For this assignment, you will choose one of the topics below and write an essay of at least 4 pages, double-spaced, in Times New Roman 12 point font; your paper should be written in Standard English and done in MLA format. To submit your paper, click on ‘Essay 1.’ You should attach a file that can be opened with Microsoft Word (doc or docx); do not submit a pdf or type in the submission box. The topics below relate to those we have encountered thus far in the Rachels text (with the exception of Topic #2). Regardless of the topic you choose, your essay must include the following: • An original title (hint: ‘Essay 1’ is not an original title; nor is the title of the article you choose to write on) • An introduction with a thesis statement; if you need help with writing a thesis statement, read this advice on developing a thesis. • A summary of the article related to the topic you chose; your summary should be written such that the reader of your essay has a general understanding of the article you are summarizing; give an overview of the main ideas (and argument if there is one). Read this helpful advice on how to correctly summarize a text. • A discussion/explanation of the philosophical question related to the article you chose (see below in each topic); you must explicitly discuss the philosophical question your essay is exploring. • Direct reference, through quotation and/or paraphrase (quotations should be kept to a minimum; see this advice on when and when not to quote), to the chapter in our text that discusses the same philosophical question/issue as the topic you chose • Research (incorporated through quotation, paraphrase, or both) from at least 1 scholarly/professional source outside the article and the chapter of our text related to your topic; all research must be cited according to MLA. • Your own response, including explanation and reasons, to the philosophical question/problem your paper addresses • A conclusion • A MLA works cited page (the works cited page is NOT part of the four-page length requirement) Any instance of plagiarism will be punished by a minimum of an F on the assignment and a report to the associate dean of the humanities division. Further punishment could include failure in the course, suspension, or expulsion. The articles below are all from The New York Times. Non-subscribers are limited to the number of article they can read, but the Richland Library has full access to The New York Times. You can access The New York Times via this DCCCD Library web page. Topic #1: “Why I Identify as Mammal” This article deals with the question of personal identity, specifically by arguing that we may need to rethink how we see ourselves in relation to other species and the world. Chapter 5 in our text deals with the problem of personal identity. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/10/24/why-i-identify-as-mammal/?mcubz=1 Topic #2: “Feminism and the Future of Philosophy” If you choose this topic, you will not be exploring answers to a philosophical question or connecting to a chapter in our text. Rather, you will be researching the history of women in philosophy, current attitudes toward women in philosophy, and the goals of feminist philosophy. Your essay should include your own response to the problems women face that are described in the article and the blog below. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/18/opinion/feminist-philosophy-future.html?mcubz=1 https://beingawomaninphilosophy.wordpress.com/) Topic #3: “Modern Cosmology Vs. God’s Creation” This article deals with questions related to religious belief and the origin of the universe. Chapter 2 in our text deals with similar issues/questions. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/15/modern-cosmology-versus-gods-creation/?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-stone&action=click&contentCollection=opinion®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=search&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection Topic #4: “The Importance of the Afterlife. Seriously.” This article deals with the idea of the afterlife, though with a different/interesting take on the idea as it is discussed in Chapter 4 of our text. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/21/the-importance-of-the-afterlife-seriously/
Title: Personal Identity and Our Relationship with Other Species
Personal identity is a topic that has been debated by philosophers for centuries. It concerns the question of what makes us who we are and how we continue to exist over time. In the article, “Why I Identify as Mammal” by Brian Switek, the author argues that we should rethink our understanding of personal identity and our relationship with other species. This essay will summarize Switek’s argument and discuss the philosophical question of personal identity in relation to our relationship with other species.
In the article, Switek argues that our understanding of personal identity should include our connection with other species. He notes that humans are mammals, and as such, we share many biological and behavioral traits with other mammals. Switek suggests that by recognizing our connection to other species, we can develop a greater sense of empathy and responsibility towards them. He also suggests that our identity should not be solely based on our individual characteristics, but on our connection to the larger ecosystem in which we exist.
Switek’s argument is based on the idea that our understanding of personal identity has been too narrow, focused only on individual traits and characteristics. He believes that by recognizing our connection to other species, we can expand our sense of self and develop a more holistic view of the world. This, in turn, could lead to a greater sense of responsibility towards the environment and other living beings.
Switek’s argument raises the philosophical question of personal identity. The question of personal identity concerns what makes us who we are and how we continue to exist over time. Switek suggests that our personal identity should be based on our connection to the larger ecosystem and other species, rather than just our individual traits and characteristics. This raises the question of how we should define personal identity and whether it should include our connection to other species.
Chapter 5 of our text, “The Elements of Moral Philosophy” by James Rachels, discusses the problem of personal identity. Rachels argues that personal identity is not based on a single characteristic or trait, but rather on a collection of characteristics that make up an individual. He notes that these characteristics can change over time, and that personal identity is not a fixed or static concept. Switek’s argument extends this idea by suggesting that our personal identity should be based not just on individual characteristics, but on our connection to other species and the environment in which we exist.
In addition to the text, a scholarly article by Marya Schechtman, “The Narrative Self, Continuity, and the Nature of Persons,” provides insight into the philosophical problem of personal identity. Schechtman argues that personal identity is best understood as a narrative, or a story that we tell about ourselves. This narrative includes both our individual traits and characteristics, as well as our relationships with others and the world around us.
Switek’s argument resonates with me personally, as I have always felt a deep connection with animals and the natural world. I agree that our personal identity should include our connection to other species and the environment, and that this could lead to a greater sense of empathy and responsibility towards them.
At the same time, I recognize the challenge of defining personal identity in such a broad and inclusive way. The concept of personal identity is complex and multifaceted, and there is no one-size-fits-all definition. However, I believe that Switek’s argument raises important questions about how we see ourselves in relation to other species and the world, and that it is worth exploring these questions further.
Switek’s argument challenges our traditional understanding of personal identity and suggests that we should rethink our relationship with other species. This raises important philosophical questions about how we define personal identity