PHIL 201 American InterContinental University Fate or Free Will Essay


In a researched essay of 3 pages, using APA format, consider the following:


philosopher John Locke theorized that humans are born with a blank

slate or a tabula rasa. Our experiences imprint on the blank slate –

and this is how we achieve knowledge, according to Locke. An opposing

philosophical theory holds that humans are born with innate ideas. That

is, we already have some information or ideas in our heads at birth.


the first part of your essay consider which theory you agree with.

Does either theory diminish free will? Why or why not?


you have addressed this consider a work situation or a social situation

in which you believe that your right and ability to make a decision from

free will was compromised by obstacles or rules or societal norms.

Answer the following questions:

  • Why do you think that your free will was compromised?
  • What led you to make the decisions and take the actions that you took?
  • How did you resolve the differences between what you really
    wanted to do in the situation, and what the restrictions, rules, or
    societal conventions “told” you to do?
  • How should people, in general, react to conflicting feelings about the actions to take in given situations?


at least 1 credible source to support the arguments presented in the

paper. Make sure you cite sources appropriately within your paper, and

list them in APA format on your Reference page. Your paper should be 2-3

pages in length, not counting the Title page and Reference page. In

accordance with APA formatting requirements, your paper should include a

Title and Reference page, should be double-spaced, and include a

running head and page numbers.

Grading Criteria

Assignment Criteria Proficient Descriptor Points
Philosophical background Establishes one’s own agreement with the blank slate perspective or the innate ideas perspective.
Explains whether either theory diminishes free will, including a statement of why or why not this is the case.
Uses one or more credible sources to consider philosophers’ as support for the student’s perspective.
/15 pts.
Personal experience background Describes the student’s work or social situation in which she or he
believes that her or his right and ability to make a free will decision
was compromised. The description includes:
• How the student’s free will was compromised by obstacles, rules, or societal norms
• Student’s decisions made and actions taken
/5 pts.
Analysis of personal experience Conveys differences between what the student originally wanted to do
in the situation, versus the restrictions, rules, or societal
conventions that acted as outside forces.
Discusses the resolution of the situation including what was done as a result of the outside force(s).
/10 pts.
Reflective summary Suggests how people should react, in general, when encountering a
conflict between personal goals or feelings and societal norms.
/10 pts.
Grammar & Mechanics Provides a 2-3 page essay that is double-spaced, and includes a
title page, reference page, running head, and page numbers. Information
sources (a minimum of one) utilized are clearly identified, properly
cited, and referenced using APA Style.
Sentences are clear, well-articulated, and free from grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.
/10 pts.
Total /50 pts.


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