Question of the day.

“If you are a person, are you essentially a person?”

Yes, that was on my paper today. I made sure that I avoided the metaphysics part of the course entirely. There’s always an inevitable aspect of superficiality when you study philosophy at this level. You rarely have time to go into a topic more than five, at best ten papers deep, and a one hour essay is always going to make assumptions and ignore implications that in reality need much probing. But in metaphysics, the awkwardness of accepting that fact seems somewhat heightened. Hence my wish to wait until I start the Masters before I study it in the proper detail it is due.

The paper was a pain. Nothing on skepticism or foundationalism, and only outrageously narrow and niche questions on contextualism and the a priori. So I ended up focusing on internalism, barely touching on the range of my revision and knowledge. It’s always frustrating when you’re forced to answer questions which really wrong-foot you in their originality, but then you know they’ve probably been designed that way to make you think on the spot. And yet, at the same time, you wonder if they are in fact based on a key article which you failed to read, rendering your ad hoc answer silly.

Either way, epistemology just isn’t my forté in the way ethics is, so I shouldn’t be too surprised. I guess this was my weakest performance so far, but even now, three quarters of the way through, I’m more than happy with four out of six performances. If I can make that six out of eight by the end of next week, I think I’d take that. A five-day break awaits now anyway, so I’ll be taking today quite slowly.


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