Introduction to Phil On-line assignments.
Instructions: You lose points if you do not follow these simple instructions. This essay is worth 33% of your course so do not write it the night before! I read drafts of essays and offer comments. But you cannot wait until the last few days to ask for comments.
Overall: Write and essay between 4 and 7 pages long, double-spaced, 12 point font.
(i) Long quotes do not count, so if a quote takes up a third of a page, that doesn’t count for the length requirement. More importantly all quotes must be explained in your own words. Advice: quote when (i) controversial things are said (ii) obscure things are said but seem important (iii) beautifully put points are made.
(ii) If you attempt to fake the length you will get zero. If the essay is less than 4 pages it gets zero.
(iii) Your essay must have structure: there must be sections and the sections must have useful titles helping the reader follow the debate e.g. “Section I Paley’s argument” Section two “Paley’s idea of God” etc...
(iv) One section must be the Introduction....” An introduction must state your conclusion as a thesis statement. For this topic one of these two will be close to your thesis, pick one: “In this essay I shall argue that Paley’s argument proves that God exists” or “In this essay I shall argue that Paley’s argument fails to prove God exists”
(v) Use of paraphrasing and translation software is forbidden (they usually produce nonsense anyway) All essays must be written by the student. All references made in your essay must be read by you. You will be asked to prove it if there is a question about authorship. E.g. You wrote an essay and referred to a book by Smith. This means you actually read some of the book by Smith. If you didn’t read anything in the book or source then you cannot use it as reference. The use of an unread source will be considered fraud.
(vi) Use whatever style manual you prefer best, but 4-7 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font.
(vii) You must use the editions of the texts provided and reference must be made to these. Reference to other editions will be considered as evidence of plagiarism. Check the page numbers carefully.
Paley and Hume
In this essay you need to show you have read and understood Paley and Hume and understand the debate over teleology and its implications.
You must include in your essay the following (in the order you think makes most sense) and you must answer the question “Does Paley’s teleological argument succeed in proving God’s existence?”
Do not limit your discussion to the following (e.g. evolution isn’t mentioned below) so always feel free to add relevant material you have learned, but you must cover these in your essay to pass.
(i) Explain Paley’s teleological argument for God’s existence.
(ii) Explain Paley’s first 3 replies to problems (begins p.10)
(iii) Explain the point(s) being made when he writes: “The watch is found, in the course of its movements, to produce another watch similar to itself...”
(iv) Explain the point being made in Paley’s discussion of the corn and the mill (have a short quote from the text).
(v) From Hume: quote a short passage that makes a good criticism against the teleological argument and explain that point.
(vi) Explain the point(s) being made in the following edited passage from David Hume (e.g. what are they arguing about and how it relates to Paley’s argument, is some of it supportive or critical etc.) “Now if we survey the universe, so far as it falls under our knowledge, it bears a great resemblance to an animal or organized body, and seems actuated with a like principle of life and motion. ….each part and member, in performing its proper offices, operates both to its own preservation and to that of the whole….the world, therefore, I infer, is an animal, and the Deity is the soul of the world, actuating it, and actuated by it………(Philo) it seems to bear a stronger resemblance to a vegetable than to an animal, and your inference would be so far inconclusive in favour of the soul of the world”