1. John Stuart Mill says that he is not discussing “liberty of the will,” but “civil or social liberty.” What is the distinction he is making? Could someone like Pereboom who is a hard incompatibilist accept Mill’s political views? Or would his stand in opposition to free will commit his to be opposed to Mill’s political liberty? Would Stace’s compatibilism require him to accept Mill’s political views? Or could he favor free will, while opposing Mill’s political liberty? In other words, are they two separate issues? Or does your position of free will influence your position on political freedom, and vice versa?
2. Descartes, Parfit, and Dennett raise the issue of whether “I,” a unitary self that persists over time, exist. Descartes arrives at an Ego theory that Parfit and Dennett both reject. Explain how Descartes arrives at his concept of the self after initial skepticism. Explain how Parfit and Dennett criticize this Ego theory. Then explain why it is important to solve this problem, i.e., what the implications of accepting the Ego Theory or rejecting it are for how we live our lives and for our religious beliefs. Do the same for the Bundle Theory. Remember, the authors are offering arguments that are designed to convince their audiences of their positions. They are not just offering opinions.
3. Richard Taylor argues for a subjective criterion for the meaning of life; but Plato argues that “the unexamined life is not worth living,” which would seem to be an objective criterion for a meaningful life. Explain the differences between Plato and Taylor, including Plato’s argument for his criterion and Taylor’s reasons for his rejection of objective criteria like Plato’s. Remember, the authors are offering arguments that are designed to convince their audiences of their positions. They are not just offering opinions.
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