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The Artichoke Version of the Self,Reality, Art, and Truth.

Write a 2–3-page paper explaining the artichoke idea of the self. Remember to explain specific theories with supporting citations from the textbook and online lectures. (Here is a guide to help you with APA-style citations.)

As you develop your response, you might find some of the following questions to be relevant:

  • What is the existential idea of the self?
  • What do you make of the feminist, existential, and non-Western critiques of/alternatives to the essentialist/avocado self? Are there any problems with the idea that human beings are fundamentally rational creatures?

 Due May 21 at 11:59 PM

Reality, Art, and Truth.

This 6-8 page essay assignment will be completed in three parts and will draw upon the material from Weeks 1, 2, and 3. You may want to use section headers to organize your paper. Remember to explain the theories you reference with supporting citations to the textbook and online lectures in correct APA format. Here is a guide to help you with APA-style citations. Use this APA Citation Helper as a convenient reference for properly citing resources.

I. The Self

Discuss the avocado idea of the self and explain at least one version of the idea that human beings have a shared essential nature.  Contrast this account with the artichoke idea of the self (drawing upon phenomenology and existentialism to develop your account) and a discussion of how the modern/avocado and postmodern/artichoke ideas of the self differ. You may use your analysis from the Week 2 and 3 discussion assignments to develop your account in Part I.

II. Truth and Reality

Discuss how these ideas of the self are disclosed in art by choosing an example of a character/narrator/subject in a work of art (novel, poem, film, graphic novel, short story, television show, song, painting, etc.) who you think captures the avocado/modern idea that we have an essential, shared human nature and that the self and the world are distinct entities. Then, choose an example of a work of art that you think illustrates the artichoke/post-modern idea of the self.  Consider the following ideas and questions in your analysis of these two examples:

  1. Are the self and the material world distinct entities, as Descartes thinks? What are some examples of representative art that illustrate the idea that the subject/mind and the object/world/body are distinct? Alternatively, are the self and the world organic unities, as Schelling argues? How might artistic creation express this unity of subject and object? 
  2. Is art mimesis/representation (as in Platonism and Aristotelian aesthetics) or is it a means of transforming the self and reality? Might it be aspirational, allowing us to achieve catharsis, as Aristotle suggests? Consider, too, how the idea of art as representation is akin to the avocado view while the idea of art as transformative is more like the artichoke view.

III. Art and Philosophy

  1. What is the relationship between art and philosophy? Do you agree with Descartes that logic and critical thinking are the best means of achieving certainty about reality and existence, or is your view more akin to the perspective of Keats, Schelling,  Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and/or Heidegger that art is the ultimate expression of truth? How are these views a rejection of the natural standpoint we see adopted by empiricism and rationalism and rejected by phenomenology?
  2. Do some kinds of art (music, for example) express the truth more fully than others? How so? How does the idea and purpose of art differ across cultures?

 Due May 28 at 11:59 PM

What is a Just State?

In a 2–3-page paper, address the following:

  1. Explain intersectionality
  2. Explain at least one social philosophy from the textbook. For instance, you might discuss utilitarianism, Rawls, Marx, Nozick, Du Bois, King, or Beauvoir. If the theory has a clear correlate, please discuss it as well.
  3. Illustrate your understanding of both the intersectional and traditional social justice approaches with examples.
  4. Support your account of the theories with citations to the textbook and online lectures in correct APA format. Use this APA Citation Helper as a convenient reference for properly citing resources.

 Due June 4 at 11:59 PM

The Good Life

The final graded assignment is an 8-10 page paper on the question: what is the good life? This assignment will be completed in four parts, so you may want to use section headers to organize your paper. This paper is somewhat cumulative, so you may need to review material from previous weeks to prepare for this essay. Remember to explain the theories you reference with supporting citations to the textbook and online lectures before contrasting them in correct APA format. You may want to use examples to illustrate your understanding of key ideas in each theory. Use this APA Citation Helper as a convenient reference for properly citing resources.

Address the following in your paper:

  1. The Consequentialism Debate: Compare and Contrast deontology and utilitarianism. Briefly discuss the differences between Bentham and Mill’s versions of utilitarianism. Discuss the political and ethical implications of utilitarianism.
  2. Explain virtue ethics and care ethics and discuss how these approaches offer an alternative to the deontological and utilitarian focus on how we should act.
  3. Explain existential ethics and briefly discuss the role of free will in ethical decision making. The explanation of existentialism should discuss the following ideas: authenticity, ambiguity, freedom, anxiety, and bad faith. 
  4. Illustrate the theories discussed with examples, including situations relevant to your current or future career.

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