Theo Todman's BA Papers

(Text as at 01/08/2017 00:11:31)

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Here are my BA writings. Currently these are mostly .pdf files only. I have started to convert them to my Notes format1 and (maybe) intend to update them in the light of greater understanding (if any). However, this is not a priority task. There are four groupings, the fourth of which links to another page on my site2:-

Final Year Essays Earlier Essays Book AnalysesPaper Analyses

Here are some final-year BA papers ...

1.This is my BA Dissertation on the topic of Poverty of Stimulus arguments for the Innateness of Grammar. I enjoyed this investigation, and intend to use the kind of abductive arguments on which it is based as a model for my PhD thesis.Poverty of Stimulus3
2.This is the first of three essays on Greek Philosophy. Despite my arguing that Greek Philosophy shouldn't be included in the BA, or at least not so early in the course, or not without a lot of motivation, this turned out to be my best paper. This essay is on the topic of fatalism. The Sea Battle4
3.The second essay on Greek Philosophy asks whether the Third Man Argument refutes Plato's Theory of Forms. I have to admit that, but for the course, I wouldn't have looked into this subject, and those reading the essay should have a bottle of paracetamol to hand.The Third Man5
4.The third essay on Greek Philosophy, asking whether Democritus was a sceptic. I have to ask who cares, but I did enjoy researching and writing the essay. Democritus a Sceptic?6
5.This is the first of three essays on Modern Philosophy, and is an attempt to make the most of Locke's psychological view of personal identity. Locke on Personal Identity7
6.A second essay on Modern Philosophy. It looks into Hume's Correspondence Theory between our 'ideas' (concepts) and 'impressions' (sense perception). Correspondence Theory8
7.A third essay on Modern Philosophy, looking at two of Descartes's arguments that mind and body are distinct substances. Real Distinction9
8.This is the first of three essays on Ethics. Caveat lector! I never got the hang of ethics. This essay discusses Mackie's Error Theory. Error Theory10
9.This second ethical essay discusses whether moral relativism is absurd. Relativism Absurd?11
10.This final ethical essay addresses utilitarianism. Can Mill successfully explain why it is better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied?Higher Pleasures12

Here are some earlier BA essays

They are of varying quality, but useful for me to have on-line ...

1.This is a rather feable and incomplete effort addressing Jackson's Knowledge Argument against physicalism in the philosophy of mind. The topic is sufficiently important to make the essay worth completing someday ...Knowledge Argument13
2.This is an essay in the philosophy of psychology asking whether "The mind is in effect a Swiss-Army knife, full of specialised modules designed for special purposes."Mind Modular?14
3.Another essay in the philosophy of psychology, asking whether the concept of innateness is incoherent or unnecessary. Innateness Incoherent?15
4.An essay on the topic of free will. If it is said that I did something freely, is it implied that I could have done something different?Free Will16
5.An essay on the border between modern philosophy and methodology, examining Hume's argument that we have no reason to expect the future to resemble the past.Future & Past17
6.Another essay on the problem of induction, investigating Hempel's paradox of the ravens.Induction18
7.An essay on the philosophy of language, looking at the different uses of definite descriptions.Definite Descriptions19
8.First of three essays on bodily sensations in the philosophy of mind, asking whether pains are mental objects. Rather slavishly adherent to Tim Crane's ideas (garbled, no doubt).Pains as Mental Objects20
9.Essay asking whether bodily sensations are perceptions of one's body.Sensations as Perceptions21
10.Final essay on this topic, asking whether I could feel a sensation to be located in someone else's body.Extraneous Bodily Sensations22

Finally, here are some notes taken during the BA course

For a while, I pursued the eccentric line of trying to precis whole books, as a way of attempting to take the subject seriously. This proved to be somewhat time-consuming, so I stopped early in the third year. However, having made the effort, here are the results...
1."Dancy (Jonathan) - An Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology". This is rather a full set. At 110 pages it's not much shorter than the book. Dancy – Epistemology23
2."Crane (Tim) - Elements of Mind - An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind". A bit briefer this time at a mere 71 pages. It is graced by 153 footnotes showing where I disagreed with the esteemed author (or where I was confused, most likely). Crane – Elements of Mind24
3."Fodor (Jerry) - The Modularity of Mind: An Essay on Faculty Psychology". Much shorter - only 23 pages; but then, it's only a little book. Fodor - Modularity of Mind25
4."Kripke (Saul) - Naming and Necessity". Back to form. 73 pages and 156 footnotes. At least I have the justification that this is one of the "must read" philosophy books. Kripke - Naming & Necessity26

In-Page Footnotes:

Footnote 1: As an interim step, I now have “stub” Notes for them all, but these mostly still link to the pdfs.

Footnote 2:

Table of the Previous 3 Versions of this Note:

Date Length Title
10/04/2017 23:38:24 10212 Theo Todman's BA Papers
05/04/2016 23:19:41 10279 Theo Todman's BA Papers
30/03/2014 10193 Theo Todman's BA Papers

Note last updated Reference for this Topic Parent Topic
01/08/2017 00:11:31 1144 (Theo Todman's BA Papers) Theo Todman's Philosophy Page

Summary of Notes Referenced by This Note

Aristotle - Sea Battle Correspondence Theory Crane - Elements of Mind Dancy - Contemporary Epistemology Definite Descriptions
Democritus a Sceptic? Error Theory Extraneous Bodily Sensations Fodor - The Modularity of Mind Free Will
Future & Past Higher Pleasures Induction Innateness Incoherent? Knowledge Argument
Kripke - Naming and Necessity Locke on Personal Identity Mind Modular? Pains as Mental Objects Poverty of Stimulus
Real Distinction Relativism Absurd? Sensations as Perceptions Third Man  

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Summary of Notes Citing This Note

Status: Personal Identity (2024 - March) Status: Priority Task List (2024 - May) Status: Summary (2024 - March) Theo Todman's Philosophy Page, 2  

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  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2024

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