1. Why does David Hume think that there is really no such thing as a self, and that all there is is a series of bundles of perception? Why does Immanuel Kant think that Hume is looking in the wrong place for the self? What does Kant think the self is?
2. What does Sartre mean when he says that “existence precedes essence”? How does this make human existence difference from the existence of inanimate objects like dry-erase markers? What is the place of nothingness in human existence? What is the relationship between nothingness and freedom?
3. Explain the dreaming argument and the evil demon argument in Descartes’s Meditations. What are each of these arguments supposed to show about the state of our knowledge? What is the one thing that remains certain even if both of these arguments are correct, according to Descartes?
4. Suppose you have a loved one who just passed away. Also suppose that there is a company out there that can upload every single thing that your loved one has ever said and done on social media onto a computer, and then transfer all of that into a synthetic clone of your loved one. Over time, this clone learns more and more about the past life you shared with your loved one, and gradually becomes indistinguishable in speech, mannerisms and memory from your deceased loved one. Will we be able to say at some point that this clone has now become your loved one? Or is there always a difference between the two? If so, what would this difference be?
5. According to the Greek philosopher Epicurus, “Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.” If this is true, why are so many people still afraid of death? What are people really afraid of when they claim to fear death? What does this show about the gap between our desires and the nature of reality?
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