Project #34505 - Philosophy Writing Assignment

Answer ALL of the following questions.  In doing so, again, as on the first assignment, think of your audience as someone who has not taken our class and your job is to explain to this person what you have learned from our readings.

Again, as on the first assignment, YOU NEED TO CITE CAREFULLY and frequently where in our readings you are getting your information.  You are welcome to use parenthetical references and just cite the author and page number. For example, (Palmer, p. 5), or (Feinberg, p. 6) will suffice.  When your source is the material I have provided on our course blackboard site, you can just say (Introductory Comments to Unit _).

You DO NOT need to repeat the questions.  Just number your answers. 

Please submit this assignment by attaching a Microsoft Word file from your computer on the Upload Assignment page, using the link that allows you to browse your computer.  Submitting the exam in this way makes it easy for me to send you comments.

Be sure also to put your name and S Number on your assignment.

 

 

1.      What is Determinism?  Why, according to Palmer, did Paul Henri d’Holbach and Pierre Simon Laplace think this principle implied that freedom of the will is an illusion?  In his piece in Feinberg’s book, d’Holbach used an example involving a violent thirst to illustrate his view about free will.  What exactly is this example?  What is the point of his comparison of the will in this example to a bowl?

 

2.      What definition of free will did Walter Stace give?  How did he try to show his definition accords with the common usage of the word “free” in ordinary language?  What criticism of Stace’s compatibilism did James Rachels give in his piece, “The Debate Over Free Will,” in Feinberg’s book?  Who do you think is right – Stace or Rachels?  Why?

 

3.      What, according to Palmer, is indeterminism?  What support for this belief was provided by the physicist Werner Heisenberg?  What implication for free will did Heisenberg think could be drawn from his “principle of uncertainty?” Why, according to Palmer, does Heisenberg’s philosophical conclusion about free will not follow logically from his discovery in physics?  James Rachels calls Heisenberg’s defense of free will the “Argument that the Universe is Not a Deterministic System.”  What criticism of this argument does he raise?

 

4.      In his piece in Feinberg’s book, Rachels also considers the claim that “if people do not have free will, then they are not responsible for what they do.”  In fact, Rachels argues that this claim is false, that “our common sense understanding of responsibility is perfectly compatible with Determinism.”  How does he defend his view on this topic?  Do you think he is right?  Why or why not?

 

 

Subject Philosophy
Due By (Pacific Time) 07/01/2014 12:00 am
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