This section includes topics for both essay assignments as well as a short exercise and its sample answer.
Deadline for drafts: Ses #18
Deadline for final essay: Ses #14
Deadline for final essay: Ses #23
Last deadline for (optional) drafts: 11.00 a.m., one day before Ses #21
You are not required to submit a draft for the final essay, but I am happy to give comments on drafts, and indeed I thoroughly recommend, for your own benefit, that you submit one. If you do, please let me have it before 11.00 a.m., one day before Ses #21.
Due Date: in Ses #6
"Space is a necessary representation, a priori, which is the ground of all outer intuitions. One can never represent that there is no space, although one can very well think that there are no objects to be encountered in it. It is therefore to be regarded as the condition of the possibility of appearances, not as a determination dependent on them, and is an a priori representation that necessarily grounds outer appearances." (Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, A24/B39, Guyer and Wood translation)
Same passage, different translation:
"Space is a necessary a priori representation, which underlies all outer intuitions. We can never represent to ourselves the absence of space, though we can quite well think it as empty of objects. It must therefore be regarded as the condition of the possibility of appearances, and not as a determination dependent upon them. It is an a priori representation, which necessarily underlies outer appearances." (Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, A24/B39, Kemp Smith translation)
Choosing one or the other of the above translations, write 2 pages providing an analysis of the passage. See if you can find a way to put the argument in the form of numbered premises, and conclusion. Feel free to use your own wording. You may not need to use every part of the passage in reconstructing the argument; and you may need to supply a premise, or a conclusion, that is not explicitly stated. Note that there may be may be more than one defensible interpretation. After stating the argument, briefly explain it in your own words, and comment on its cogency. Which premises are true or plausible, which false or implausible? Is the inference, as you've described it, a valid one?
It may be useful to consult the general philosophy resources in the related resources section, in particular Jim Pryor's helpful advice about how to read philosophy, and write a philosophy paper.
Short Exercise Sample Answer (PDF)