philosophy bites podcastEssay Assignment: Topic and Instructions

NB: Before starting your essay, you should read this entire document as

well as the information in the ‘Essay Assignments: Grading Criteria and

Helpful Information’ folder found in Unit 5.

Philosophy Bites Podcast

Here is a blurb about the podcast from Wikipedia: “Philosophy Bites is a podcast

series featuring philosophers being interviewed for 15–20 minutes on a specific

topic. The series, which has been running since 2007, is hosted by Nigel

Warburton, freelance lecturer, and David Edmonds…The podcast has been one

of the top 20 most downloaded series in the United States and has over 34

million downloads.”

For the essay assignment, you should do the following:

• Choose one of the podcast episodes that is on a topic of interest to you

from the list below (all the way at the bottom of these instructions); you

may want to listen to a few before deciding on one.

• Write an essay that summarizes the podcast episode (your summary

should only be one paragraph that gets at the main ideas of the episode).

In addition to discussing the podcast, your essay must include reference

to/discussion of at least one reading from our text that relates to the

topic of the podcast episode, as well as at least one reference

to/discussion of an article/entry (also related to the podcast episode) in

either The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy or The Stanford

Encyclopedia of Philosophy, through quotation and/or paraphrase.

• Your objective for this essay is to inform your reader about whatever

concept/topic/philosopher/problem is discussed in the podcast; the

essay should be informative, not persuasive.

Regardless of the podcast episode you choose, your essay must include the


• A heading done according to MLA

• An original title

• An introductory paragraph that contains your thesis (if you are unsure of

how to write a thesis, read this advice on developing a thesis)

• A summary of the podcast episode you chose. If you are unsure of how to

write a summary, read this helpful advice on how to write a summary.

• Body paragraphs that develop and support your thesis (here is some

excellent advice on how to structure body paragraphs)


• A minimum of 3 full pages (your works cited page doesn’t count as a


• A conclusion (see this VERY helpful advice on how to conclude your


• A MLA works cited page that includes all sources referenced in your


Your essay should be double-spaced, in Times New Study Guide: Unit 5

Chapter 6, Section A

1. What is fatalism? Glossary
2. In Buddhism, what kind of gestures are human choices seen as?
3. What is the Buddhist concept of freedom called? What is it a freedom from?

Chapter 6, Section C

1. What is determinism? Glossary
2. What is predestination? 
3. How is determinism different from fatalism and predestination?
4. What is meant by antecedent conditions? Glossary
5. What is meant by sufficient cause? Glossary
6. What was Pierre Simon Laplace’s claim about predicting the future? What would he need to know to be able to do so?
7. What was Baron Paul Henri d’Holbach’s position regarding the existence of free will?
8. What is indeterminism? Glossary
9. What is meant by ‘free will’? Glossary
10. What is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle? Glossary
11. What argument based on the Heisenberg uncertainty principle was advanced by Sir Arthur Edington?
What is soft determinism? Glossary

13. What is compatibilism? Glossary

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