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October 2.docx

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Philosophy 2073F/G
Chris Sheriff

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October 2, 2012 Structure of Essay: - An introductory paragraph in which you clearly state your thesis o Lay out the problem/question o Indicate some of the central arguments that will be used to defend your thesis o A clear statement of your thesis - A thesis o Should take a clear position on the question being asked o For an essay in which you are comparing two different views, a sentence with the structure, “A is different from B” is NOT a thesis - An argument for your thesis o Present a series of arguments to establish your conclusion o Should be several sub-arguments which, taken together, lead to your conclusion o Points should be argued for, not simple asserted  You should be giving reasons to believe that what you are saying is true o What is an argument:  A series of defended statements which, taken together, prove or establish some conclusion - Consideration of possible objections (a counter-argument) o Consider how someone who disagrees with your thesis might argue against the points you have sought to establish o Consider two possible objections that could be raised against you, and how you can respond to them o These should be serious and substantial objections which potentially challenge your thesis - A conclusion o Briefly restate your central points and thesis, and suggest further avenues for further discussion which extend from your thesis - Citations o Always cite everything o Any idea which is not your own must be cited o Cite with author name and page number What is Death?: Pojman & McMahan on Brain-Death and Human Death - Pojman’s argument o There are 4 kinds of death we could consider  Loss of Soul  Cardiopulmonary View  Whole brain death  Neocortical brain death o What matters for death?  What is of value to us is our consciousness. If that is permanently gone, then we are dead in any relevant sense  A hunk of flesh without consciousness is not living  Not relevant whether or not the body still functions in some way  Neocortical brain death represents the permanent loss of consciousness for humans, and so is enough to constitute death o Personal or Biological Death?  We could think of the body as continuing to be alive even when neocortical brain death has occurred  Stages 2 and 3 in the Mayo and Winkler stages of the human organism correspond to this  Projman suggest that we may need two concepts: personal death, and biological death - McMahan: o Agrees that there is personal death and biological death o We are not identical with any organism  If we are identical with our organism, then we begin to exist when the organism does, and cease to exist when it does  Further, we cannot cease to exist until it does  This leads to a host of counter-intuitive and problematic conclusionsb  There seem to be clear times when our organism is alive, but we would want to say that we are not o Death and Mental Continuity  If death is the irreversible loss of the capacity for consciousness, we need a solid sense of what is involved in the ceasing to exist/continuing to exist of the mind  Preliminary answer: Continued existence of the mind rests in their being enough of the brain/cerebral hemisphere still functioning to allow- at least in principle- the possibility of consciousness  There are several possible ways this can be c
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