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Santa Monica College All the Changes of Western Philosophy and The Foundation Exam

Santa Monica College All the Changes of Western Philosophy and The Foundation Exam

Question Description

Philosophy 1 – Course Description

To know thyself is to love thyself, and to love thyself is to love thy neighbor. This course will examine what it means to love and know thyself through the lens of Western philosophy. We shall consider Western philosophy as the foundation of our current moment with all of its challenges and joys. Each week students will read selections from the history of Western philosophy and apply the philosophical ideas to a contemporary film to self reflect, to analyze self and world with philosophical concepts. We will ask questions such as how did we get here and how can we become better as individuals and humanity as a whole. This course requires students to think independently as well as understand the readings, and to develop critical analysis skills to respectfully engage in online discussions about high-stakes issues.

Exam Essay

Description: This is a reflection paper on Rene Descartes’s Method Book 1 & 2 and Meditations 1 & 2, and Anne Conway’s Vitalistic Monism, selections from The Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy, and Enlightenment Philosophers: Hume, Kant, and Emerson.

Goal: Come to know yourself through the writings of Descartes, Conway, Hume, Kant, or Emerson. Following are some questions to stir your thinking and self reflection: What resonated with you? Why? What irked you? Why? What validated what you already believed, held dear, thought, felt, etc? Why? What made you smile? Why? What brought tears? Why? These are merely some of the questions you might ask yourself as you develop your paper on knowing yourself through the lenses of Descartes, Conway, Hume, Kant, or Emerson.

Line of Reasoning: In your paper, you will take a position on at least four of the different philosophies and how they have contributed to you coming to know yourself. It could be because you agree, disagree, have already been thinking this way and the philosopher put it to words for you, or some other reason. Next, provide a rational defense of your position. Keep in mind that it is not merely a matter of taste (Hume) but rather it must be a position you can defend with textual evidence and life experience, including quotes from the text.

How to Prepare: Review the readings and use the questions below to excite your thinking.

Quotes: Include at least six (6) quotes from the readings.

Questions to inspire your paper development…

I. Descartes (Dualism) & Conway (Monism): Are you using good sense (reason) or common sense to think and express yourself. Are you describing your feelings or your thoughts? What is certain according to Descartes? Do you agree or disagree? Why? Are you dreaming or awake right now? How might the scientific method help you to make better decisions in life? Are you a thinking thing? What occult terms do you use? Why might it be useful to be candid with yourself about what is less understood than is typically admitted? How does Descartes’s discussion of wax elucidate that to have knowledge is to have knowledge of the contents of one’s own mind? What is dualism? How are the mind and body connected? Which part of Descartes’s writings most inspired or perplexed you? Why? Are you more inclined to follow monism? Do you believe in the vitalistic spirit? Does Kabbalistic mysticism help one to deal with life’s unknowns? Does the phrase Pathei Mathos speak to you? Why?

II. Enlightenment Philosophers: Hume, Kant, & Emerson: How might a return to moral sentiments, moral feelings return you to think from a place of love, a subject self that does not divide the world as the powers in leadership roles have manipulated us into believing we ought – think Conservative-Liberal, Catholic-Protestant (Hume). Will you take Kant’s challenge, Dare to be wise, to think without the direction of another? (Kant) Will you come to rely on yourself, to listen to the music of your soul? (Emerson). These are merely examples. You are welcome to take the paper in the direction that suits you.

Tip: Be sure you are not conflating contemporary understandings of the ideas discussed by the philosophers. For example, moral feelings are moral sentiments according to Hume. Psychological egoists would disagree. It is fine for you to discuss both but make it clear in your paper that you understand the differences. Also, if you do bring in work that is not assigned, be sure to cite it.

Note: Questions are merely listed as inspiration. You might take your paper in a direction not considered in the questions above.

Extra Credit: Explain thoroughly one quote from one of the following: Descartes, Conway, Hume, Kant, or Emerson. Describe why it is valuable in a practical and/or pragmatic way. (2 points)

Grading : General Criteria 1,500 words or more (6-7 pages) Times New Roman or Arial 12 point font Double Spaced 1” Margins You do NOT need to use any particular style (e.g., APA or MLA) You may use first person “I”. You may also use :second person “you”. Or, you may use third person“one”. Pick one and be consistent Total Paper Points: 20 points possible Extra credit (2 points possible): Explain thoroughly one quote from either Aurelius or Descartes. Describe why it is valuable in a practical and/or pragmatic way.

Writing a Philosophy Paper Guidelines Grammar matters. Please use complete sentences. Reasoning matters. Please be sure that sentences relate to each other. For example, sentence two follows from sentence one, and so on. Use new paragraphs to indicate a new idea. Consider using sub-headings to organize your thoughts and convey them in an organized fashion. Be sure to introduce a quote and follow it with a sentence explaining why it is important to the point you are defending. The goal is, in short, to understand the material, convey an understanding of the material, take a position on the material, and defend the position with reasoning, and quotes from the text as evidence. While word count and page number matters, conveying your point and defending your position matters as well.

From last Essay exam score teacher suggest :

It is important not to conflate ancient Greek philosophy with Stoicism.

What is love, ultimately, according to Socrates? Love or wisdom, philosophy?

Your paper touches on many of the ideas we covered in class but it does not defend any one of them with evidence and a line of reasoning. You seem to be jumping around without expressing any one idea with depth and understanding. How does one come to know oneself according to Socrates? What is love ultimately, according to Socrates? How does the Lover/Beloved relationship play out in Heloise’s letter, following the philosophy of Stoicism?

For this paper, pick two ideas, take a position, and defend them with the assigned readings.

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