Essays from my University of London BA Philosophy Studies

Metaphysics - [235P075]

  1. Are causes sufficient for their effects? Are they necessary for those effects?
  2. Can causality be analysed satisfactorily in terms of counterfactual dependence?
  3. Are events particulars?
  4. Are events universals, particulars, or neither?
  5. "For an agent's action to be free it cannot be caused by preceding events.   But not to be so caused would make this event random, and thus not genuinely something the agent did.   Therefore, no genuine action is free."   Evaluate this argument.
  6. 'The ability to act freely requires that one could have acted otherwise.   But causal determinism rules out the possibility that one could have acted other than as one did.   So free will is incompatible with determinism."   Discuss.  
  7. Is a person's survival different from, and more important than, a person's continuing identity?
  8. "A statue and the lump of clay of which it is made are two different objects existing at the same place and time." Discuss.
  9. "All statements about the past are true or false in virtue of our present evidence of how things were in the past." Discuss.
  10. Times can be thought of as past, present and future or as earlier and later.   Is one of these ways of thinking about time more fundamental than the other?
  11. "Resemblance between particulars requires the existence of a universal, so there is no way to eliminate universals from our ontology." How convincing is this argument?
  12. Are universals necessary elements of any adequate ontology?