If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does the impact of the tree make a sound?

by | Sep 20, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

This assignment is worth 20 points — a substantial portion of your course grade. While there is no set length, I think one would need at least a couple of pages to do the question justice. Attend to all parts of the question and give a thorough account, detailing the respective positions. Write as if you are explaining these issues to one who has done none of the reading — to a relative or a friend. Try, in other words, to be as clear as possible, demonstrating to me that you grasp the core dispute. You will also want to argue for one approach over another, offering reasons that would appeal to the fair-minded or neutral reader, one interested in learning the truth.
Do not quote other sources — either within the course or from without — back to me. This is not a research assignment but an analytical essay. Put matters in your own words. Evidence that work has been appropriated directly from elsewhere will result in a zero on the assignment, and in some cases a failing grade in the class. Know, too, that while I am interested in your views here, they should be views informed by the reading.
Please either compose your essay in the message box (“Write Submission”) or cut and paste your essay in the box. Don’t use attached files or links. You may make as many attempts as you wish — though I would save partial work in a separate file in case of cyber glitches or the like — as long as you submit your final essay by noon on Saturday, September 18. This is a hard and fast deadline. Extensions will be granted in only extraordinary circumstances.
First, explain Locke’s distinction between primary and secondary qualities, and then detail Berkeley’s criticism of this distinction. Explore the distinction at some length — a sentence or two will not be nearly enough. Then show how Locke might respond to Berkeley’s objections; how might Locke defend his argument? Go on to talk about how Hume would reply to Locke’s criticisms of Berkeley.
Next, suggest how Locke on the one hand, and Berkeley on the other, would each go about answering both a) and b) below, and explain why they would each respond so.
a) If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does the impact of the tree make a sound?
b) If a tree stands in the forest, and there is no one there to experience the tree, does the tree exist? If so, exactly in what sense does it exist?
Finally, which position — Locke’s or Berkeley’s — do you believe is strongest here? Defend one view over the other, putting forth convincing arguments. You’ll want to elaborate fully.

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