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This is the first required paper assignment for the course. Pick only 1 of the two paper topics listed below. Your paper should be between 1000-1200 words maximum. It should contain an introductory paragraph, a descriptive section (that will consist of multiple paragraphs), a critical analytic section (that will consist of multiple paragraphs) and a concluding paragraph. A video explaining the structure of each essay in more detailed terms and what I am looking for will be posted by January 15, 2021.phil2050_essay_assignment_1.docx

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PHIL2050G Scientific Search for the Mind Paper Assignment #1 Due February 1, 2021 at 11:55 p.m. Topics, Guidelines and Grading Rubric This is the first required paper assignment for the course. Pick only 1 of the two paper topics listed below. Your paper should be between 1000-1200 words maximum. It should contain an introductory paragraph, a descriptive section (that will consist of multiple paragraphs), a critical analytic section (that will consist of multiple paragraphs) and a concluding paragraph. A video explaining the structure of each essay in more detailed terms and what I am looking for will be posted by January 15, 2021. Topic 1: Descartes in the 2nd Meditation. In his Meditations on First Philosophy, René Descartes puts forward an argument in support of the idea that minds and bodies are separate and distinct kinds of things. His argument has two parts. First, he attempts to arrive at knowledge about which he can be certain. Second, he uses a thought experiment (the example of the wax) as a basis to identify precise differences between minds (thinking things) and bodies. Reconstruct these two parts of Descartes’ argument in your own words. Then, critically evaluate both parts. In order to do this, in the first part of the essay after the introduction, your aim will be to reconstruct the two arguments in concise detail. Then, in the second part of the essay, your aim will be to critically evaluate both arguments, by putting forward your own reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with Descartes’s reasoning and/or his conclusions. Topic 2: Descartes in Treatise on Man. In Treatise on Man, René Descartes describes humanlike fictional beings who exhibit specific kinds of behaviors (e.g., reflexive responses to stimuli). Descartes explains a simple reflex response that these beings exhibit by detailing parts of these beings that are imperceptible to the naked eye (“parts which are too small to be seen”) and the step-by-step activities in which these parts engage to bring the reflex response about. Descartes goes on to describe what happens “when God unites a rational soul to this machine”. For this essay, reconstruct Descartes’ step-by-step explanation of a simple reflex and describe what changes in these beings both in terms of the kinds of experiences they can have and what causes those experiences, when “a rational soul” is added. For the second part of the essay, critically evaluate Descartes’ account of these human-like beings. Your evaluation may be positive, negative or a mix of the two. Guidelines Submission guidelines. We will be grading these papers anonymously, please put only your student number at the top of each page (in the header). You must submit the paper via Turn-It-In on the Owl course website by 11:55 p.m. on February 1, 2021. There will be a submission button for the paper, where you will upload it as a Word attachment. (NO PDFS- 10 points lost for PDFS) Formatting guidelines. • • • • • • This is to be an 1000-1200 word, double-spaced, 1.0 margins on all sides, paper (title and bibliography will not be counted in word count) No need for a title page and no fancy title required; a simple title will do (e.g., “The Wax Example Doesn’t Work” or “Evidence for Causal Interaction in Dualism is Weak”) at the center of the top of the first page (with your student number centered underneath) Please make sure to number the pages and make sure your student number is on every page (in the header). The paper should have a very brief introduction with a thesis statement that indicates the aims of your paper. It should also have a very brief conclusion, indicating what you have done in the paper. The rest of the paper should be structured so as to make sure that you do what the assignment asks you to do. You must include a bibliography at the end of your paper. Precise style does not matter here. – You are not to cite my lecture notes. You must cite the primary readings and where relevant, secondary readings. For articles from journals or edited volumes, you are to identify the author, title, source (the book or journal in which the article appears), page numbers and year of publication of the article. Guidelines for citations. • You should direct quotes from those texts that have been assigned for the course. Direct quotes are to be in quotation marks and the author’s name, year of publication and page number of the quote are to be included in the sentence that contains the quote, typically in parentheses. Examples: Descartes (1623, p. 1) claims “I am a thing that thinks”. • Explain the ideas in your own words (not in my words!). Also, no quotes longer than 4 lines of text. As long as you make clear in the in-text citations and bibliography the texts used, the year of publication and the page numbers so that we are able to check proper citation, you will receive full credit. Grading Rubric This paper is worth 20% of your grade and is worth 100 points. Here is the point breakdown: 1. Structure of essay (introductory paragraph that explains what you intend to do in the paper, expository (descriptive and evaluative) paragraphs, concluding paragraph): 10 points 2. Clarity of prose (proper use of English language for formal writing; complete sentences (i.e., no sentence fragments): 15 points 3. Proper citation of quotations and bibliography: 10 points [You are required to cite the primary readings (either the Meditations (Question 1) or Treatise on Man (Question 2)) and you may also mention and cite the Fancher and Rutherford if relevant to do so.] 4. Thorough treatment of descriptive components of paper (adequate description of philosophical ideas under consideration—adequate treatment of Descartes’s ideas): 30 points 5. Argument structure/critical analysis (e.g., critical evaluation of philosophical ideas under consideration): 30 points 6. Formatting: double-spaced, page numbers, adheres to word limit: 5 points Please refer to the policies on plagiarism listed on the course syllabus, which apply to all work you do for this course. …

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