We have been discussing consciousness and the unconscious, in particular the warring states of this unconscious and the attempt at resolution of these conflicts into and by what we might call the conscious mind. We have, in the process, discussed “free” will or some understandings of the concept of (free) will as well as some understandings of what we might call the personality (who we are from one moment to the next). Finally, in this module, we have discussed a little how our understanding of will (and intention) might (or should) influence the criminal justice system, all of which make up the possibilities of your first essay assignment.
Choose one topic below:
1.On personality: reconsider Mel Gibson’s drunken antisemitic tirade. Who was the “real” Mel Gibson: the alcohol-influenced hurler of pejoratives about the Jewish people, or the sober, apologetic person some days later who claimed to have no feelings of antisemitism in any way? (Look up details of this incident online to gain more insight. You might also read some Internet snippets of what neuroscientist David Eagleman has said on the subject.) Further, take your interpretation of Gibson’s situation and apply it to yourself when you do/say (or want to do/say) things you later not only regret but claim “weren’t the ‘real’ you.” How do you view identity and personality when considering these conflicting states of being? Find two reliable sources to support your argument, and give good examples in your essay. (Personal examples are fine.)
2.Kevin’s case from RadioLab: Should Kevin be punished for what he allegedly could not control? Refer specifically to the argument made by Dr. Sapolsky in the Radiolab interview as well as other reliable sources that might disagree. Address your views of “punishment” when it comes to behavior that may not be able to be controlled in the context of “free” will. Remember to refer to the RadioLab program in your essay to support your argument and at least one other reliable source.
3.Get philosophical on free will: What exactly does free will mean when tied to the processes of unconscious, environmental, genetic, hormonal (and other biological) influences? How do you understand (free) will now? Find at least two other reliable sources to support your argument, and give good examples in your essay to bolster your position. (Hint: Robert Sapolsky of Stanford is one recommended source you might use. Neuroscientist David Eagleman is another.)
Your essay should follow the guidelines below and be composed entirely in MLA style:
Essay should be 3-4 double-spaced pages
Essay must include correct, MLA-style in-text citations
Works cited page in MLA style must be the final page of the document (but will not count toward the total page count)
How many in-text citations should you have? In a paper this size, approximately 4-6 will do
Include an introduction paragraph with attention-getting “hook,” underlined thesis, and a statement that explains the organization of the paper’s structure
Include a concluding paragraph which sums up the major components of your argument and leaves the reader with a final, memorable ending
Use an interesting and creative title
Use proper grammar, mechanics, and formatting
Write in academic parlance and formal style (third-person only)For more information on conflicting states check on this :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_the_United_States
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