Instructions How to Write

Topics for Essays on Philosophy

An essay involves a brief introduction that states the topic and main point (or thesis) of the paper, a coherent body that contains the explanation and argument for the main point, and a brief conclusion that repeats, preferably in different words, the main point, and wraps up the paper. The first paragraph of the body should state your understanding of the question and define crucial terms of the question. For instance, A1, A2, and B1 demand that you define and explicate the so-called ‘Anthropocene’; A2 in addition calls for explaining ‘collective species’; B1 asks for an explication of the distinction between technology and its essence; and B2 should begin with accounts of ‘technology’ and ‘freedom’. Make sure to use your own words, so as to demonstrate that you understand the material. Write only what you really understand.

1. Authors such as Whyte, Malm & Hornborg, and Moore articulate misgivings about the notion of the Anthropocene. What are these misgivings?
2. In arguments pro and contra the Anthropocene, a prominent set of issues revolves around the idea of humanity as one collective species. What are the principal arguments of authors such as Steffen et al. and Chakrabarty in favour of grasping the anthropos as thus unified? In this context, how can Callicott be seen to support Chakrabarty, and how does Chakrabarty critique Malm & Hornborg?

1. How might Heidegger’s distinction between technology and its essence be understood as a critical refusal of the diagnosis of the Anthropocene? What is the basis of this refusal?
2. For Heidegger, Dreyfus, and Hamilton, in what would a free relation to technology consist, and why might climate engineering confirm our unfreedom?

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