Philosophy midterm paper | phil 110 | San Francisco State University

Directions:  Select one of the questions below and write a 4-page paper (only write on one question).  The paper must be 4 pages (1100-word count), typed, double-spaced, 12-inch font size and 1-inch margins.  Goals: you must incorporate philosophical concepts logically throughout your paper and express the concepts in your own words.

Question 1Analysis

Use your own words to articulate the concepts and cite the text sparingly as support.  Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill laid the ground for utilitarianism.  In your paper, do the following:

a)       Explain the scope of utilitarianism.

b)      What arguments do Bentham and Mill provide to support their position?  Where do they diverge?

c)       Mill admits that there are challenges to utilitarianism.  What are the challenges?  Does he reconcile them?  Thoroughly explain your response.

d)      Apply the theory of utilitarianism to the practice of eugenics (you can refer to one case or all of the cases discussed in class). 

Question 2Analysis

Use your own words to articulate the concepts and cite the text sparingly as support.  In the Apology, Socrates chose the penalty of death rather than exile for discussing virtue.  In the play Antigone, Antigone chose the penalty of death for burying her brother against Creon’s decree.  Neither Socrates nor Antigone denied their actions even when facing death.  These choices appear counter to human action.  Schopenhauer insists to understand the freedom of the will, one must define freedom first and then examine self-consciousness.  In your paper, do the following:

a)       Articulate Schopenhauer’s thoughts about the different types of freedom.  Why are the distinctions relevant to the matter of free will?

b)      Why does Schopenhauer think determinism is problematic? (Hint: in your answer indicate the deterministic view of human action).

c)       According to Schopenhauer, what is free will? 

d)      Apply Schopenhauer’s view to the case of Socrates or Antigone.

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