Paper Topics on Personal
You may choose one of the following
questions as your paper topic on Personal Identity. Papers are
expected to be 3-5
pages in length. The third paper is due Monday June 20, but feel free to
in your paper earlier if you like. Also, I strongly encourage rough drafts, so
please come see me (at least!) a few days before you turn your paper to
talk about it.
1. Briefly describe and discuss Dennett's "Where Am I?" What are some
of the views of the relationship between the mind and the body that he
considers? Which one do you think is the most plausible? Why? Is there
any point in the story that you think is in principle incoherent? Explain.
Carefully present any critical thoughts or objections you have to
2. Choose one of the arguments for that Weirob gives against either the
soul view (first night) or the person stages view (second night).
Explain it as best you can in your own words. Do you think Weirob is
right? Why or why not? Present any objections. Could Weirob respond to
these objections? Discuss.
3. In the third night, Weirob uses two examples that are also talked
about in Dennett's "Where Am I?": the transplant case and the duplicate
brain case. Explain these examples. How do Dennett and Weirob differ
with respect to these examples, as far as personal identity goes? What
do you think of these examples? Do you agree with Dennett or Weirob, or
do you have your own view? Critically discuss.
4. On the last day of the week on personal identity, we talked about
how issues of personal identity combine problems in the philosophy of
mind and problems of change over time. To illustrate that the latter
was independent of the former, we walked through the puzzle of The Ship of Theseus. Explain the puzzle. Do
you think there is a solution? Be clear and thorough in your answer,
and critically discuss.
Page Last Updated: June 14, 2005