timer Asked: May 19th, 2013

Question description

– You will write a 6- 8-page essay using our Library
Guide for PHIL101
and our Online Library to answer one of the
following questions:



  • Consider
    the following philosophical puzzle: “If a tree falls in the forest and there's
    no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?” (1) How is this philosophical
    puzzle an epistemological problem? And (2) how would John Locke answer

Thesis Statement:

In this essay I evaluate the philosophical puzzle:

“If a tree falls in the forest and there's no one around to hear it, does it make a

In my
evaluation I explain that this question raises the epistemological problem of
how a subjective experience, such as sound, relates to what can be known of
reality. I

demonstrate that this question is a puzzle because it exposes the limits of what
we can claim to know based on sensory experience. Lastly, I will explain how
the empiricist, John Locke, would evaluate and answer the puzzle.


1. Encyclopedia or similar comprehensive works:

Kemerling, Garth. “John Locke: The Origin of

Ideas.” Philosophy Pages. Britannica

Internet.2001. Web. 1 Mar. 2009.


This source is a quick introduction to Locke and his
philosophical perspective and introduces the main themes in his work, An
Essay Concerning Human Understanding
. It will also help me understand the
more complicated aspects of Locke’s epistemology that I’ll be reading to write
my essay.

Uzgalis, William. “John Locke: The Limits of Human

Understanding.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2007. Web. 1 Mar. 2009.


This source presents a much more detailed analysis of
Locke’s epistemology from his work, An

Essay Concerning Human Understanding.

2. Secondary sources:

E.J. Lowe. Routledge Philosophy Guide Book on

Locke: On Human Understanding. New

York, NY : Routledge, 1995. NetLibrary. 2002. 1 Mar. 2009


This source provides me with a comprehensive discussion
of John Locke, the person, and the arguments he puts forth in An Essay
Concerning Human Understanding
. It will also help me understand the book as
it relates to historical events and ideas. Additionally, it identifies arguments
from the work’s supporters and critics.

3.  Primary

Locke, John.

An Essay Concerning Human

. Kitchener, Ont.: Batoche, 2001. Ebrary. 2005. 4 Oct. 2010.


This is Locke’s own writing which allows me to read
how Lock perceived the problem of knowledge, experience and sensation in his
own words.

4. Journal article database:

EBSCO’s Academic Search Elite

This is a searchable database of scholarly articles
from many academic disciplines, including philosophy. I can use it to find
contemporary scholarly articles pertaining to epistemology, perception, and Locke.
It also contains the full text of many of the articles.



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