Approaches to Ethics; The essay paper assignment is 100 points and is 25% of your final grade. This assignment is meant to test your ability to explain philosophy, specifically ethics, more in depth and to critically analyze and compare different approaches to ethics or environmental ethics. This must be a new essay written specifically for this class by you individually. You must get approval from me before using part or all of
an essay that was submitted for another class or a previous semester of Introduction to Philosophy. You have two topic area choices: your essay must cover either Topic A or Topic B, not both. Whichever option you chose, you will pick only two approaches to cover in your essay.
Topic A: Pick any two out of the following approaches to ethics: Ethical egoism utilitarianism (act and rule) Kant’s categorical imperative Aristotle’s virtue ethics or care ethics. First give your own cohesive summary of each of those two approaches. Second discuss the comparative strengths and weaknesses of each and give your own argument for which is a better approach to ethics and why.
Summary: You should summarize each of the two approaches you are discussing, in about a paragraph each (or two each, if necessary). For this assignment, your summary should not give any judgment, but simply present a neutral explanation (any evaluation should be in your analysis). Your summary must be mostly in your own words; you can and should use key terms, and limited use of direct quotes is helpful, but you cannot just copy the text, notes or other sources. Analysis: You should discuss and explain what you see as the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and give your own argument for which is better and why. This portion should not just repeat the
strengths and weaknesses given in the text and notes or outside sources; you must focus mainly on your own clearly given analysis and your own rationally supported argument. You do not have to argue that one view is better than the other, as long as you have a clear conclusion that you argue for. Your paper will have two main parts to it: first, a relevant summary of course material. Secondly, your
own critical analysis or argument regarding the theories you are addressing. You must have both parts, and they should be roughly equal in length. In addition to those two main parts, the paper should further begin with a one-paragraph introduction (including a thesis statement) and end with a one-paragraph conclusion. Again, this must be a new paper written specifically for this course; you must check with your instructor before using work from other courses. (continued on next page)
Due Date and Submission:
Your essay must be submitted online by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, November 17! You will upload your essay as a Word document (.doc or .docx) on e-campus; it must be a Word document specifically. It will be run through Safe Assign, software designed to help identify potential cases of plagiarism. Length and Format: Your essay paper must be no less than 1000 and should not be more than 1500
words. Your essay must be 12” Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with 1” margins on all sides. Any paper written below the minimum length will receive a lower grade (you may go beyond the upper word count if necessary, but not too much). Heading, direct quotes, footnotes, your works cited page, etc. do NOT count towards the 1000-1500 words. Sources and Citation: All sources of information, including assigned readings, must be properly cited according to either MLA, APA, or Chicago style citation, resources for which can be easily found online. You are required to cite the assigned readings that are directly relevant to your essay. You may use outside sources if you want to, but it is not required; if you use any outside sources, then you are required to properly cite them in your essay. Citing the course notes or outside sources does not replace needing to cite assigned course readings. The care ethics reading and any of the environmental ethics readings should be cited as chapters in an edited volume; the source information for each is given in the PDF. Remember, anything that is not your own thinking or idea must be properly referenced! Proper citation always includes two things: in-text citation (parenthetical references or footnotes) and full information for each source at the end of the essay (a works cited list). Any use of a source that is not properly cited constitutes plagiarism. Direct word-for-word copying from a source without use of both quotation marks and source citation is also plagiarism. Plagiarism may result in a 0 on this assignment.