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1000 words

Essays in Unit 2

Gilbert Ryle, “Descartes’s Myth”

John Searle, “Can Computers Think?”

David Chalmers, “The Hard Problem of Consciousness”

Here are some general directions before you read the questions. You only answer 1 prompt, but in each question you are asked to agree or disagree with the position in the reading that starts the question. In doing so you are giving reasons to agree or disagree and that must be more than simply repeating what is in the exposition. 

The completed essay must be 1000 words; your discussion should be roughly 800 for the expository part and 200 words for critical assessment part. I emphasize that this separate word count is rough, so the critical assessment could be longer. But keep in mind that there must be content in any critical assessment. If it is just filler beyond 200 words, then that will not improve your essay.

Choose 1 of the following

1. Discuss Ryle’s criticism of Descartes’s mind-body dualism and how Ryle supports his criticism. Discuss your critical assessment of Ryle (i.e., reasons for agreeing or disagreeing).

2. Discuss Searle’s position on strong AI and how he defends it.  Discuss your critical assessment of Searle (i.e., reasons for agreeing or disagreeing).

3. Discuss Chalmers position on consciousness and how he defends it.  Discuss your critical assessment of Chalmers (i.e., reasons for agreeing or disagreeing).


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