Philosophy essay

Philosophy 101

(30 points total; 10 points for each of the following questions.)


What makes someone the same person over time according to John Locke’s theory of personal identity? How does Thomas Reid expose a contradiction in Locke’s theory with his example of ‘the brave officer’? Lastly, briefly explain Hume’s critique of the traditional notion of the ‘self.’

How is the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) used by the advocate of the Cosmological Argument to justify the two premises of the argument? Make sure to clearly define dependent and self-existent beings, and also to explain the two parts of PSR and how each part is used to justify a different premise of the argument. (See Rowe’s article; pp. 47-55.)

According to Aristotle, how does an individual come to lead a good life? Include a discussion of happiness, our unique function as human beings, character, virtue, and the ‘mean.’ In explaining the ‘mean,’ briefly offer your own example of someone acting courageously and what that entails.


This is an essay exam. Students are expected to write in clear and concise sentences. Answers should reflect engagement both with the readings and course material. Make sure to fully answer each question and to proofread your answers before you turn them in, and to look for any spelling or grammatical mistakes.

You do not need to use any sources other than your textbook and the course material to complete this assignment. If you use sources other than your textbook or the course material (for example, websites or articles), you need to include a complete list of sources at the end of your paper. When quoting from the course textbook make sure to specify the page number where the quotation can be found. A simple reference at the end of the quotation will suffice, such as: (p. 42) or (42). All quotations from course or secondary material should be clearly indicated with quotation marks and properly cited. You should try as much as possible to use your own words and not rely too heavily on quotations from the textbook or the lecture material. A few short quotations per answer are acceptable. But the focus should be on explaining the concepts in your own words. Each of your answers should be roughly half-a-page to a page in length (single-spaced), or 350-700 words each (1050-2100 words total), but feel free to write more if necessary. If you have any questions about the exam feel free to email me.

Checklist for Final Exam


answers should be clearly written

checked for spelling and grammatical errors


should fully answer each question on the assignment prompt

content should be written in the student’s own words and demonstrate engagement with the readings and course materials

quotations should be used effectively and sparingly

each answer should be roughly 350 to 700 words (1050-2100 words total)


quotations should be clearly indicated with quotation marks and have a citation (or just a page number for quotations from the course textbook)

any secondary sources used for the purpose of writing the response paper should also be cited.