Philosophy 210 Ethical theory Professor Murph
Fall 2018 Essay #1
On what ethical principles ought we to make moral decisions? Consider Kant’s Categorical Imperative, Mill’s principle of Utility or Aristotle Virtue ethics Choose to defend one of these theories of ethical decision-making. You must consider one major objection to your view, and respond to this objection in defense of your position/claim. In your essay you must give significant treatment to either Kant or Mill and Aristotle. Develop a coherent, philosophically interesting, and defensible thesis statement:
This is a short paper so state your thesis from the beginning. In other words get to the point. For example, “I will argue that……..”
Some questions to help inspire you-
1. What are the particular features of the ethical principle you defend that make it a strong theory?
2. What sorts of problems/situations should an ethical theory allow us to analyze?
3. Do the consequences of an action make it right? What about the principle upon which someone acts?
4. What is the most serious weakness of the ethical principle you defend? Given that weakness, what are your reasons for defending the principle?
5. On what grounds should we make moral decisions? What are the proper roles for reason, emotion, cultural identity, etc.? Is there a universal moral law?
A few notes on essays:
1. Your essay must be organized according to the development and defense of a thesis statement. Anyone reading your essay (regardless of their familiarity with the material) should be able to identify your thesis statement, the objection you consider, and the conclusion you defend. If you work on a draft with a writing tutor or with a partner, be sure to evaluate how explicitly you have articulated a thesis statement and how successfully you have defended it. Use effective language to introduce your thesis statement. For example, “I will argue that . . .” Be sure that your thesis statement is defensible in three to four pages. Strive for a thesis statement that is philosophically interesting, and that demonstrates your knowledge of the ideas under consideration. Avoid simplistic and non-specific thesis.
2. You must offer textual evidence for the view you are defending. However, be careful to avoid making textual references that you do not explain and to avoid excessive citation of the text.
3. Your paper must be typed, double-spaced, and at least 3-4 pages.
4. Be sure to proofread your essay; it should be free of errors in spelling and grammar.
5. Use the APA Format for citation.
6. You must make reference to Kant, Mil, and Aristotle.
7. Paper DUE IN CLASS ON Thursday Nov. 6, 2018
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