Discuss whether consciousness is identical to a brain process. Include the positions on
this issue that are likely to be taken by Josiah Royce, Bertrand Russell, Gilbert Ryle,
Ludwig Wittgenstein, and J.J.C. Smart, [in that order] and what evidence you have that
they would take those positions. As you present the positions of the various philosophers
above, mention where you agree and where you disagree.
Your essay should be six to eight (but no more) pages typed double-spaced, counting your
bibliography, but not counting the cover page (it will be page zero). Number your pages, except
for the cover page. Use no endnotes.
The cover page should contain your essay title, your name, a 100 word-or-less summary of the
essay, and then the number of our course, the semester, and my name.
The essay not only should be a report on what other philosophers have said but, ideally, also
should demonstrate your ability to argue for or against some philosophical position. Depth of
philosophical insight, accuracy of representation of the positions of others, and quality of
argumentation are the paramount factors in the grade on the essay, but English writing skill is
also a significant factor. You'll be graded on three basic criteria:
1. How well do you understand the issues you are writing about?
2. How good are the descriptions and arguments you offer?
3. Is your writing clear and well-organized?
Avoid confirmation bias. Don't be one-sided; that is, remember to acknowledge and respond to
potentially important opposing arguments. See
http://www.iep.utm.edu/f/fallacy.htm#Confirmation Bias for more on this.
Write an academic paper. Use a professional, analytical style; do not be chatty; do not make
non-academic jokes. You should consider yourself to be a philosopher writing this essay to other
philosophers. Assume that your reader can think philosophically, but may not be familiar with
the specific topic you are writing about.
In grading the essay, you will get positive points for saying relevant things that are correct, but
lose points for failing to say something of central importance, and lose points for saying
something that is incorrect, and lose points for going off-topic. Spend little or no time on the
biographies of the philosophers above. Be careful to distinguish your own ideas from the ideas of
others that you happen to agree with.
In order to avoid plagiarism, you should give credit to other authors from whom you receive