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Could you be uploaded onto a computer? – This relates to the question of determining what we are (personal identity) and whether that personal identity can be uploaded onto a pc.

CRITERIA AND INSTRUCTIONS
Essay #1 – 1500 words. Could you be uploaded onto a computer? – This relates to the question of
determining what we are (personal identity) and whether that personal identity can be uploaded
onto a pc.
Essay #2 – 1500 words. Has science shown us that we have no free will? – First get the notion of free
will on the table, then give some sense of some scientific research that has a bearing on this topic
(Libet’s experiment is one of them- check libet’s book, ch 1 &2) and evaluate whether that work has
shown that we have free will or not. Answer: the experiments don’t demonstrate that. Please refer
to my references for further understanding. You can also look at it in a more general way with the
relationship between determinism and physicalism and whether the development of physical
sciences has shown us that we have no free will.
• Font size 11
• 1.5 space
• Calibri font
• Vancouver style citation.
• Give ONE clear answer to the question right away – 1-2 sentence answer and structure essay around that
answer.
• Give a clear central argument that support the answer to the question – why should anyone believe this
answer? It is advised to compare the strongest argument with other less strong ones that you briefly mention
in the essay.
• Make sure the arguments rest on a clear exposition of the positions, text or materials involved
• Don’t include anything that doesn’t help the above – be spare but clear. It’s only 1500 words.
Matters of style
– A philosophy essay is not a poem, novel, dialogue, sermon, meditation, prayer, confession, a numbered series
of abstract points….
– Prioritise clarity over vocabulary
– Use examples/metaphors that are not necessarily complicated
– State things simply, before elaborating and qualifying if necessary.
• Explain technical terms and don’t use technical terms without explaining its meaning
• Use illustrative examples when introducing subtle distinctions.
• Signpost throughout –in the introduction say what you’re going to do in the essay. In the conclusion, say how
you’ve done it.
– Quote sparingly – there’s no need to back up every claim with a quote.
– Use quotation to highlight some part of the text or an issue than you then discuss in detail.
– State a clear thesis early in the paper.
– Defend the claim concerning that thesis.
➢ Don’t begin the introduction with a general opening statement. “The nature of the mind is something
that philosophers have debated for centuries…” Irrelevant and waste of words.
➢ Don’t feel that you need to finalise the introduction before you have written an essay. Sometimes it’s
better to write it at the end, as I will know what my central argument is.
➢ Do briefly tell the reader what the paper is about and what will be argued.
Target audience: a 2
nd year university student like myself that would be able to comprehend the material.
Please refer to the recommended reading documents uploaded.
Essay #1
Extra resources On personal identity
https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2019/entries/identity-personal/
On mind uploading

Essay #2
Extra resources on free will https://philosophyofbrains.com/2019/08/12/1-the-naturalistic-case-for-free-will-thechallenge.aspx
Why cognitive sciences do not prove that free will is an epiphenomenon
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00326/full

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