Introduction to Philosophy of Mind: philosophy paper

timer Asked: May 9th, 2013
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Question description

Topic & Structure

Your assignment is to write a 1000 word (approximately 3 page) essay about either: 

The Correlation Argument for Physicalism.

The Knowledge Argument for Dualism.

You must chose only ONE of these two arguments, and you should use the version of the arguments contained in the handouts. (You must also use the readings to support your discussion.) Your job is to describe the argument, then describe and evaluate one objection to the argument.

Your short essay must consist of eight paragraphs with the following structure:

Paragraph 1.

Paragraph 2.

Paragraph 3. Paragraph 4. Paragraph 5.

Paragraph 6.

Paragraph 7.


Outline of the paper.

Start your paper with the words, “In this paper, I will...” Then explain the outline of the paper. What will you be saying? What will you conclude?

The Argument

Introduce the argument.

What is the name of the argument? What is the point of the argument? Does it support Dualism or Physicalism? Provide any necessary back- ground or scene-setting for Premises 1 and 2.State and explain Premise 1.

State and explain Premise 2.
State and explain the conclusion, as well as how the conclusion fol- lows from the premises.


Describe ONE objection to ONE premise of the argument.

You can use an objection discussed in class or come up with your own. Either way:

(a) Specify which premise the objection is targeted at.
(b) Describe the content of the objection.
(c) Describe how the objection undermines the argument.

Justify the objection.

Why would anyone believe your objection? Why is it plausible? What is a supporting example?


Paragraph 8. Evaluate the objection.In your opinion, does the objection successfully defeat the argument or not? If you think the objection succeeds, defend it against a possible reply. If you think the objection is not successful, explain why.

NOTE: Your job is not to evaluate the overall merits of the argument. Instead, your job is to describe the argument, and then to describe and then evaluate one objection. If you don’t understand this distinction, talk to your TA!!!

Remember, this paper is worth nearly 30% of your total grade. That’s 10% of your total grade per page. Make your words count!


  • The paper must be no more than 1000 words. (Title and bibliography do not count towards the word limit.)

  • NO SENTENCE MAY BE LONGER THAN 18 WORDS!!! (Phrases connected by a semicolon, colon, or comma still count as one sentence.)

  • Do not quote (see the "Style Guide" for details).

  • The paper must be double spaced.

  • The font size must be 12 point.


    Your paper will be graded along four dimensions:

    1. (1)  Understanding. Have you correctly described the views and claims at is- sue? Have you clearly distinguished between your own opinion and the position you are describing?

    2. (2)  Clarity & Precision. Have you expressed yourself in a way that is both clear and precise? Have you avoided ambiguity and merely suggestive language?

    3. (3)  Dialectic. Do you understand how the argument works? Do you under- stand how the objection to the argument works? Does your evaluation of

      the objection make sense?

    4. (4)  Citation + Sentence Length. Have you followed the citation policy? Are

      your sentences really under 16 words long?

    Citation Policy

    1. (1)  Use at least two readings from this unit as sources for your discussion.

    2. (2)  Do not cite handouts or lectures.

    3. (3)  Do cite all readings (or external sources) which you use, in the following

      way. At the end of the sentence or paragraph in which you make reference

      to that reading write (Author Date, Page) e.g. (Huxley 1874, p.13).

    4. (4)  Any readings (or external sources) that are cited in the text must be listed in the bibliography. Check the syllabus for how to write up the bibliography


    5. (5)  The bibliography does not count towards the word limit. 

dennett 1991 %22a visit to the phenomenological garden%22.pdf

crick 1994 %22the astonishing hypothesis- introduction%22.pdf

chalmers 1995 %22the puzzle of conscious experience%22.pdf

nagel 1974 %22what is it like to be a bat?%22.pdf

fesser 2005 %22the knowledge argument%22.pdf

hill 1984 %22in defense of type materialism%22.pdf

blackmore 2004 %22the neural correlates of consciosuness%22.pdf

tye 200 %22knowing what its like%22.pdf

lewis 1983 %22postscript%22.pdf

Tutor Answer

School: Boston College

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