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Descartes and Hume Comparison essay

Does Matthew have a soul?
Of Descartes and Hume, which philosopher would agree with which sister and why?
(Hint: there is a right answer to this question. One will agree with one sister, and the other philosopher with the other.)

Present one paragraph succinctly paraphrasing the sisters’ situation, ending with a thesis statement answering the questions above. (This may be a rewrite of your first paragraph from your first paper.)

Present one page [500 words] answering the question from the perspective of Descartes.
Make sure to explain and apply all relevant arguments we have read this semester.
In doing so, answer the following questions: What is Descartess basic orientation and methodology? How does this lead him to prove that there is such a thing as the soul, as distinguished from the body, and in the process argue that we are capable of acquiring truth independently of bodily experience?
(This will be a rewrite of your Descartes Writing assignment)
Which of the sisters would be more likely to adopt Descartes’ arguments along this line?
How would she apply these arguments to Matthew’s situation?
How might the other sister criticize these arguments and their application?

Present a page [500 words] answering the question from Hume’s perspective. Make sure to explain and apply all relevant arguments we have read this semester. In doing so, answer the following questions:
What is Humes methodology and basic orientation, including his theory of mental activity? What does Hume mean by the following passage:
When we run over libraries, persuaded of these principles, what havoc must we make? If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.
What does this passage imply for Matthews situation? How might the other sister respond to these arguments and their application?

Present a third page evaluating the comparative worth of the two answers presented so far. Does Matthew have a soul? Which do you most agree with, disagree with, why?

Present a fourth page answering the question for yourself. Should they pull the plug? What is your answer to the question, and why?

As far as having the other sister respond, you can go about in several ways:
(a) disagree with the philosopher directly (e.g., point out a weakness in his argument);
(b) disagree with the application of the philosopher to this situation;
(c) use another aspect of the philosophers theory that would support the other sisters conclusion.

Your essay MUST include a) a word count b) in-text citations and c) a works cited page. Entries which do not meet this requirement will not be accepted or will be heavily penalized, per Course Grading guideline instructions.

 

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