In this assignment, you will be asked to show that you can summarize and then compare two different philosophers (Descartes and Locke) ideas on the self. The issue of how we understand what the self is, and how it relates to our memory or our physical body and brain, is a recurring issue in philosophy.
This assignment supports the following unit objectives:
Compare and contrast a soul-based theory of the self (as illustrated by Descartes) with a psychological-based theory of the self (like that of Locke).
Articulate how memory relates to our definition of the self.
Articulate the identity theory of Locke.
Explain the connection between personhood and consciousness as articulated by Locke.
Compare Descartes and Lockes views on personhood and guilt.
Recap each philosophers main view about consciousness/the self/personal identity.
Explain at least one difference between the two philosophers views and state which view you prefer.
Then, offer an argument (i.e., evidence) against the view that you reject.
Use only the two sources provided below.
How to do this
Start with making a careful summary of two of the philosophers we read in Unit 2.
What were their main concepts and definitions, what were their distinctions?
How did they imagine that the self was different from the brain or different from the mind?
Restate their theory and include “direct quotes”, specific references from their work.
Explain carefully how these views compare and contrast. Be sure to identify and explain at least one difference between the philosophers’ views.
How do they define a key concept or make a major distinction differently?
State which view you prefer. (Hint: Thesis! This piece is where you state what view you consider to be better and why. In philosophy, it is OK to write, “I argue that…” in fact, I strongly encourage you to do so when you are writing your thesis/argument in your introduction paragraph. Check the attached video for more helpful hints).
Offer an argument against the view that you reject.
The body of the essay must be 5-6 pages (1250-1500 words) in length.
12-point, Times New Roman font
Include a Title page
Include a Works Cited page – cite all quotations/paraphrases used by naming the author of the work, the tile and the chapter/section that you are citing from.
Properly use MLA in-text citations for paraphrasing and direct quoting (Purdue OWL MLA Formatting and Style Guide). Here is an example essay with MLA citations.
File Submissions: Please submit your file as a DOCX. or PDF file.