Descartes’ Method of Doubt
Write a 2-4 page essay (in Word or Rich Text Format, double spaced, size 12 font) on one of the following topics. (Cite all sources you use to avoid plagiarism). Use the text as your primary source and at least one academic secondary source. 1.) Explain Descartes’ Method of doubt; what does he hope to accomplish from this method; is Descartes a sceptic? 2.)What is the significance of Descartes’ Cogito argument? How does it relate to the “evil demon” and dreaming doubt arguments? 3.) Does Descartes believe in God? If so discuss his argument(s) for the existence of God. Are they convincing? Why or why not? If you don’t think that Descartes actually believes in God defend your position. 4.) Discuss the so-called “Cartesian Circle”; (a good source for this discussion are the articles on Descartes at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy; is Descartes guilty of begging the question or arguing in a circle in his discussion of God as the guarantor of clear and distinct ideas and his clear and distinct idea of God? 5.) Explain the relationship between satyagraha and swaraj for Gandhi. How does his concept of non-violent resistance relate to his beliefs about God and punishment? 6.)How widely and to what effect has Gandhi’s non-violent resistance been employed in political struggles? what are some of its advantages and disadvantages? 7.) Explain Gandhi’s contention that external independence (swaraj) depends upon internal swaraj. Do you think his reasoning is correct? why or why not? 8.) Compare and contrast Gandhi and Plato on the issue of appearance and reality. (Cite all sources you use to avoid plagiarism) Cite all sources with quotation marks for direct quotes and parenthetical references. Don’t place URLs in the body of your paper; cite online sources by author’s name or article title. Place urls at the end of the paper in the work cited page. Every student is encouraged to submit drafts of papers to Upswing under the tutoring tab for assistance with composition and proofreading.
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