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The attachment provided below is a detailed description of the instructions and prompts needed to be answered for this paper. Please do not use any outside sources or readings, only the four readings provided here in these links:





Knowledge & Realty — Paper Two — Spring 2021
Descartes, Conway, Hume, Kant
Professor Daily, Santa Monica College
Due: Monday, February 1st, 2021 at 11:59 pm
Description: This is a reflection paper on Rene Descartes’s Method Book 1 & 2 and Meditations 1
& 2, and Anne Conway’s Vitalistic Monism, selections from The Principles of the Most Ancient and
Modern Philosophy, and Enlightenment Philosophers: David Hume and Immanuel Kant. While it is
a reflection paper and calls for your educated opinion, it is nonetheless an academic paper.
Therefore, be sure to address an audience other that your professor. Someone you respect.
Perhaps some you like to engage in debate.
Goal: Come to know yourself, love yourself, and love your neighbor through the writings of
Descartes, Conway, Hume, Kant. Following are some questions to stir your thinking and self
reflection: What resonated with you? Why? What irked you? Why? What validated what you
already believed, held dear, thought, felt, etc? Why? What made you smile? Why? What brought
tears? Why? These are merely some of the questions you might ask yourself as you develop your
paper on knowing yourself through the lenses of Descartes, Conway, Hume, and Kant. IN other
words, how have you come “To know thyself is to love thyself, and to love thyself is to love thy
neighbor” during this second section of the course.
Line of Reasoning: In your paper, you will take a position on each of the four different
philosophies/ philosophers and how they have contributed to you coming to know yourself. It
could be because you agree, disagree, have already been thinking this way and the philosopher
put it to words for you, or some other reason. Next, provide a rational defense of your position.
Keep in mind that it is not merely a matter of taste (Hume) but rather it must be a position you can
defend with textual evidence and life experience, including quotes from the text.
How to Prepare: Review the readings and use the questions below to excite your thinking and
your sense of wonder. Also, please review the study questions, slides, lecture notes, and resources
provided on the slides and lectures notes to be sure you understand the material (on Canvas
under “Modules”)
Required Readings: Your paper must express an understanding of the assigned readings. You may add
additional readings and research as well but in in please of what has been assigned.
1. Descartes: “Method” Books One and Two, “Meditations” I & II
2. Conway: “The Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy” — Selections: Chapters: V., VI,
3. Hume: “Of the Standard of Taste”
4. Kant: “What is Enlightenment?”
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Quotes: Include at least six (6) quotes from the readings. You may use additional quotes from
class discussions and Zoom in addition to the text from the readings.
Questions to inspire your paper development…
I. Descartes (Dualism) & Conway (Monism): Are you using good sense (reason) or common sense
to think and express yourself. Are you describing your feelings or your thoughts? What is certain
according to Descartes? Do you agree or disagree? Why? Are you dreaming or awake right now?
How might the scientific method help you to make better decisions in life? Are you a thinking
thing? What occult terms do you use? Why might it be useful to be candid with yourself about
what is less understood than is typically admitted? How does Descartes’s discussion of wax
elucidate that to have knowledge is to have knowledge of the contents of one’s own mind? What
is dualism? How are the mind and body connected? Which part of Descartes’s writings most
inspired or perplexed you? And how did you solve the puzzle before writing the paper? Why?
Are you more inclined to follow monism? Do you believe in the vitalistic spirit? Does Kabbalistic
mysticism help one to deal with life’s unknowns? Does the phrase Pathei Mathos speak to you?
II. Enlightenment Philosophers: Hume and Kant: How might a return to moral sentiments, moral
feelings return you to think from a place of love, a subject self that does not divide the world as
the powers in leadership roles have manipulated us into believing we ought – think ConservativeLiberal, Catholic-Protestant (Hume). Do our moral feelings, moral sentiments connect us as
individual subjects? Will you take Kant’s challenge, ‘Dare to be wise’, to think without the
direction of another? (Kant). These are merely examples. You are welcome to take the paper in
the direction that suits you (as long as you can defend your claims).
Tip: Be sure you are not conflating contemporary understandings of the ideas discussed by the
philosophers. For example, moral feelings are moral sentiments according to Hume. Psychological
egoists would disagree. It is fine for you to discuss both but make it clear in your paper that you
understand the difference. Also, if you do bring in work that is not assigned, be sure to cite it.
Note: You DO NOT need to have answers to all the questions listed above. They are merely listed
as inspiration. You might take your paper in a direction not considered in the questions above.
Extra Credit: Explain thoroughly one quote from one of the following: Descartes, Conway, Hume,
or Kant. Describe why it is valuable in a practical and/or pragmatic way. (2 points)
Note: Please provide complete and thorough answers to the extra credit question, including a
line of reasoning to support your position and evidence as in your experiences and the readings.
4 to 6 sentences.
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General Criteria
• 1000 to 1,500 words (4.0 – 6.0 pages)
• Times New Roman or Arial 12 point font Double Spaced
• 1” Margins
• You do NOT need to use any particular style (e.g., APA or MLA)
• You may use first person “I”. You may also use second person “you”. Or, you may use third
person“one”. Pick one and be consistent
Contact Information: Canvas Messages is preferred.
• Upload your on Canvas using ONLY one of the two following formats:
• *** Word, .doc or PDF format ***
• Total Paper Points: 20 points possible
• Extra credit (2 points possible): Explain thoroughly one quote from either Aurelius or Descartes.
Describe why it is valuable in a practical and/or pragmatic way.
Writing a Philosophy Paper Guidelines
• Grammar matters. Please use complete sentences.
• Reasoning matters. Please be sure that sentences relate to each other. For example, sentence
two follows from sentence one, and so on.
• Use new paragraphs to indicate a new idea.
• Consider using sub-headings to organize your thoughts and convey them in an organized fashion.
• Be sure to introduce a quote and follow it with a sentence explaining why it is important to
the point you are defending.
• The goal is, in short, to understand the material, convey an understanding of the material,
take a position on the material, and defend the position with reasoning, and quotes from the
text as evidence.
• While word count and page number matters, conveying your point and defending your
position matters as well.
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