INSTRUCTIONS: This assignment consists of two short essay questions. The main intent of these questions is to ensure that you have a sound grasp of the fundamentals of the material presented in this unit. To that end, there is a 3 to 4 page (1000 words) limit for this question. I’m not so concerned with whether you agree with a particular author or not. The quality of your answer is based on your exposition of the competing positions, your comparative analysis of those positions and, lastly, your argument in support of the position you defend.
As with all the assignments in this course, these questions are not designed to be a “research” questions. There is no requirement to get material from external sources such as websites like Wikipedia. In fact, doing so can count against you. The point of your essays is to formulate the course material and develop your critical response. You can do this by working with the course material and developing your own ideas about the issue. The essay is simply your opportunity to set that out in paper.
So, the material you need to successfully complete this assignment can be found in the online course materials available through the course website. There may also be some reading material that is part of the hard copy course readings package. You can find this information on the course materials section of the course website.
Questions: (The total possible mark for this assignment is 100 marks.)
1. The Mind/Body problem involves the following two positions: Substance Dualism and Materialism. In your own words, provide a concise formulation of the Descartes’ Substance Dualism. In your own words, provide a concise formulation of Materialism. In particular, explain the distinction between Reductive Materialism and Eliminative materialism. In light of the criticisms offered of both Substance Dualism and Materialism, which account is more plausible? Explain why. (70 marks.)
2. The philosophical problem of personal identity involves two positions offered by John Locke and David Hume. Explain these competing accounts as they are provided by the authors included in our course readings. Which account offers the most plausible response to the problem? Explain why. (30 marks.)