The Ship of Theseus and Parfits , philosophy homework help

Description of Assignment: Below you will find a prompt. You will write an argumentative essay that addresses all the points in the prompt. The idea is to defend a thesis by using proper exegesis (critical exposition) and analysis (reasoning about all the potential positions one could take and then defending the most logically sound one)

Directions and Guidelines:

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  • Paper should be typed, double-spaced (don’t quadruple space between paragraphs!)
  • 12 point font
  • Times New Roman or something similar
  • 1 inch margins all around
  • No cover page necessary, though if you use one, it does not count toward word count/length
  • Paper should be 3-4 pages in length (750-1000 words)
  • Paper should have a clear, identifiable thesis statement in the introduction
  • Address ALL points in the prompt
  • No outside sources! Unless you clear them with me, you will lose points for citing anything but the readings we have covered, notes, or prezis.
  • Be sure to properly cite/quote ANY IDEAS THAT AREN’T YOURS.
  • A bibliography is not needed per se, but include some reference, either in a footnote or work cited page, to the full information regarding your textbook. I don’t care what style you use (MLA, APA, etc). Just be consistent. You should only be citing the textbook.
  • Late Papers: For every 24 hours they are late, 1 point deducted from the maximum score of 10
  • Please refer to the rubric on Blackboard for a detailed description of my grading policy
  • Turn papers in to me 11:59 pm on the day they are due. Please use Microsoft Word or open office as your attachment format. I will not accept any other format.


What is the best way to understand the concept of ‘self’? Discuss why this is such a difficult metaphysical issue. Include in your discussion “The Ship of Theseus” and Parfit’s “Teletransportation” thought experiments, along with any other scenarios we discussed that demonstrate why ‘self’ is such a complicated thing to explain. How have philosophers attempted to define self? Explain how Descartes argues that the self is an immaterial soul, how Locke argues that it is a collection of memories, and how Hume argues that there is no self. Of all these theories, which one solves the problems posed by all the thought experiments you discussed in the first part of your paper? Or, if none of these solves all the problems, which is the best theory overall and why? Or, is the problem of self unsolvable? Defend your choice.…

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