Short answer questions: You will need to answer 4 out of 5. Make your answers as detailed as you can - they should be a paragraph long, written in complete sentences. Your answers should be based on the textbook, the Web lecture notes, and class lectures and discussions. If you answer all 5, only the first 4 will be marked.
Short essay question: You will need to answer 1 out of 2. Your essay should have an introduction, discussion, and conclusion, organized into paragraphs with complete sentences. Essays will be marked according to the comprehensiveness and quality of your arguments, not according to your conclusion. To prepare essays, use the following template:
Rights & Duties
|Option A||Pro & Con||Pro & Con|
|Option B||Pro & Con||Pro & Con|
Technology can keep bodies alive unnaturally.
There is a need for organs to transplant.
Issues about abortion depend on whether the fetus is a person.
Should the courts protect the fetus from maternal abuse?
1990 decision: Rights of a person apply only after birth.
But mother has duty to pre-natal care.
Defense argument: The men who dropped Junor on his head are not guilty of manslaughter, because the doctors killed him when they removed his kidneys.
Arguments against this criterion:
1. Does not keep body alive pointlessly.
2. Allows transplantation (positive consequences).
Con: The brain stem is not sufficient to constitute a person.
Pro: Without the possibility of thinking and consciousness, a body is not a person.
Con: This standard may lead to premature death because of the difficulty of determining cortical function.
Problem: New technologies are finding more brain activity and responses.
P. Thagard; The self as a complex system, Philosophical Psychology.
Reason without caring is empty, but caring without reason is blind.
1. What are the arguments against using general organ functioning to determine whether a person is dead?
2. What is Puccetti's argument that neocortex functioning is better for determining death than whole brain functioning?
3. Essay question: Critically discuss the advantages and disadvantages with respect to consequences and rights of 2 criteria for determining death. For each option, discuss: consequences pro, con, and overall; rights pro, con, and overall; your overall conclusion concerning the options based on consequences and rights.
4. Why does Jones think that the brain begins in two main stages?
Computational Epistemology Laboratory.
This page updated Oct. 29, 2012