In this paper you should take up two of the major thinkers that we have engaged over the course of the semester (Plato, Descartes, Nietzsche, and Heidegger)
Take up two of the major thinkers that we have engaged over the course
Final Essay Question
The Examined Life
One of the key aims of this course is to learn to carefully read primary philosophical texts in order to explore the question of who we are. In this paper you should take up two of the major thinkers that we have engaged over the course of the semester (Plato, Descartes, Nietzsche, and Heidegger)
Firstly, How does each address the question, “What is a Human Being?” either implicitly or explicitly?
You should be addressing these kinds of questions (you need not either limit yourself to these questions or address every one):
Secondly, hat parts make up a human being? What is the relationship between these parts?
Thirdly, How do human beings relate to other kinds of animals? How are we similar? How are we different?
Fourthly, How do human beings relate to other humans? What does it mean for human beings to function within a society?
Further, How do human beings relate to the world? How do we explore, understand, and make use of the world around us?
Additionally, How do human beings relate to the divine? What is the relationship between the gods, or God, or the sacred and human behaviour and our ethical responsibilities?
You should also address the relationship between the two. (Again, you need not limit yourselves to these questions or address all of them):
Firstly, Are there striking similarities or differences?
Secondly, Did one influence another, or is one responding to the other?
Thirdly, Can we integrate the two?
I expect your paper to be more than a “laundry list” of answers to these questions: really try to engage the arguments of the thinkers in question and give your reader (me) a sense of what they are trying to say about us as human beings in their texts and how they engage the questions that we have consistently taken up over the semester.
Though you should be building on the material from your thought memos, do not just cut and paste material from them, and do not fill up your paper with biographical information. The focus should be on ideas and arguments.
Your paper must include the following components at minimum:
A concrete thesis or claim about the nature of human being for each thinker.
Supporting evidence for that claim from their writings or from scholarly commentary.
Some conclusion about the relationship between the two networks of ideas.
When you refer to any text, either directly or indirectly, remember to cite! Any system of citation is acceptable so long as it is consistent and meaningful.
Your paper must be at least 2100 words and should be submitted to Canvas no later than 11:59pm
Central Time on 6 May 2020. You may be marked down for errors in punctuation, grammar, etc.