Answer one of the two Descartes questions and one of the two other questions, making two total. Respond to each question in one to two substantial, well-formed, and well-organized paragraphs.
(Descartes, option1): Imagine that you are Descartes and you are talking with someone who does not understand radical doubt. This person says the following:
“Hey René, I know I can trust what I see and what I believe almost all of the time. I know that math works and 2 + 2 always equals 4. I know that I am standing up and arguing with you right now, and I would be crazy to doubt this. I think it is stupid, irresponsible, and a little nutty to claim that just because you see an occasional mirage or have a realistic dream, you can throw away all of the rest of your knowledge. Why on earth would I doubt everything that common sense and a lifetime’s experience tell me is true?”
How could you respond and explain how radical doubt works and what you are really trying to do?
(Descartes, option 2): Descartes claims in Meditation II that mind is better known than body (this is supposedly important: it is right there in the title!). He claims that he used to think the opposite – that mind was doubtful, while body was obvious. What did he used to think mind and body were like, and how does he use the ball of wax towards the end of Meditation II to show what mind and body are actually like? And why does he then claim that mind is better known than body?
(Other, option 1): In Chapter 3 of the Social Contract, Rousseau argues against the idea that the strongest have a right to rule and people have a duty to obey the strongest. How does he make his case? Why does he think that a “right of the strongest” does not make sense? Finally, in the rest of Book I, what does he argue is the legitimate basis for political order instead of force?
(Other, option 2): According to Mary Wollstonecraft in Chapter VI of her book, the women of her day tend to have an inferior character to men. She thinks that this has to do with them having the wrong kind of education. But how does she argue that different ways of being brought up can cause men and women to tend to have different character traits? Specifically, how are women raised in a way that makes them more concerned with feelings, appearances, love, and sexuality than Wollstonecraft thinks is really appropriate?