Final Goal: To write a philosophy paper, per the guidelines detailed in “Writing a philosophy paper” in week two. You will research and discuss one of the theories listed below. You need to pick one you understand and like or appreciate. You should strive to demonstrate adequate understanding of the theory first in the paper. At least half of the paper should be a discussion of the various components of the theory. Work to demonstrate your understanding of the theory. Then, you will apply the theory to a discussion of a contemporary topic. See the example at the bottom of this page.
Week Three Goal: To complete the Proposal/Source Evaluation Worksheet. After crafting your introduction paragraph (or two) per the instructions in “Writing a Philosophy Paper” you will list and evaluate a minimum of three resources you intend to use in completing in the final paper. Keep the following in mind as you compile the resources:
Theories to choose from (You must pick one of these or some other accepted moral theory – be sure you do some research before choosing. You will be using the theory to justify your position on the contemporary issue):
Contemporary topics: This is much more open-ended. When considering a contemporary topic, think about current events, some ethical issue you are passionate about, or an ethical issue you know a lot about, or perhaps even encounter in your professional or personal life. If you have questions regarding selecting an issue please ask your Instructor for guidance. Just keep in mind the goal is to use your theory to argue for or against some position on that topic.
The Instructor’s feedback from this assignment may help you focus on your topic. If you need help coming up with an idea of an ethical issue to critique with your ethical theory, you can begin by taking a look at the following website, but don’t feel constrained by this list. This is an opportunity for you to be creative in your thinking and to do something that you are interested in learning more about!
If you have writing questions, please see the University Writing Center.
Introduction paragraph example: Say you want to write on transgender women competing in women’s sports and want to argue that it is morally right to allow these women even though they have a clear physical advantage. You choose to use W.D Ross’s Prima Facie Duties.
There has been much controversy lately about whether it is morally right to allow transgender women to compete in women’s sports. There are many voices against this, fewer in support of the practice. Using W.D Ross’s Prima Facie Duties a defense is made supporting the practice. After discussing the history and contents of the theory, the duties of reparation, justice, beneficence, and self-improvement are applied to this practice justifying the notion that denying transgender women the right to compete is morally unjustified.
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