Due date: The deadline of submission of the first paper is Sunday August 18 at noon.
Paper length: 1000 – 1500 words.
Late papers: Starting in week 2 any assignment submitted after the due date/time will receive a one-third grade point deduction (i.e., B to B-) for each week (or part thereof) following the due date.
Grading: The exam is graded on your understanding of the assigned readings and the lectures as well as on your ability to write in a clear and concise manner. You are neither required not encouraged to use sources other than the assigned readings and lecture slides.
Guidance: For general guidance on writing philosophy papers please consult the Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper. Please also read Plagiarism – Policies and Definitions. both texts are available at the top of the course website in the “Course Information” module.
Paper Prompts: Write on ONE of the following topics:
(1) Explain McTaggart’s distinction between an A-series and a B-series of time. Is McTaggart right in claiming that it is not merely a terminological distinction? Explain McTaggart’s thesis that the A-series involves a contradiction. What, if anything, is problematic about McTaggart’s argument to the effect that the A-series involves a contradiction?
(2) What is time travel? Explain the grandfather paradox. Explain David Lewis’s solution to the grandfather paradox. Do you find Lewis’s solution convincing and why?
(3) Explain the distinction between fatalism and causal determinism. Explain the argument for fatalism from foreknowledge. Suppose you were Osmo and you found the book describing your past and future life in a local library. Would it be rational for you adopt a fatalistic attitude and why? How, if at all, do you think that your situation differs from Osmo’s? Are those differences relevant to the question of whether you have free will?
The files are about these three topics. please read it.
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