Instructions for essay
In the Meditations, Descartes attempts to ground all knowledge on an individual’s rational capacities. Demonstrate how Descartes
does this by addressing each of the following in your paper:
1. Explain how Descartes’s dream argument and evil deceiver argument challenges an individual’s ability to know.
2. Explain how Descartes uses these doubt arguments to establish the necessity of the “thinking I.”
3. Explain how God’s reality and idea helps Descartes to support belief in the outside world. Do you believe that Descartes’
use of God leads to the problem of evil? Do you think this is a serious criticism? Provide both sides on the issue and defend you
conclusion as to which one you consider most convincing.
Your paper should be 3 pages double-spaced, normal margins. Do not copy from the internet and external sources. You do not need to
use external sources. You may use class notes to guide your analysis, but do not copy notes. The paper must be submitted online
through the TurnItIn Link
1. The paper must be 2-3 pages long, typed, double-spaced, in 12-point font with standard 1-inch margins.
2. The paper must be written in accord with the conventions of Standard Written English. Your paper will be evaluated in part in
terms of spelling, grammar, and overall structure.
3. You must use short quotations or references from the readings assigned in class to support your claims about what the
philosophers say and/or believe. Citations should be in either the MLA or Chicago Manual of Style formats (information on both of
which is available on the UHD Library website, under the heading, “Citing Sources”), and as such must give full bibliographical
information for your sources in either a “works cited” (MLA) or bibliographical footnotes (Chicago). Quotations should be set off
from the rest of the paper (typically by quotation marks), and you must cite the page numbers in the relevant text where the quoted
4. Do not assume that the reader of your paper is familiar with what has been read or discussed in this class. Think of your reader
as an educated person who, although they may be familiar with philosophy in general, is not necessarily knowledgeable of the texts
(or topics) you are discussing in the paper. As such, you should make every effort to explain the ideas you discuss and the
quotations you use in straightforward language that generally conveys meaning to your reader.
5. You are responsible for ensuring that your paper is free of plagiarism. If you do not know what constitutes plagiarism, please
consult the syllabus for this class, the UHD Student Handbook, the Academic Honesty Policy of the University of Houston-Downtown,
and/or the UHD Library website (“Plagiarism: Understand and Avoid It!” in the section, “Citing Sources”) . If you are still
uncertain, please contact me with any specific questions you might have.