Writing Exercise #1

Write a short, 1-2 page paper answering the following question:
Do creatures like cats and dogs have minds? Or are we just projecting our own reactions onto them, the way we do with baby dolls and stuffed animals? If you think they do have minds, explain what you think the evidence for this is. If you think they don't have minds, explain what your reasons are for thinking that. If you think they have "minds" in some senses but not others, explain what are the different senses you're thinking of.
These will be due by 11 pm on Monday Sept 18. Everybody must do this exercise. We will give you detailed feedback on them, but will not assign grades.

You should try to write as clearly as you can. Keep in mind that asserting a thesis again and again isn't an argument. Neither do you count as objecting to a view if all you've done is describe an opposing view. You must offer reasons for or against the views you discuss.

If you like, you are welcome to look already at Prof Pryor's Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper. We will spend more time later in the semester talking about how philosophers write. This exercise is just to give you some practice getting started, and to give you a sense of the kind of clarity and argument we'll be looking for in your later papers.