PURPOSE: Reading philosophy demands that we slow down, read carefully, actively engage with and reflect on what we have read. These assignments provide an opportunity to capture and organize those reflections. One of the best ways to learn something (and to find out what still isn’t clear) is to try to communicate what we are learning to someone else.

ASSIGNMENT BASICS: Write a short multi-paragraph exploratory essay on the prompt provided. No specific format is required, but do read this: Do Your Best on the Weekly Dropbox Assignments.pdf and:

Include your name, and provide a title
Use indented paragraphing to highlight the structure of your short essay (a separate paragraph for each major point you want to make)
Aim for at least 300 words


In this unit we explored different theories in the philosophy of mind. While the problem of mind has deep roots, it was RenĂ© Descartes’ formulation that gave it new life for modern philosophy. As a result of new discoveries in the sciences starting in the 20th century, this area has become of of the liveliest in philosophy, with deep implications for how we understand intelligence, conscious awareness, and artificial intelligence.

For this prompt, select the theory of mind you’d like to discuss (you only need to discuss one):

DEFINE IT: provide a clear definition of it in your own words
DISCUSS IT: in what ways does it help us better understand the mind-body problem and or the problem of other minds?
EVALUATE: explore its strengths and weaknesses in your own words
WRAP IT UP in a conclusion

WATCH YOUR TURNITIN SCORE: The dropbox is linked to Turnitin, which checks for originality; a zero score is best, and over 10% is problematic (the system is already set to ignore 5%). To see your score, go to COURSE ACTIVITIES, then ASSIGNMENTS, then click on the VIEW HISTORY button. There are also materials on avoiding plagiarism in the START HERE folder.

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