Familiarizing with the Culture of the Deaf People

Final paper length: 1200 – 1800 words.

Final paper grading: The paper is graded on your understanding of the assigned readings and the lectures as well as on your ability to write in a clear and concise manner. You are neither required not encouraged to use sources other than the assigned readings and lecture slides.

Final paper guidance: For general guidance on writing philosophy papers please consult the Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper. Please also read Plagiarism – Policies and Definitions. both texts are available at the top of the course website in the “Course Information” module.

Paper Prompts: Write on ONE of the following topics:

(1) Explain the paradox of constitution. Ted Sider distinguishes four solutions to the paradox of constitution. Which of these solution strikes you as plausible and why? What, if anything, is problematic about your favorite solution to the paradox of constitution?

(2) Explain the the extended mind (cognition) thesis and some of the objections to the thesis. Do you agree with Clark and Chalmers that the mind can extend beyond just the skully and the body? Explain your answers.

(3) What is the best way to define culture? Why do deaf people resist the disability label? If your were a deaf parent, would you give your child cochlear implants? Explain your answers.

(4) Obfuscation is the ‘addition of ambiguous, confusing, or misleading information to interfere with surveillance and data collection projects’ to ‘ buy time, gain cover, and hide in a crowd of signals’ (Brunton and Nissenbaum, Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest, MIT 2015). Is obfuscation a form of lying? Can obfuscation be justified? Is it an act of free riding on the willingness of others to disclose data about themselves? Explain your answers.