Debate Between Rationalism and Empiricists Essay

Word Limit

Your essay needs to be under 2000 words. This is the upper limit. I strongly recommend writing an essay of 1600-2000 words. It is much harder to reflect on all the issues asked in a short essay. If you need to go over the limit, email me and explain why this is the case.


Use ONLY the textbook (PV), the the resources indicated below, lecture notes, outlines or slides. Articles published in respectable journals are also useful, but not necessary. Do not use sources from social media (blogs, tweets, etc.), unless you feel you need to emphasize something I do not know and we have not discussed in our sections.

Possible useful resources outside our class:


You are going to write ONE essay of less than 2000 words on ONE subject from the list below. Your choice of the subject does not influence the grading and the assessment.

  • Try to stay as close as possible to the questions asked AND reflect upon the relevance of your statements to the main thesis and main argument.
  • Do not ramble and do not elaborate too much. ADDRESS ALL THE QUESTIONS ASKED: they form a logical sequence!
  • You need to explain in a paragraph or two your choice for the subject below and how working on your essay has enhanced your understanding of this topic, as well as making you aware of your existing biases and stereotypes or in the society.
  • Please explain and argue for your own choice and your answers!

More advice on how to write a philosophical essay, on how to incorporate critical thinking elements in your writing, and the grading rubric are available on Blackboard.


Here is a checklist of steps you take to properly format your essay:

  • In the header of your paper put your section (PAR 101-02 or 03) and the topic # you picked from the list below!!! DO NOT SIGN your paper, as we are going to peer review your work!
  • On the first line of copy-paste the subject you write on.
  • Provide the title of your essay and underline it.
  • Cite or quote all sources used!!!! Do not use long quotations.
  • Use a 12-pt font and double-space paragraphs. Avoid using footnotes, endnotes, appendices, charts or figures.
  • You need to mention all the sources used (APA style or MLA style accepted).
  • do not go over the word limit!

Relation to the units of the class: This prompt covers all the divisions of unit II and some ideas discussed in unit I. Please choose one topic from the list below. Try to stay as close as possible to the questions asked

This a topic :

Can you situate scientific knowledge within the debate between rationalists and empiricists? Is scientific knowledge the result of “naturalism” (research this term

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