DESCARTES, HUME AND THE VIDEOS, “SECRETS OF THE MIND” & “THE EXAMINED LIFE: JUDITH BUTLER (AND SUNUARA TAYLOR)”
REFLECTION PAPER #3: DESCARTES, HUME AND THE VIDEOS, aSECRETS OF THE MINDa & aTHE EXAMINED LIFE: JUDITH BUTLER (AND SUNUARA TAYLOR)a
You should select one of the six themes listed below and type an approximately 3 page double-spaced paper on that theme. The actual themes are in capital letters. Some of these themes overlap with each other, and, therefore, you may draw from more than one theme, if you do so in one coherent essay with a clear thesis statement. You need not answer every question listed under the theme that you select a they are suggestions as to what you might want to include and reminders of what we discussed in class. However, you are required to discuss an aspect of an assigned reading and an aspect of one of the assigned videos in respect the theme you have selected. In so doing, you should try to build an argument of your own. I will not accept papers that are shorter than 44 lines (approximately 2 double-spaced pages of text). You are permitted to write a paper that is longer than 3 pages, but it should not be any longer than 5 pages.
FURTHER FORMAT INSTRUCTIONS:
a) You may include several short quotes, with citations, from the text to support your answer, BUT NEVER INCLUDE LONG QUOTATIONS IN A SHORT PAPER. Be sure to explain what any quotes mean in your own words and how they are important to your answer. OUTSIDE SOURCES ARE NEITHER EXPECTED NOR ENCOURAGED, BUT, IF YOU USE THEM, YOU MUST FOOTNOTE OR CITE.
b) USE A 10 or 11 or 12 PITCH FONT and USE LEFT AND RIGHT MARGINS, TOP AND BOTTOM MARGINS OF ONE (1) inch a I WILL NOTICE IF YOU USE VERY LARGE MARGINS OR FONTS.
GRADING POLICY: I will grade you on
1)How well you understand the texts we have read;
2)The coherence of your thought and how deeply and creatively you have reflected on the material we have read and watched, in presenting the connections between ideas in both the arguments of our readings and your own discussion, commentary and argument, especially in respect to the videos; Make sure that you include a thesis statement.
3)Your grammar and spelling insofar as it either detracts from, or enhances, the clarity of your writing and thinking;
4)The relevance of your essay to the theme you have selected; and the details from the movie with which you support your own argument. Do not simply ignore the reading, and write an essay on someone or something you consider more important. Do not discuss the video(s) in such generality that there is no evidence that you actually watched it (or them). Do not rely on summaries of either the videos or of the arguments of Ramachandran and/or Judith Butler found elsewhere online. If you consult such summaries you must include them in your bibliography, even if you do not directly quote them.
5)Proper citations from the readings: this essay is primarily a reflection paper on readings we have done in class, so secondary sources are not expected or encouraged. The only citations expected are those from the readings. However, if you do use outside sources, even if you do not directly quote them, you must document them through use of citations, footnotes or endnotes. Failure to cite constitutes plagiarism.
POLICY ON PLAGIARISM AND ACADEMIC DISHONESTY:
See #5 above, under grading policy, for what must be cited. Remember that plagiarism includes failure to cite a) direct quotes from sources (including Spark Notes); b) paraphrases or cut and paste from sources or multiple sources; and c) ideas borrowed from some other source, even if you do not quote or paraphrase.
You are also expected to write your own paper a your paper should not be identical to another studentas paper, even in part.
Cases of plagiarism or academic dishonesty may receive a zero on the assignment with no opportunity to rewrite the paper, and may be reported through higher channels in the university.
HOW TO CITE MATERIAL WE READ IN CLASS: Use brackets after any direct quotes, and in the brackets include author, Meditation, page #: [Descartes, Meditation 1, p. #] and [class notes] and [Handout on Contents of the Mind], [Descartes Illustration], [Secrets of the Mind], [Examined Life], etc.
SELECT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING THEMES (IN CAPITAL LETTERS). DO NOT TRY TO ANSWER EVERY QUESTION LISTED BELOW THE THEMES a USE THEM AS SUGGESTIONS AS TO WHAT YOU MIGHT INCLUDE IN YOUR ESSAY AND REMINDERS OF WHAT WE HAVE DISCUSSED IN CLASS. HOWEVER, YOU MUST INCLUDE SOME DISCUSSION OF AN ASPECT OF THE ASSIGNED READING AND AN ASPECT OF ONE OF THE VIDEOS.
THEME #1: DOUBT, DECEPTION, AND CERTAINTY: WHAT CAN WE DOUBT AND IS ANYTHING AT ALL CERTAIN?
aI think, therefore I am.a [Descartes, Discourse, Part 4, pp. 18 & 19]
UNDERSTANDING AND REFLECTING ON THE TEXT: The above quote is related to Meditation #2, where Descartes makes a similar argument without using these exact words. Firstly, why does Descartes decide to doubt in Meditation #1? Does he decide to prove his beliefs false before rejecting them, and how or how not? Does he doubt every one of his individual beliefs, and how or how not? What are the ways in which he doubts, and what does he doubt? Then what does he find certain at the beginning of Meditation #2, which is connected to the above quote? Furthermore, you may also discuss what Hume considers certain and/or uncertain, although you are not required to do so (we only discussed Hume briefly in class). Have you ever doubted anything in your life, and, if so what? Have you resolved these doubts, and, if so how? When you have doubted previous beliefs, did you replace them with new beliefs, or did you simply overcome your doubt and return to the beliefs that you once doubted? Were the ways you doubted similar to, or different from the ways in which Descartes doubted? Do you think there is anything certain in this world, and, if so, what and why? If not, why not?
USING A VIDEO TO HELP BUILD YOUR OWN ARGUMENT: For example, in the vignette in aSecrets of the Minda on the phantom limb syndrome and the mirror box, did Ramachandran introduce anything that could be doubted or that was deceptive, and how? Is it similar to, or different, hunger and thirst play in his attempt to relate body and mind to each other? Do you think that
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