Philosophy questions




Answer 3 of the questions below in the form of an essay.  Be sure to include the questions you are answering in your response, but do not include them in your word count.  You may copy and paste the three questions that you intend to respond to at the top of your submission (the full sentences, not just the #s).

Reply to each question with a minimum of 100 words. Entire essay should be a minimum of 400 words, maximum of 500 words.     Please keep in mind that your answers (regarding Q#4) are only as “right” or “wrong” as they are defensible.  In philosophy, it’s the discussion that matters most, and your view is equally as legitimate as someone else’s view, so long as it’s well-supported.  Completing these assignments gives us the opportunity to see whether certain positions are worthy of holding.  Do not be afraid to voice your opinion in your answers, but make sure that you have reasons to support your position—speaking strongly from one’s feelings is not enough.  🙂

Formatting: Your name must be included on your file, if you submit a file instead of a direct entry into Virtual Campus.  The American Philosophical Association uses APA formatting for submissions when there is a call for papers.  However, for the purposes of this course, it will suffice that you include all relevant citations and use size 14 font (Times New Roman, Times, Arial, or Tahoma) for documents, (or size 18 font for text entry directly into Virtual Campus text entry fields). It is not required that you use or cite any outside sources, but if you do consult sources other than those provided in the course, you must cite those sources—you may do this directly in the text of your essay, or as footnotes or endnotes, but these citations ARE NOT included in your word count.  Proper text body citations would look like this:


In fact, Anselm describes the sort of faith that “merely believes what it ought to believe” as “dead” (Monologion, pp78). So “faith seeking understanding” means something like “an active love of God seeking a deeper knowledge of God.”


You will also want to fashion your thoughts together appropriately, so that one idea flows seamlessly into the next.   For example, do not treat of Gaunilo’s counterexample, and then explain Anselm’s designation (this would be backward & make no sense).

Please remember to copy and paste the questions that you’re answering at the top of your response. (these are not included in your word count, they’re simply included to make your essay easier to grade)

  1. Offer a brief biographical sketch of Anselm.  Who was he?  Who was he teaching?  Was he always devout (in other words, was he always a monk?)
  2. What phrase does Anselm use to designate God?  Explain why he formulates his designation in this way.  Do you think this is an appropriate way to speak of God?
  3. In what two ways may “the fool” say in his or her heart, “There is no God”?
  4. Study carefully the steps in Anselm’s argument. Write down questions you have about its correctness.  You may offer your own counter-example, or response to Anselm’s argument (if you have an example that demonstrates what you consider to be a flaw in Anselm’s reasoning/formulation).
  5. What is Gaunilo’s objection to Anselm’s argument?  How does Anselm reply? What do you think about Anselm’s reply?  Is it sufficient, or has Guanilo mounted a devastating blow to Anselm’s argument?

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