Essay 2

Due Fri 12 Nov 2014 by 5pm


In a 1,500 word essay, state and argue for a thesis that 1) draws on our courses material, and 2) gives a specific answer to one of the following questions.

Whatever your choice of question (1, 2, 3 or 4), your thesis should answer a more specific aspect of this question. Some ideas are suggested below each choice; you are also welcome to answer your own more specific question on one of these four topics.

1. Are our best scientific theories approximately true when they refer to unobservables?

Suggestions for specific questions to answer:

2. Can idealisations that are strictly false provide a correct description of the world?

Suggestions for specific questions to answer:

3. What distinguishes a law of nature from a mere fact?

Suggestions for specific questions to answer:

4. Are there true fundamental laws of nature that govern the behaviour of matter at all places and times?

Suggestions for specific questions to answer:

Further guidelines

State a clear thesis that answers one of the questions. Your job in this essay is to construct a valid philosophical argument for a clear thesis in 1,500 words.

The principle thing that you will be evaluated on in this essay is the argument for your thesis. Everything that you write should go toward supporting this argument; nothing more and nothing less.

It is recommended that your essay be organised so as to include:


Essays are evaluated on the basis of the thesis and the argument. Some of the specific features of your thesis and argument that will be considered include:

  1. Expression and style
  2. Structure and organisation
  3. Understanding and use of literature
  4. Quality of argument
  5. Independence of thought