Personal identity

  1. Since the time of John Locke, the problem of personal identity has been the focus of a great deal of philosophical discussion and debate.
    If you select this topic:
    (i) You should begin your paper with a clear and careful explanation of what the problem of personal identity is, and why many philosophers think it is important.
    (ii) You should then give a clear and careful explanation of the theory of personal identity that you would defend.
    (iii) Having stated your preferred theory, you should set out what you think are the best arguments for that theory. You should also explain why the theory you have chosen is preferable to one or two other leading theories.
    (iv) You should give a clear and careful statement of the strongest objection to the view you defend in (iii) and a clear and careful explanation of how you would respond to that objection.
    (v) Recently, some philosophers have argued that personal identity is actually much less important than philosophers have usually assumed. You should end your paper by explaining why these philosophers think that personal identity may be unimportant, and then explaining why you agree or disagree with them.
  2. Many philosophers think that there are objective answers to moral questions, and thus that moral claims are true or false in much the same way that mathematical, scientific, historical and other factual claims are. Other philosophers reject the view that moral questions have objective answers. Debates about the objectivity of ethics are closely connected to debates about what moral claims mean, and philosophers have offered a number of different accounts of the meaning of moral claims.
    If you select this topic:
    (i) You should explain clearly and carefully the meta-ethical theory that does the best job of specifying what you mean when you make moral claims.
    (ii) You should explain clearly and carefully what implications the meta-ethical theory you have explained in (i) has for the debate over the objectivity of ethics.
    (iii) You should then explain clearly and carefully what you take to be the best objections to the meta-ethical theory you have explained in (i).

(iv) After each objection you explain in (iii), you should explain clearly and carefully how you would respond to that objection.

You will be submitting only ONE draft of your third paper.
Due Date:
Your third paper is due on December 13.
Approximate Length: 2700 words.
You should use your own words, rather than quoting or closely paraphrasing other writers.

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