausible reason to doubt that Searle’s response is successful, and then (c) decide for yourself—via arguments/reasons that you yourself come up with and include in your paper—whether the reason you discuss in (b) ultimately defeats Searle’s response. Prompt 2 After introducing the problem of diachronic personal identity, explain both the body theory and the psychological continuity theory. In your (informed philosophical) opinion, which one of these two is best defended by philosophical argument(s)? What is the best objection to the theory you have chosen? What is the best response to that objection? In the end, do you believe that the theory of personal identity on which you have chosen to focus is true? Defend all your philosophical claims (including, of course, your answers to the questions in this prompt) with an argument. Choose one prompt 1 or two
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