The Philosophy Papers: First year
Having finished my first year of university, I figured it would be worth publishing my essays here so that more people than just my tutors and lecturers can enjoy them. These papers will obviously be structured very differently from my usual articles as they are seeking to answer a particular question or respond to a particular passage of a book. However, despite the more academic structure, there are some good ideas embedded in these papers and I hope that you may find some inspiration in them to do some thinking on these topics yourself. As always, I appreciate any feedback you may have on these papers so feel free to comment on them and ask some questions if you would like.
The papers I will be uploading over the next few months will be:
Are the goals of Justice and Liberty eventually reconcilable? This paper looks at what justice and liberty are, what their goals are, and how I come to the conclusion that these goals are not reconcilable. My argument includes three main arguments and objections. First, that justice obligates behaviour while liberty tries to rid interference, responding to the objection that mild obligations do not restrict liberty. Second, that the objects of liberty and justice are not compatible, answering the objection of considering liberty as a right. Last, the philosophical foundations of the goals of liberty and justice are incompatible, critiquing the objection that liberty and justice can be balanced.
Will our current human nature be a mere phase to future generations? This paper looks at the possible future heralded by Transhumanism and to an extent posthumanism. I give three arguments for why I believe that human nature may change due to transhumanism. First, the unstoppable development of technology will ensure that elements of transhumanism will be incorporated into human nature. Second, the extrinsic properties of human nature are constantly developing. Finally, our future generations may not be human but posthuman. I also give reasons for why this will have negative consequences on our future and respond to objections.
Lucretius on the fear of death In this paper, I discuss Lucretius's ideas around the fear of death being irrational. I then give reasons for why I disagree with his position.
Response to A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality by John Perry In this paper, I discuss a part of John Perry's book that looks at a possible idea for personal identity. I then show how I disagree with this concept and explain the problems with such an idea.
Aristotle's ontology of souls, a response to Nicomachean Ethics In this paper, I look at Book 1 Chapter 13 of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and respond to his ideas around the parts of the soul.
Is free will an illusion? In this paper, I answer the question of whether free will exists using some original arguments. The first is that rational judgement requires free will, and as humans have the capacity for rational judgement, they must also have free will. The second is that a world without free will would not be able to conceive of the idea of free will, and as we are able to conceive it, it must exist. Finally, contingent events that depend on human actions must also have alternative outcomes. If alternative outcomes are possible, then the individual must have been able to choose differently, and this is what we call free will. I also respond to objections such as the objection from Spinoza.
An analysis of Plato's Euthyphro. In this paper, I analyse Plato's arguments on impiety and give possible objections with possible counter-arguments from Plato's perspective.
An analysis of Martha Nussbaum's ‘Non-Relative Virtues: An Aristotelian Approach’ In this paper, I analyse Nussbaum's arguments for how Aristotle gives an objective basis for how the virtues can be accounted for. I also give possible objections and possible counter-arguments.
What are middle-class Australians morally required to do to alleviate global poverty, if anything? In this paper, I discuss the principles of property distribution and property rights. The moral obligations people have to fix problems, and what middle-class Australians are morally obligated to do to help alleviate global poverty.
I'll be doing the same thing next year and hopefully, you'll enjoy what I ended up writing.