Death (Spring 2008) - Paper 1


Write a paper on one of the two topics below:

1. Explain the Jonah problem for the relevant vitalist theory of life.

2. Explain the cecropia moth objection to the relevant life-functional theory.

Note: In order to explain an objection to a theory, you must first explain the theory. When explaining a counter-example to a definition, you need to specify whether the example shows that a proposed condition is not necessary, not sufficient, or neither.

Due Date



You have at most 400 words (roughly 1 - 1 1/4 pages, double-spaced, Arial, 12 point font).


You don't have much space, so you will need to be clear and to the point. Clarity should be one of your chief goals in writing this paper. Assume that you are writing the paper to be read by someone unfamiliar with the issues.

This is simply a writing exercise. I am not asking you to evaluate the arguments. I just want you to explain the theories and objections is clearly as you can within the space limitations. The next paper will ask you to evaluate an objection. In that paper you will have to both explain the objection and consider possible replies.


The paper must be typed. It should be double spaced. It should have one inch margins. You should use a 12 point font. I prefer Arial, since it is easy to read.


You are required to hand in a paper copy at the start of class on the due date. In addition you must submit the paper through TurnItIn via Blackboard by 11:59 pm on the due date. The link is on the assignments section on Blackboard.

TurnItIn is a plagiarism detection tool. It will compare your paper against others available online, in journals, submitted in this class, Temple, and from all other universities that use the software.

Note: Plagiarism will result in a failing grade in the class, not just on this assignment.