Philosophical Essay

Research in progress for PHIL 1301: Introduction to Philosophy

Faculty Mentor: John Macready, Ph.D.

The following essay represents student research produced in an Introduction to Philosophy course at Collin College. Introduction to Philosophy introduces students to metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical theories through critical readings of primary philosophical texts from ancient, medieval, and modern periods. Students practice textual and conceptual analysis of primary sources and learn methods for analyzing and evaluating arguments. As a final project, students compose a final research essay from their reading and research that develops a theory of reality, a theory of knowledge, and describes what it would mean to live a life consistent with what is known to be real.

In the following philosophical essay, Mara Headrick asks what it would mean to live a life that is consistent with what we know to be real in a world that seems increasingly unreal, and her answer is “mindfulness.” She conducts a close conceptual analysis of the metaphysical and epistemological theories of René Descartes, David Hume, and Immanuel Kant in order to develop an ethics of mindfulness—a way of attentive living that reconnects our minds and bodies to the external world of our experience. To justify this claim, Headrick conducts a conceptual analysis of Descartes’ rationalism, Hume’s empiricism, and Kant’s transcendental idealism to argue that we know reality through our minds and bodies. She concludes from her analysis that the practice of mindfulness offers us a way to cultivate a consistent awareness of our thoughts and sensations about the reality we know.

Faculty Mentor

Professor John Macready




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