Metaphysics Paper

Write a 4 page (800-1000 word) argumentative paper that answers ONE of the questions below pertaining to our discussion of metaphysics.

See Chicago Style Guidelines for your paper. You may use secondary sources for this paper, but you are not required.

1. Compare and contrast Lao Tzu’s idea of the Tao to either Heraclitus or Parmenides’ thoughts on change. How is the cyclical nature of reality according to the Tao similar to and different from the Ancient Greek thinkers’ ideas on constant change and Being? Which account do you find more convincing for explaining reality?

2. Describe the relationship of Plato’s forms to physical objects and how physical objects participate in the forms. Do you think that the difference and change in objects, from a Platonic perspective, is the result of an object moving from one form to its opposite, say from the Beautiful to Ugly, or from becoming more or less of one form; that is, ugliness is just less of or the absence of the Beautiful?

3. Descartes states that human beings are “thinking things” and that objects are only “understood” through thought and not the senses. Why does Descartes reject the senses and locate the mind alone as the source of knowledge and existence? Is he right to reject the senses as he does?

4. In Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein promotes the idea of language-games over the picture theory of truth as a better way to understand language in our lives? What are the limitations and errors of the picture theory of truth and how are they resolved by the language-game theory? How do language-games help us see language as “a form of life?”

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