Essay 3

Due Fri 20 Feb 2015 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, 4 or 5), your thesis should answer a very specific question.

  1. Probability. State an interpretation of probability and either critique it or defend it from objections.
  2. Thought experiments. Do thought experiments transcend empiricism? Or are they mere arguments from empirical premises in disguise? Argue for or against either claim.
  3. Confirmation State an account of how inductive confirmation can occur, and either critique it or defend it from objections.
  4. Against inductive confirmation. Consider either Popper's anti-inductivism or the Duhem-Quine problem. Does it provide a compelling argument against the possibility of inductive confirmation? Why or why not?
  5. Explanation. State an account of scientific explanation, and then critique it or defend it from objections.

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