University of Wisconsin Philosophy Essay


Choose ONE of the following prompts to answer. Write an essay response that reflects your understanding of the course material, including the pertinent arguments and issues to your topic. Your essay should be double-spaced and 6-8 pages long. Your essay should be well thought out and organized. It should be written in clear and un-plagiarized language with correct punctuation and grammar usage. If you do use outside sources or the text, please cite using MLA format and include a bibliography also using MLA format. Information on the proper use of MLA format can be found here: : edu/owl/resource/557/01” class=”external” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”> (Links to an external site.)

Choose prompt A, B, or C:

Depending on what prompt you choose, I’ll send you in-text sources that you can use for the essay.

A) Explain and evaluate the scientific, Darwinian view of human nature as it compares and contrasts with the traditional Western rationalistic and religious views. Identify the comparative strengths and weaknesses of each view, and then discuss where you stand on this issue. When explaining your view be sure to provide justification for your view, and explain how you would respond to pertinent objections. How would you respond to the following: Hobbes’ materialism, Cartesian mind/body dualism, the feminist challenge, and the notion of free will from an existentialist perspective. Be specific and provide examples.

B) Explain and evaluate the view known as transcendental idealism (Kant). Compare and contrast it with empiricism and rationalism. How does Kant solve the dichotomy between empiricism and rationalism? In doing so, be sure to discuss Kant’s distinction between noumena and phenomena and how knowledge of each differs from that of the other. Furthermore, compare and contrast transcendental idealism to the views of pragmatism and antirealism (as Discussed in chapter 3). Is Kant a pragmatist or an antirealist? Why or why not? Lastly, in discussing this view, be sure to offer your stance on transcendental idealism—does it comport with your epistemology? Why or why not? Provide examples and be specific.

C) Explain and evaluate the positions of determinism, libertarianism and compatibilism (soft determinism). How does each of these view understand the notion of human freedom? What is the appeal of each view and what are the issues facing each of them? Be sure to discuss the impact (or conflicts) that these views have on the topics of science (and causal laws) and morality (responsibility and culpability). Finally, what is your position on the issue of free will? Are you a determinist, a libertarian, or compatibilist and why? Be sure to justify your position with arguments and evidence. If possible, provide examples and be specific.