Philosophy Essay – Reflect on the rational arguments

UWM Philosophy EssayWrite a 1500-word essay on ONE of the following 3 topics (500 points total).(1) Reflect on the rational arguments for the existence of God (arguments for basic theism) that we encountered this semester: the ontological argument, the argument from motion, the argument from efficient causality, the argument from contingency (particularly the form explicitly based on the principle of sufficient reason), the argument from gradation of being, the argument from design (particularly the considerations introduced by modern intelligent design theory), and Descartes’ cosmological-ontological argument. How do these arguments related to what, following Anselm, is called “perfect being theology” (that God is the greatest conceivable, and hence most perfect, being that we can contemplate)? Which of these arguments do you think is the strongest and is most readily defended against objections? Why? Explain and defend your answer.OR(2) We have considered the question of the nature of human consciousness and the existence of the soul at various points throughout the semester, focusing on issues of whether our self-awareness and our understanding of the world can be reduced to the material operation of our brains, whether the mind is like a computer program, and whether we have a mind or soul that survives the death of our physical bodies. This examination has involved discussion of Platonic and Cartesian arguments that my identity as a person (thinking being) is distinct from my material body/brain, it has involved consideration that my understanding is not reducible to electrochemical syntax or computer programming and that general artificial intelligence is unachievable in light of issues like John Searle’s Chinese Room Argument and the insurmountable challenge of Winograd schemas, and it has introduced evidence for disembodied (brain-decoupled) consciousness and existence from near-death experiences. Reflecting on all these issues and considerations, what do you think is the most defensible understanding of the relationship between the mind and the brain, what do you think the soul is, and what do you think is the most defensible position regarding the immortality of the soul? Defend your answer.(3) Discuss the factors that hindered and those that contributed helpfully to the development, staying-power, and flourishing of reasoned philosophical thought, natural philosophy, and modern science in the Latin West as opposed to the Byzantine East and the Islamic Caliphate, then give an account of the intellectual and cultural transition from the medieval period, through the Renaissance, into modernity and the Scientific Revolution in the modern West. Be sure to discuss the political, religious, and educational milieu in each cultural context, the misconceptions inherent in Andrew Dickson White’s conflict thesis regarding science and theology, and reasons for thinking that the transition from the medieval to the modern period was more one of degree than of kind in respect of (1) the role of mathematics in the description of nature, (2) the role of experimentation in discoveries about nature, (3) the role of mechanism and the mechanical philosophy in thinking about nature, and (4) the pursuit of prediction and technological control (techne) rather than epistemically certain knowledge (episteme) as a goal in relating to nature.Question 2You can earn up to 200 extra points by thoughtful answers to the following questions:Your answers to these questions will help the instructor evaluate whether any changes should be made to the way the course is run:a. Were the three chosen texts useful? Would you get rid of any of them? Why? (30 points)b. Were the PowerPoint slides helpful? Did they provide enough information? Explain. (20 points)c. Did the Philosopalooza class discussions contribute to your understanding? Explain. (30 points)d. Was writing the Philosopalooza play a useful learning experience and did it provide an opportunity for you work through a question that was meaningful to you and important for figuring out how to live your life? Explain your answer. (30 points)e. Did the multiple choice exams help you understand the course material and get a sense of the scope of the issues covered this semester? Explain. (30 points)f, Did the essay you just wrote as part of the final exam help you think through and consolidate your philosophical and historical knowledge on the topic you chose? Explain. (30 points)g. Would you change anything about how the course was run? If so, what would you change, why would you change it, and what would you do instead? (30 points) Plagiarism Free Papers
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