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In your second essay, we are going to focus on two things: First, we will more on the arguments and the ways writers present arguments, and second, we are going to do comparative work. Ibn Tufayl and Descartes both give us accounts of how we might come to an understanding of knowledge, ourselves, our nature, and our purpose in life. Although they are very different texts, they address a common set of questions we have as human beings. For your essay, identify a philosophical question that you believe both texts address. This could be a big question (like, does God exist) or something more specific, like how we gain knowledge through experience, or how we can avoid an error. Identify that question, and then summarize at least one argument from each of the two authors that address that question.
Once you have presented each argument, provide a comparative analysis of their respective arguments and approaches, and then end by discussing how you would address the question you posed, and what support you would provide for your position.
To make sure you have a successful essay, make sure you:
-Identify a clear philosophical question, and present that question in an introduction where you also make sure you discuss why you think this question has significance.
-Present a clear summary of the argument addressing the question from each of the two authors, making specific reference to parts of the text that show how they support their argument.
-Have a distinct section from the summaries in which you discuss the text comparatively, discussing the similarities and differences in how they approach the argument, and your assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of their approaches.
-Have a distinct section at the end, serving as a conclusion, in which you take your own position on the question you posed, and defend it. Be sure to demonstrate how your reading of Ibn Tufayl and Descartes has informed your position, even if you are not in agreement with either of them.