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University Degree: Philosophy and Theology

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 5
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    Outline the arguments for and against life after death?

    3 star(s)

    Dualism is believed mainly in religions such as Islam. Dualism states that the world is made up of two elemental categories which are incommensurable. This includes distinctions between mind and body, good and evil and universal and particular. Dualism supports the claim that each mind is an individual package that is attached to a physical being. From this theory our mental states and actions derive from uniqueness of our non physical substance. The great philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650), proposed several theories that make an important contribution to the ideas surrounding dualism. Descartes' idea of what is called Cartesian Dualism first proposed the idea of the mind and body relationship.

    • Word count: 2843
  2. Marked by a teacher

    What kind of claim is, 'cogito ergo sum'?

    Despite being unable to provide any characteristics of 'I' Descartes believes he has established that he is at least 'something', which is an improvement from the First Meditation. After coming to this conclusion, Descartes is confused as to why he has a 'more distinct grasp of things which I realise are doubtful...than I have of that which is true'. In light of such analysis Descartes attempts to show that his concluding claim, 'cogito ergo sum' is unshakably sound and thus one of certainty.

    • Word count: 2583
  3. Connectionism. his essay critiques the connectionist model, with specific references made to the neurological plausibility of the model, the differences the connectionist model has with the classical theory of mind and the strengths and weaknesses of the

    It will be argued that connectionism provides a more suitable conceptual basis for theorizing the mind than classical theory. The connectionist model of the brain has derived from the findings of neuroscience. It has been established that the brain is the part of the body where all cognitive processes occur (Plunkett, 2000). Poersch (2005) describes the brain as a "complex ... parallel computer" (p. 170). The brain is composed of large numbers of densely interconnected neurons, which are separated by a small gap called the synapse. Effectively, information is passed from neuron to neuron via the synapse (See appendix 1).

    • Word count: 2163
  4. Does quantum mechanics, in particular the phenomena of superposition and entanglement, provide a case for the revision of classical logic?

    Despite this, I shall conclude that - while we are not compelled to revise classical logic - the priority of logic over empirical theorising has not escaped unscathed. Superposition Described Out of all of quantum mechanics, it is perhaps the phenomena of superposition and entanglement which most clearly undermine classical logic. A superposition of states describes how a system may be not just in any given state, but also somewhere 'in between'. An often-used experiment to demonstrate various aspects of quantum theory is that of the 'two slit experiment'.

    • Word count: 2684
  5. Questioning Abortion. Marquis's argument gives us the view that we lack when looking at abortion. He states that it is prima facie wrong killing an innocent adult human. This is wrong because it deprives us of our future. However, on the other hand, Sum

    In other words, when it develops sentient. (Sumner at p. 7)4 After a close examination of the two presented arguments, I will prove that viewing abortion with Marquis's argument gives us a better understanding of the fetus and it should be promoted. I will also develop two arguments to show that Sumner's argument is weak. Firstly, I will argue that giving the child up for adoption is better than abortion. Secondly, I will highlight that contraception is completely different than abortion.

    • Word count: 2764
  6. Do you agree with Jeremy Benthams dismissive view of human rights as rhetorical nonsense upon stilts?

    All you can hear is a bang, a crash. Then, I assume, there is no perfect situation as we all live in imperfect circumstances. But what makes us different is our point of view and all the different approaches to one and the same topic. This essay aims to reveal some of the main ideas concerning positive and negative liberty in a discussion between their advocates. Negative liberty is the kind of liberty where people are free to the extent to which they are not prevented of making choices of their own.

    • Word count: 2209
  7. World Poverty and Human Rights Philosophy Essay. This philosophy essay is critical analysis of Section One of Jan Narvesons (2005) article, Welfare and Wealth, Poverty and Justice in Today's World. My analysis defends the egalitarianian cosmopolitanis

    These three clams have been and can be again, readily refuted and dispersed. In fact is it more likely that writers like Pogge will strongly argue the principles of egalitarianism to be quite the opposite of Narverson's emphatic concerns. Narveson is quick to claim that egalitarianism, if at all feasible as a moral theory, has been unhelpfully defined. He sees egalitarianism as the moral theory that "all persons have a general right, as against all other persons, to be supplied with (if they do not already have and cannot on their own acquire)

    • Word count: 2911
  8. Compare Aristotle and Locke on private property. How are their views similar? different?

    Aristotle believed that happiness in life was achieved through public participation in society, mainly politics. Aristotle fervently believed that practical reasoning guides moral virtues by humans. Aristotle claims that humans need to find a middle ground in any situation regarding virtuousness. The Aristotelian justification for the ownership of private property is explained as, "virtuous citizen should be an owner of property" in order to best serve the larger community. In this respect, Aristotle says man needs to find the mean between extravagance and stinginess in land ownership as in any other human practice. Aristotle speculates on how much land or possessions a man should truly have; he believes man needs to find the mean between extravagance and stinginess for all situations in life.

    • Word count: 2038
  9. Compare and contrast Foucault's understanding of the Enlightenment with that of Horkheimer and Adorno.

    from modernity, the views of the Frankfurt School, more explicitly historical materialist, engage in a complicated understanding of the period which is at once both disavowal and reclamation. The difference is one of focus; whilst Foucault looks for the Enlightenment in the Enlightenment itself, Adorno and Horkheimer's understanding is one firmly grounded in the paucity of modern culture, highlighting how, to quote Gibson & Rubin (2002: 9): "Enlightenment reason had lost its liberating potential in the age of monopoly capitalism."

    • Word count: 2807
  10. Insider epistemology

    I would like to focus on this second approach. Whether we are speaking about youths from troubled backgrounds with an early criminal record, or about a far-off tribe with seemingly strange customs, or about the way of life of monks in the 13th century; the belief is that unless we were there to experience what they did, or unless we belong to their 'group', we have no way of understanding them.

    • Word count: 2354
  11. The Problem of Free WIll

    Determinism: Everything Has A Cause Determinism is the view that rests on the assumption that everything has a cause. "All doctrines of determinism imply that given the past and the laws of nature at any given time, there is only one possible future. Whatever happens is therefore inevitable" (Kane 285). What does this imply? It simply implies that "we could not have chosen otherwise" (Feinberg and Shafer-Landau 410). To illustrate this position further, I will explore Paul Holbach's version of hard-determinism.

    • Word count: 2390
  12. Patriachy in Nepal

    This exclusion would only serve to further perpetuate the social concept of a patriarchy, due to the fact that is was men whom were creating the laws, allowing further restrictions to be placed upon women (1980, Rifkin, 90). This emergence of a male dominated society, as stated before, is an ancient one, that has stood the test of time in many modern day undeveloped and developing nations, though the concept of a patriarchy has had great effects on developed nations as well.

    • Word count: 2389
  13. Waiting for Godot - Meaningless of Life

    Vladimir: It's pass the time. (Pause) Two thieves, crucified at the same time as our Saviour. One- Their conversation shows how meaningless their waiting is. They also try to do something, such as hanging: Vladimir: ......What do we do now? Estragon: Wait. Vladimir: Yes, but while waiting. Estragon: What about hanging ourselves? ....... They think of hanging themselves, but they also do not hang themselves, they have totally nothing to do when they are waiting. It seems that life is just waiting, while it is meaningless.

    • Word count: 2061
  14. Problem of justifying induction and Humes solution

    Lastly, I will then conclude that Hume's argument is still a challenge to the knowledge of human life. In order to understand Hume's position, one must understand the knowledge of inductive and deductive reasoning. In deductive reasoning is used, a valid argument is when one assumes the premises are true and agrees with the conclusion. The conclusion does not have more information than the premises. The conclusion does not go beyond the premises. The conclusion, in a sense, is already embodied in the premises.

    • Word count: 2272
  15. Human Nature

    His study of ancient Chinese classics led him to believe that during the reigns of the "sage kings", China had been well governed and harmony had prevailed throughout their realms. This was accomplished by the moral force of their personalities and their attention to social rituals not harsh punishments and excessive regulations. Confucius saw them as examples of "noble men" (junzi), who embodied the best human virtues and whose good qualities prompted others to strive for moral excellence. "Confucius believed that the presence of such people in a society is the key to social harmony and that all men have the capacity to become perfect exemplars of virtue."

    • Word count: 2440
  16. Rainbow Conspiracy

    There was a green fog that appeared around the boat, and covered the view of the boat, when it originally left and when it disappeared again from Norfolk. There are many small details that are involved in this story. According to the authors, not only did the ship disappear, but weird things also happened to the crew. The men were disorientated and nauseous after the ship disappeared, some of the men were melted into the ship and "some burst into flames days after the experiment" (B.

    • Word count: 2589
  17. Plato's Republic vs. Locke's 'A letter concerning toleration'

    John Locke In A Letter Concerning Toleration, John Locke mainly discusses the duties of the magistrates. (Locke, 27) In the introduction, Locke outlines which church is the true church. He states that the 'chief Characteristical Mark of the True Church' is toleration. (Locke, 23). Furthermore, the true church does not claim itself to be the true church. Locke claims that charity, meekness, and good will come before orthodoxy of doctrine. (Locke, 23). In turn, the intolerant come off as fornicators, war-mongers, and obsessed over their own authority.

    • Word count: 2424
  18. Globalization, borders and identity

    As Germov & Poole (2007, p. 343) defines, Globalization means increasing interdependence on a world scale. In most general sense, globalization implies the continuation of the following key processes of modernization on a world scale, largely unrestricted by national boundaries and 'tyrannies of distance'. For Giddens (1990), what happens to the people in localities is increasingly influenced or even determined by a web of global relationships. He notes that Globalization can thus be defined as the intensification of world-wide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa.

    • Word count: 2226
  19. Free essay

    Decades ago Wittgenstein (1953, 1968) claimed that psychology suffered from conceptual confusion. Examine whether this claim still applies to psychology.

    Originally, psychology was reluctant to associate itself with the unwashed, unscientific area known as philosophy (Schultz, 1970). The abstract and rationalistic nature of the latter discipline (Van Kaam, 1958) was not thought to be congruent with a scientific approach which psychology strives to adhere to. It appears that psychologists were apparently unaware that the very nature of psychology itself was based upon philosophical assumptions (Westland, 1978). However, psychology has currently moved on from this assumption and recognises the importance of philosophy to the underpinnings of psychology (Hughes & Sharrock, 1997). In order to appropriately answer the question of conceptual confusion within psychology, and in consideration of the intimate link between psychology and the philosophy of science, it is pertinent to identify and discuss some key concepts from the latter discipline.

    • Word count: 2278
  20. Where is the Common Good in Machiavellis Prince?

    the best political system to be a republic.5 The Prince was written at the end of 1513 and the Discourses on Livy were written over a longer period from approximately 1515 to 1518. Both pieces were published posthumously in 1531.6 But while The Prince focussed on attributes a statesman should employ in order to retain power; the Discourses was written for the citizen who wished to live a life of liberty free from interference from the state. Machiavelli advocated the idea of a republic where checks and balances were put into the system; he particularly liked the 'tribunes of the plebs' (lower classes)

    • Word count: 2520
  21. Hobbes & the concept of the free will

    If the vital motion is "corroborated" by this new motion, we have the sensation of "delight", which implies "appetite" or an impulse to advance towards the pleasing object. If it is thwarted, we experience "aversion", which implies an impulse to withdraw. In either the "real effect" in the heart is only a form of motion; the feelings of delight or aversion, like the sensations of colour or sound, are but the "appearance" or "sense" (consciousness) of that motion .That which causes "delight" or "appetite" we call Good, and strive to obtain it; that which causes "aversion" we call Evil, and strive to avoid it.

    • Word count: 2000
  22. This experiment is a replica of a previous study carried out by Shepard and Cooper (1973). The study aims to look at whether the theory of mental rotation is reliable and valid.

    There is further evidence to support this theory. For example, when a person is asked to imagine a dog beside a house, they often know that the size difference between the two objects are of a different size; suggesting that humans do have a 'bank' of stored mental images. Rock (1973) (as cited in Corbalis et al, 1978) states that 'an observer doesn't recognise a shape until he or she has assigned a "top" and "bottom axis", this further helps to understand the significance of mental rotation.

    • Word count: 2665

    It is seen to be defined as the law which states that humans are in born with certain laws predetermined into them which allow them to determine the difference between right and wrong. With Aristotle there is less reference to natural law than to the distinction between natural and conventional natural law where 'natural' meant harmony with reason. He recognized the difference between things that were right or wrong in them and things that were merely right or wrong as means to other ends.

    • Word count: 2780

    This is a dictionary definition of law however our interpretation of the law is that it is a set of rules imposed upon us members of a state. After giving simplified definitions of democracy and law one may move on to answering the question more clearly. Firstly it must be clearly stated that Government is responsible for the direct implementation of the law-making process. The Parliament is the authority which holds the hands of the legislature that sets the rules and provisions invoked by the people.

    • Word count: 2551
  25. To what extent can Machiavelli be said to be a moral thinker?

    This is a departure from the previous belief that there was a higher order and morality than that achieved by the state. This in itself is a moral judgement; the notion of the welfare of the human being now had as having intrinsic value had been revived. The earthly welfare of the human being was now significant rather than the spiritual welfare in preparation for the passage into the City of God. It is how Machiavelli believed this immediate welfare should be achieved that is morally dubious but it is hard to argue that the system has no moral dimension.

    • Word count: 2579

"The punishment of every disordered mind is its own disorder."

?Augustine of Hippo

If you routinely annoy your friends by questioning their every view, then a university degree in philosophy or theology might be perfect for you. Whether it be Socrates or St. Augustine, you'll study the history of thought in your chosen field, and equip yourself to criticise established ideas and construct your own thoughts. If taken together, the two disciplines complement each other nicely, allowing you to use the tools of philosophy to investigate the texts and ideas of religion.

Strong writing skills are absolutely crucial to success when studying philosophy or theology. If you need any help translating your brilliant thoughts intowriting, study Marked by Teachers' collection of teacher-annotated historical and philosophical studies essays. With the techniques you learn here, you'll soon transform your writing into a fitting showcase for your ideas.

Philosophy and theology students might stay in academia, become religious leaders, or pursue careers in fields like policy, teaching, management and media.


Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Outline the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God and assess its claims to prove that God exists.

    "The Argument attempts to proves Gods existence but in many cases jumps from one conclusion to the fact that God must be the cause of this with no evidence to lead from the conclusion to a God. It would be wrong to say that the argument does not prove the existence of God at all but the evidence it is based on is weak and not very persuasive."

  • I intend to assess two pieces of such knowledge Descartes which believes himself to prove with logic. The two ideas being the existence of God and the duality of the body and mind.

    "I think in the contexts of the meditations the ontological argument and the arguments for dualism don't work due to the Cartesian circle, as Descartes never gets past proving undoubtedly anything but; I think therefore I am. Descartes reasoning in my opinion does not prove God's existence or the duality of mind and body but more shows that it may be possible. This is largely due to the criticisms raised in this essay, such as the problem of interaction. It is maybe that we do not yet now enough about the essence of the mind to understand it completely."

  • Explain and discuss the significance of Descartes' work on Epistemology.

    "In the conclusion, Descartes made a large impact of Epistemology, as he did not rely on others teaching to assist him in his search for indubitable knowledge. He founded the 'Cogito ergo Sum' - which managed to show that he could be certain that whenever he was thinking or doubting, he was thus at the same moment existing too. Descartes also managed to prove the existence of God, through various arguments, such as the 'Trademark' and 'Ontological' argument. Other philosophers prior to him, like Aristotle and Aquinas, were also in search for certain knowledge, although, Descartes, discovered, how to find indubitable knowledge of the world, simply by his 'clear and distinct' rule, and by confirming this rule by the existence of God. Thus, forming his infamous 'Cartesian Circle.' Descartes inspired and influenced other philosophers, such as Baruch Spinoza."

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