Philosophical Essay: You will write a two-part 5-6 page essay.
Please be sure to carefully read the syllabus assignment instruction for the Philosophical Essay Part 2.
1. According to Socrates, must one heed popular opinion about moral matters? Does Socrates accept the fairness of the laws under which he was tried and convicted? Would Socrates have been wrong to escape?
2. If God exists, is murder immoral? Can those who do not believe in God be highly moral people? Can people who practice different religions agree about how to resolve a moral disagreement?
3. 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 it?
4. Evaluate the movie, The Matrix, in terms of the philosophical issues raised with (1) skepticism and (2) the mind-body problem. Explain how the movie raises questions similar to those found in Plato’s and Descartes’ philosophy. Do not give a plot summary of the movie – focus on the philosophical issues raised in the movie as they relate to Plato and Descartes.
5. Socrates asks Euthyphro, “Are morally good acts willed by God because they are morally good, or are they morally good because they are willed by God?” (1) How does this question relate to the Divine Command Theory of morality? (2) What are the philosophical implications associated with each option here?
6. Explain (1) the process by which Descartes uses skepticism to refute skepticism, and (2) what first principle does this lead him to? (3) Explain why this project was important for Descartes to accomplish.
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