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PHIL 20B : TSOMPANIDIS : SUMMER 2008 HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL & EARLY MODERN PHILOSOPHY SECOND PAPER ASSIGNMENT (i) Let us assume that in order to know that p one must be certain that p. Suppose your friend Rene claims to know that he has hands. Using our discussion of Descartes’ second skeptical scenario (the dreaming hypothesis), how might you argue that Rene, in fact, does not know that he has hands? (ii) Consider now that p can be any knowledge claim. Explain which knowledge claims can be successfully undermined by Descartes’ second skeptical scenario and which cannot ( hint : make sure you discuss the subjects’ cognitive attachment to an external environment) (iii) Explain why, even given what is contained in your answer to part (i), Descartes claims to know that he exists. INSTRUCTIONS This assignment is due in class on Monday July 28th . Grade penalties may be given for late papers. The suggested length is 4-5 pages
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Unformatted text preview: (double-spaced, reasonable font size). Please make sure you answer all three parts. You should write as if you are helping an intelligent, though philosophically unskilled, friend understand the nature of the issue. Thus, some concepts will need to be explicated. Grading is based on accuracy, completeness, and philosophical creativity of the essay considered as a response to the questions posed. Clear, precise writing is also essential. More help on writing philosophy papers is available on the course website. Any material taken directly from another person must be placed in quotation marks, with the source explicitly cited. Whenever others’ ideas are used or discussed without taking material directly from their writings, the source of those ideas must be explicitly cited as well. Departures from this policy may amount to plagiarism. Good luck!...
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