Read the Instructions Carefully- your mark depends on it!!!
What we want to see in your essay
We will be looking for the following three elements:
1. Demonstrated familiarity with assigned reading
The primary purpose of these assignments is to analyze the arguments in the reading. Papers MUST demonstrate familiarity with the assigned reading relevant to your topic. Papers must make reflective and accurate reference to the views presented in that reading. Papers that appear to be put together from class notes and slides alone are unsatisfactory (but please use your notes and review the slides as well!).
One way to demonstrate familiarity with assigned reading is to quote from it; all quotes require appropriate citation (page numbers, source title). Note that using direct quotes without proper attribution constitutes plagiarism.
This paper should be entirely in your own words (except for quotes from the primary text), demonstrating your understanding of the material. If you happened to developed an idea while reading an outside source and want to use that idea in your essay, even if your idea is not identical to what you read, you need to cite that source as well (this is not simply to avoid the appearances of plagiarism; it is also the standard practice in academic writing) You can find the Toronto guide on how not to plagiarize here: plagiarize
2. Critical awareness
Essays must also demonstrate critical awareness; that is, arguments and potential counter-arguments must be presented. An argument is a piece of reasoning; it is not simply a conclusion. An argument consists of a conclusion and reasons for that conclusion. Without the supporting reasoning, the argument has simply not been stated. Thus, in a philosophy essay, never say simply “So-and-so thought such- and-such (significant conclusion)”; always say “So-and-so thought such-and-such because … ” and then lay out So-and-so’s reasons.
I am assigning this essay so you can demonstrate skill and clarity in marshaling, presenting, and criticizing arguments. You are NOT expected to present “new” positions or break any new ground (please refrain from attempting to do so here). You are NOT required to “state your own views” (unless specifically noted in the particular essay topic instructions).
3. Clear writing (Reasonable, but not perfect, English skills are important)

Formal class essays must demonstrate competent English writing skills. Correct grammar, spelling, etc. are essential to communicating your thoughts. Numerous grammar and spelling mistakes make your writing less clear, and thus negatively affect your grade.
Please be especially careful to AVOID:
• Misspellings of authors’ names
• Misspellings of contractions
• Misspellings of the following words: affect, argument, believe, causal, conceive, conscious, consistency, definition, effect, empirical, existence, inherent, it’s, its, knowledge, necessary, occurrence, phenomenon (singular), phenomena (plural), philosophy, soul, supersede, than, then, their, there, they’re
• Errors in subject-predicate agreement
• Run-on sentences
• Sentence fragments
• Misuse of the apostrophe
Remember your audience!
The imaginary “audience” for your writing is a bright teen-ager, or an ordinary adult not educated in philosophy – someone who knows nothing about the subject matter but can follow an argument. Imagine you are a lawyer writing for the jury (not for other lawyers). Define all technical terms, use plain English and straightforward sentences.
Formatting & Submission Instructions
Essay 1 is due to TurnItIn by 12:59pm (before the first Tutorial) on Friday Oct 16th.
Either bring a paper copy of your essay to your Tutorial on Oct 16th and/or send your TA an electronic copy- whichever he requests.
Late papers will be lowered 1/3 of a letter grade for each day late, unless you are in the hospital, in jail, or trapped under something heavy for days.
Your essay should have your student number and TA’s name in the header of every page. To make your paper readable, please stay close to the following:
• 12 point Times New Roman font.
• Margins set at 1.25” Right, 1.25” Left, 1” Top, 1” Bottom. (this leaves your TA room to
write comments on your paper.
• Double-space the text!

Very Important:
Word limits have a purpose! Essays should be 1,250 – 1,750 wds in length (~4-6pgs). Put the word count at the bottom of your essay before the “References” section (the word count does not include the “References” section). Please be advised, your TA will stop reading your essay after the 1750th word, so be concise. This is not a joke. Your TA has approximately 10 days to read very carefully through approximately 60 of your classmates papers and give helpful, instructive, comments on each . Word counts are strictly limited to allow you ample space to answer the questions asked in the writing prompts and limit “grading fatigue” so that each student receives the best feedback possible from their TA. Students who go beyond the word count are in essence taking more than their share of their TA’s mental effort- word limits make the grading process as fair as possible for all students.
Essay 1 is worth 20% of your total grade.
Essay 1 Topics
Suggestions for how much time to spend on each part of the writing assignment are given in parenthesis [ (short), (longer), etc.].
Topic 1. Dennett, “Where Am I?”
Part 1 (short): Briefly describe Dennett’s “Where Am I?” (make sure to only include details of the story that will be relevant to decisions about the location of Dennett’s self as you will examine it in the sections below.)
Part 2 (short): Dennett entertains at least four possible locations for “himself”: a) where his brain is
b) where his body is
c) wherehispointofviewis
d) both where his brain and his body are (2 places at once)
Briefly explain (state in your own words) the reasons Dennett gives for treating each of these four places as possible locations for his “self”.
Part 3 (longer): Explain which (if any) of the views of the self that we have discussed in class would correspond or conflict with choosing each of these four locations as the location of Dennett’s self. (In part 3 your should say something about each of the locations a-d.)
Part 4 (longer): Your thoughts! Which of options a-d above do you think is the best candidate for the location of Dennett’s self? Explain why you choose that location over the others (that is, give your reasons for thinking it is the best answer). If you think all options a-d have equal merit, explain why you think that is the case.
PHL240 Fall 2015 Essay 1
Topic 2: Williams, “The Self and the Future”
Williams’ article contains two cases:
a) First case: a machine that allows people to “change bodies”
b) Second case: an evil tyrant has you in his power, and is telling you about bad things he will do
to you soon.
Part 1: Describe both of these example cases (short), and the intuitions that Williams thinks each of them supports (medium). Be concise in your description and only include points relevant to the questions asked in the writing prompt.
Part 2: Williams points out that there is a difference between these cases, but that it doesn’t seem to be a significant difference.
State what this difference is and why Williams thinks it doesn’t matter. (medium)
Part 3 (answer in two steps- 3a &3b below): Here you will explain what you would choose (that is, which you think is the right choice) if presented with the options given in the ‘body switching’ example.
You and some lucky/unlucky individual B will be put into the machine Williams describes in the first case. Afterwards, one of the resulting people will have a moderate headache, and the other one will receive millions of dollars. The decision of which person gets which treatment is completely up to you before the procedure.
3a (very short): Before the procedure, you are in Body A. State which you would choose:
i. After the procedure, the A-body person gets the money, and the B-body person gets a
moderate headache.
ii. After the procedure, the B-body person gets the money, and the A-body person gets a
moderate headache.
3b Your Thoughts! (longer): Why do you make the choice that you make? What are your reasons?
Topic 3: Williams & Parfit- Surviving the Teletransporter
Part 1: The Standard Teletransporter:
Suppose that you enter a cubicle in which, when you press a button, a scanner records the states of all the cells in your brain and body, destroying both while doing so. This information is then transmitted at the speed of light to some other planet, where a replicator produces a perfect organic copy of you. Since the brain of your Replica is exactly like yours, it will seem to remember living your life up to the moment when you pressed the button, its character will be just like yours, and it will be in every other way psychologically continuous with you.
(Topic 3 continued on next page)
PHL240 Fall 2015 Essay 1
(Topic 3: Williams & Parfit- Surviving the Teletransporter, continued) Do you survive the teletransportation process?
Explain how Williams and Parfit would view this problem. What would each take to be the relevant factors to decide whether or not you have survived? (medium)
Part 2 (answer in two steps- 2a & 2b below): The Slightly Delayed Teletransporter:
When you press the button, your body will not be destroyed right away. In fact, you are able to talk to the duplicate via satellites for a few minutes while they warm up the disintegrator. (The technology itself doesn’t require that your body be destroyed, you see, but it has to be destroyed for legal reasons).
2a: (longer) Would either Parfit or Williams have a different view of whether and/or in what way you survive this variation of teletransportation than they would in the non-delayed version? Explain the differences, if there are any.
2b: (medium) Your Thoughts! Explain how you would view this variation on the problem. What do you take to be the relevant factors to decide whether or not you have survived the transporter with the “slight delay”