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University Degree: Philosophy and Theology

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  1. Examples of how fallacies can be used in argumentative writing.

    The US does not consider it terrorism when hundreds of thousands of our sons and brothers in Iraq died for lack of food or medicine. So, there is no base for what the US says and this saying does not affect us.... Explanation: Tu Quoque is a very common fallacy in which one attempts to defend oneself or another from criticism by turning the critique back against the accuser. This is a classic Red Herring since whether the accuser is guilty of the same, or a similar, wrong is irrelevant to the truth of the original charge.

    • Word count: 3509
  2. Free essay

    Philosophy Essay. Evaluate the view that life is absurd through reference to the views of Camus and Nagel.

    He tells us that it 'awakens our consciousness and provokes what follows', also saying that there are two paths we can go down; 'the gradual return to the chain or the definitive awakening'. This portrays that Camus is suggesting that we are forced to make a decision, to either accept our fate and 'awaken', or ignore all the questions and return to the mundanity of everyday life. The absurd life is described as being more about quantity then quality of living; to live as long as possible as life is transitory.

    • Word count: 1118
  3. Is there a crisis of meaning in the contemporary world? Support your argument with reference to at least one critical contemporary phenomenon (geological, environmental, social, political, or economic) and at least two philosophers

    In the Western world especially, the rise of atheism has also contributed towards an individuals lack of belief and sense of meaning; as one turned to religion and the belief that there was a higher power, which was substantial enough to give the individual meaning and a place in society. However, the rise of atheism, has led people to question the idea of an all powerful God. The seeds of modern day atheism were sown by Karl Marx, who felt that religion was a form of control, and that the idea of a God was an illusion.

    • Word count: 1430
  4. Knowing what ethics is and what makes up the study of ethics centers around understanding ethical behavior. There are nine major theories have been created to explain ethics and to determine whether a decision is ethical or not

    The ethical dilemma there: which is more ethical, lying or being unkind? Another ethical dilemma become more complex: for example, is it right to steal from the rich to give to the poor? Is it right to fight wars in the name of a good cause, even if innocent people are injured? The answers to these ethical questions depend on your definition of ethics! Besides that, people from different cultural backgrounds and different situations may have different moral perceptions. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to what is ethical or to what ethical behavior is.

    • Word count: 1635
  5. An Analysis of Fanon's "The Wretched of the Earth"

    This violence comes from two polar ideas that cannot survive with the other still remaining. In Fanon's writing, one really gets to know about the perspectives of an exploited "species" (Fanon, 1). Fanon describes these factors in such detail that it justifies the use of violence amongst the colonized. In Fanon's "The Wretched of the Earth" On Violence, the essay describes how the colonist tries to force their realities on the native, and while doing that strips the native of his/her identity. This act of decolonization removes the emotional ties that the natives have to their previous culture and their nation.

    • Word count: 1223
  6. The history of moral philosophy since the 17th century recapitulates the ancient debate between Stoics and Epicureans. Explain this view, giving the basic ideas of Stoicism and Epicureanism.

    John Bramhall labelled Hobbes a Stoic for his determinism, and Hobbes did not reject the label. One thing Hobbes disagreed with the Stoics on was that moral was based on right reason. This was also one thing on which he agreed with the anti-Stoic, David Hume. The two never debated with one another directly, but their philosophies are contrasting and could perhaps be likened to a post-renaissance debate between the Stoics and Epicureans. Though Hume has never been labelled an Epicurean, his criticism of the Stoic philosophy could justify such a labelling, alongside his theory of justice which can be considered utilitarian.

    • Word count: 1454
  7. 'Mental states are behavioural dispositions'. Discuss!

    Verificationism is the theory of meaning. It asserts that the meaning of a statement is its method of verification. For example, if we take the phrase 'Ben is sad', then we would observe that Ben's sadness consists of his behavioural dispositions. The interchange from verificationism to behaviourism would have been a smooth one and thus this is the reason for its relative popularity. However, there are arguments against credibility of behaviourism. One such argument that has been pitted against it is that of the robotic dog. Consider a theoretical robot which simulates a dog. When presented with dog food, the robot responds to the stimulus with actual dog-like behaviour. It displays behavioural dispositions such as drooling through its mechanism.

    • Word count: 1415
  8. What is the Self? Philosophers have long debated about the essence of a human being. Some have come up with an answer, calling it dualism. In this dualistic approach, humans are comprised of two different substances: a physical entity and a physic entity.

    He shows signs of introspection, self-doubt, tenderness, and even remorse, over Dr. Lanning's death. In a second scene, the robot, Sonny, is being prepared for decommissioning. As the procedure rolls out, Dr. Lanning is heard in voiceover speculating about the consciousness, free will, and "soul" of robots. 196 words _____________________________________________________ Philosophers have long debated about the essence of a human being. Some have come up with an answer, calling it dualism. In this dualistic approach, humans are comprised of two different substances: a physical entity and a physic entity. The biological aspect of a human is evident; we all are composed from the same basic human genome and born by two other humans who are similar to ourselves.

    • Word count: 1192
  9. The Continuity of the Self. Many philosophers are unsatisfied with memory as the sole means to psychological continuity. In the movie 50 First Dates, the main character, Henry Roth, tries to remind Lucy, a girl with a severe mental handicap, of their lov

    Lucy still has no memory of Henry, but she takes him into her studio and shows him painting after painting she has made of him. "I don't know who you are, but I dream of you every night," she tells him. 200 words ------------------------------------------------------------------------ The Continuity of Self Philosophers have long debated how humans remain the same from day to day. Are we, both physically and psychologically, the same people we were yesterday? In my opinion, continuity of the self requires that the physical self communicates and works in tandem with the psychological self.

    • Word count: 1171
  10. What is Free Will? Modern philosophers have many explanations for and against free will. In The Adjustment Bureau, The Chairman acts as a god, dictating the past, present, and future. Philosophers would classify this as top-down hard determinism.

    Norris continues to rebel against the plan, and finally his self-sacrificing love for Elise compels "The Chairman" to change the plan so that they will be together. 199 words ------------------------------------------------------------------------ The Choice For ages, philosophers have struggled with the idea of free will. Are we in control of our own actions or have they all been predetermined by some external force? The Adjustment Bureau proposes an explanation: our entire lives have been written out by an external force in a sort of master plan; therefore, we have no true will.

    • Word count: 1237
  11. 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
  12. Philosophy:Theories of Personal Identity

    This also leads to problems when alterations arise, such as injuries and surgery. Lets say scientists use Johns DNA and replicate it into another person who then has the same body. Just because there are two identical bodies, surely they cannot be the same person. Two different lives would be lived. This diminishes the preceding body theory and its definition; therefore meaning the body theory alone cannot be considered a necessary and valuable explanation when defining personal identity. The second perspective into defining personal identity is the soul theory. This theory explains that a person has a personal identity if and only if they are identical to their soul.

    • Word count: 1536
  13. Can We Justify Our Deductive Processes? I will begin by exploring the basic problem with deduction why it seems that any attempt to justify deduction is doomed to circularity, which would seem to make the task of constructing a valid justification im

    DANIEL BREGMAN November 2009 Table of Contents Abstract 2 Table of Contents 3 Can we Justify our Deductive Processes? 4 1. Introduction 4 2. The Problem with Deduction 4 3. Civilised Circles 7 4. Dissident Logics 10 5. Conclusion 12 Bibliography 13 Can we Justify our Deductive Processes? 1. Introduction Deductive reasoning is something that we use constantly in our everyday lives, but in philosophy, and particularly its more analytic traditions, it takes on an even more important role, as the only way we have of moving from one line of argument to the next without a risk of error.

    • Word count: 5191
  14. Critically discuss why an existentialist might prefer to speak of finitude rather than death.

    Humans are finite beings. "Finitude in itself enables us to account for what is "creative" in the capacities of the finite human creature. Heidegger calls fate the association of the two senses of finitude: as project of being and as dependence upon pregiven being.(Kerszberg 1997, p238)" It can be said that there is no absolute freedom for humans, and this encompasses the tragedy of existence. One way of defining this tragedy may be seen as "a clash between the aspirations of human freedom and creativity with a cosmic order that is stronger and defeats man (Macquarrie 1972, p189)".

    • Word count: 1669
  15. Critically compare Act Utilitarianism with Rule Utilitarianism.

    But after the parent has died, will there still be any need to care for the child under act-utilitarianism? The promise from the person has already created happiness for the deceased parent; so as long as the child is being cared for by somebody, you could argue that the person who made the promise has no real obligation to keep it and they can focus on creating their own happiness again. With rule-utilitarianism the promise would have to be kept and would not allow for an alternative even if the child was being properly, or even better cared for.

    • Word count: 1670
  16. 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
  17. Marx once famously wrote, Hitherto, philosophers have merely interpreted the world; the point is: to change it. In what ways do the Frankfurt School theorists (Marcuse, Horkheimer, Adorno) address this challenge?

    The theorists are united, in principle, with what they see as the continuation of a Marxist project of developing an emancipatory philosophy in the form of 'Critical Theory', whose central aim is defined by Horkheimer as: "the emancipation of human beings from the circumstances that enslave them" (Horkheimer 1976:219). Hence, despite seeming to reject a number of aspects of Marx's writings, especially concerning the proletariat as ultimately the universal agent of social transformation, the theorists nevertheless seek to continue what they see as the Marxist project of emancipating people from the circumstances which dominate them.

    • Word count: 4567
  18. 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."

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  19. 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
  20. Biology gender

    or 23XY (for males).Traditionally, this biological classification has been heralded as an important in defining gender because, although definitions of gender vary, it is generally considered that gender is "a social construction organised around biological sex. Individuals are born male or female, but they acquire over time a gender identity, that is, what it means to be male or female. Gender is a package of expectations which a society associates with each sex1" So, the concept of gender was, throughout much of Western history, considered to be synonymous with sex and this remains the case to a large extent even today.

    • Word count: 1669
  21. Reality is the state of a person, place, or entity being true or actual. But how do we come to the conclusion that it is real or actual?

    The news would be an example of physical reality, although we may sometimes receive inaccurate information, the news overall is based on real life occurrences and tragedies. However, mental reality includes nonphysical entities such as spirits. For example Religion would be an example of mental reality because religion is something one believes in and it becomes their form reality. With that said, there would be an aftermath to this model which would consist of my reality vs. your reality which then would be alternated into "the reality".

    • Word count: 1248
  22. Free essay

    major strengths and weakness of concept of natural rights?

    The origins of natural rights started off from the classical Greek and Roman perspective. Zeno of Citium (333-263 BCE) founded the Stoic School of Philosophy, which believed in the concept of 'Natural Laws'. Aristotle (384-322 BCE) who was associated with this school of thought claimed that society had a natural basis, that the human good is grounded naturally, and that we are capable of apprehending that goodness through our natural reason (Baggini & Fosl 2007). Natural law is law that is unwritten, unobserved and has never been enacted (Waldron 1984), but theorists claim that these rights are known to 'reason'.

    • Word count: 1702
  23. Difficulties of giving a single definition of war

    Hugo Grotius explains that "war is the state of contending parties, considered as such." Denis Diderot notes that war is "a convulsive and violent disease of the body politic." Each writer has different definitions and within these they all have strengths and weaknesses. However, political influence is shown in most if not all of these definitions. The political matter of interpreting war creates the first philosophical dilemma, yet once this is known, a definition can be attained: The state of tension, the conflict and threat of violence between groups, means that the authorised statement by a supreme body can be seen as to decide wars from rebellions, conflict of arms and group violence from individual violence.

    • Word count: 1185
  24. Philosophy - Panpsychism vs Emergentism

    It did not arise, it was present at the origin of things". The sudden appearance of mental realms "would be an absolute riddle; it would mean a creation out of nothing" (1892:100). Wilhelm Wundt also advocated the strict impossibility of emergence (1892/1894:443), which is deeply rooted in the metaphysics of Parmenide's philosophical expression 'Ex nihilo, nihil fit' - 'nothing comes from nothing'. The question of how to integrate this notion of fundamental sentience with the physical world is what appears to be fuelling the rival views panpsychism and emergentism. In his 1979 paper titled 'Panpsychism', Nagel provides an interpretation of the claim where he links panpsychism to the necessary failure of epistemological

    • Word count: 1841
  25. Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream" Speech Aug. 28, 1963

    We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force'. Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream" Speech Aug. 28, 1963 More than 40 years ago America was captivated with Martin Luther Kings breath-taking Speech ' I have a dream' from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. His Speech portrayed a none idealised American dream, but a demand for racial justice. Through his words, the nation was given vocabulary to understand and express the turbulent social and political situation at that time, in 1963.

    • Word count: 680

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