Week 5 – Final Paper
Please read these assignment instructions before writing your paper, and re-read them often during and after the writing process to make sure that you are fulfilling all of the instructions. Please also utilize the assignment guidance and the outlined model provided.
PHI208: WEEK FIVE ASSIGNMENT GUIDANCE
WEEK FIVE ASSIGNMENT GUIDANCE
Notes and Advice
This paper is a demonstration of what you have learned about moral reasoning based on our examining of ethical theories and specific ethical issues. As such, you should focus your attention on carefully spelling out the reasoning that supports your conclusion, and relating that to the theories we have discussed in class.
You are free to write on the same topic and question you wrote on in previous papers or choose a different topic and question.
If you choose a different topic, you would benefit from going through the Week One Assignment exercises.
For a list of acceptable topics to start with, see the options from the list of topics available in the online course. If you are still unsure of your topic or of how properly to focus it into a relevant ethical question, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your instructor.
You are free to draw upon the work you did in previous papers, and reuse parts that you feel were strong, but you are not to simply recycle the previous papers. This paper should reflect the culmination of the development of your thoughts on this issue, and many of the requirements for the final paper cannot be satisfied by a heavily recycled paper.
The consideration of an objection against your own view is a way of showing that your view has the support of good reasons and can answer its strongest objections. Therefore, aim at identifying and addressing the strongest opposing argument you can, bearing in mind that a good thesis should be able to respond to the best arguments for the other side.
The thesis statement is more than just a position statement of the sort you provided in the first assignment; rather, it states the position and the primary reasons in such a way that the reader should have a clear sense of how the reasons support the position, which is what will be spelled out and explained in the body of the paper. Please see the handout on thesis statements available in the online course.
This checklist can help you ensure that you have completed all of the assignment instructions.
PHI208: WEEK FIVE ASSIGNMENT GUIDANCE
Make sure that you
ü Provide an introduction that starts with the question, describes the ethical problem (including the most relevant issues), summarizes your procedure in the paper, and concludes with your thesis statement.
ü Explain what you think is the best way to reason about this issue, and show as clearly and persuasively as you can how that reasoning supports your position.
ü Make reference to at least two of the approaches we have examined in the course.
ü Raise a relevant objection against your position that you can imagine being raised by someone holding a contrary position.
ü Provide a strong response to that objection that shows that your own view can withstand it.
ü Provide a conclusion that sums up what you showed in the paper and offers some final reflections, including a revised statement of the thesis.
ü Utilize at least one for each theory drawn from the list of acceptable primary sources for that theory (for a total of two).
ü Utilize at least two other resources from the required or recommended readings and media or scholarly sources found in the Ashford University Library.
ü Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the resources page.
ü Include a title page and list of resources.
ü Proofread carefully for mechanical and grammatical errors.
ü Format the assignment in APA style.
ü Write between 1500 to 2000 words.
Running head: SHORTENED TITLE
The Title of the Paper
First name Last name
PHI 208 Ethics and Moral Reasoning
Prof. Heraclitus of Ephesus
January 1, 2014
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Begin with the ethical question you are addressing. The rest of your first paragraph should introduce the topic by briefly but precisely discussing the concrete topic under which this question falls, including any necessary context, background information, etc. This should draw upon your work in the Week One Assignment, but should be more succinct and reflect the development of your understanding of those ideas throughout the course, as well as any revision, narrowing, and focusing of the problem under consideration. Your introduction should include a preview of what you plan to do in the paper, and how you will proceed. Conclude your introductory paragraph with a thesis statement that states your position on the question and the primary reasons in such a way that the reader should have a clear sense of how the reasons support the position, which is what will be spelled out and explained in the body of the paper.
Demonstration Moral Reasoning
This section of the Final Paper is more open-ended than other parts of the papers you have been working on (including other parts of this paper). By now you will have seen how moral reasoning involves moving back and forth between general ideas, such as principles, rules, values, purposes and ends, and so forth, and particular concrete judgments. We have examined different forms that can take, where the general ideas might be utilitarian principles, deontological duties, or Aristotelian ideas about the human telos and the virtues. Your job here is demonstrate that you have acquired a sense of how that kind of reasoning proceeds, and that you have understood and considered the examples that were studied in the class.
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Along the way, you will need to relate what you are doing to these other theories. For example, you might be taking a utilitarian approach, or an Aristotelian one, and would make reference to Mill or Aristotle in the course of doing so, and contrast your approach with Kant’s. Or you might model your approach on the reasoning of one of the contemporary readings that dealt with specific issues. Also, you will likely need to provide factual evidence to support the movement from general ideas to concrete particulars.
Objection and Response
Each of the assignments involved examining a possible objection to the main argument, and this paper will do so as well, but follow up with a response to the objection. An objection articulates a plausible reason why someone might find the argument weak or problematic. Or it might raise a consideration supporting a rival position, or a counter-example that seems to go against certain claims you have made. You should explain how it represents and objection, and do so in a way that would be acceptable to someone who disagrees with your own argument. You would then provide the best response you can to the objection, showing as clearly and persuasively as you can how it does not undermine your position, without simply making the same argument you have already made over again (that is, your response should say something new).
Provide a conclusion that sums up what you showed in the paper and offers some final reflections, including a revised statement of the thesis (do not simply repeat your thesis, but rephrase it in light of the discussion you just had).
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Total Word Count: 1500 to 2000 words (note: that’s at least twice as long as this outline).
SHORTENED TITLE 5
Required: Primary text in support of theory 1, drawn from the list of acceptable resources.
Required: Primary text in support of theory 2, drawn from the list of acceptable resources.
Required: Scholarly resource drawn from either the required or recommended readings or from the Ashford University Library.
Required: Scholarly resource drawn from either the Required or Recommended Resources or from the Ashford University Library.
Suggested: Other resources as needed.
Note that resources must be cited in the text as well as included in the bibliography to satisfy the requirement.
The textbook and guidance do not count toward the resources requirement, though you are free to use them as additional resources.
Overview In the Week One Assignment, you formulated a concrete ethical question, took a position on that topic, and identified a reason supporting and a reason opposing that position. In the Week Three Assignment, you discussed either deontological or utilitarian theory, applied that theory to the question, and raised a relevant objection.
By engaging with the course material, you now have had a chance to refine your thinking and broaden your understanding of the problem by approaching it from the perspective of multiple ethical theories.
In this paper, you will demonstrate what you have learned by writing an essay in which you
Present a revised formulation of the ethical question and introduction to the topic.
Explain the kind of reasoning you think is the best way to approach this question, and how that reasoning supports the position you think is strongest.
Raise an objection, and be able to respond to it.
Instructions Write an essay that conforms to the requirements below. The paper must be 1500 to 2000 words in length (excluding the title and reference pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
The paragraphs of your essay should conform to the following guidelines:
Introduction Your first paragraph should begin with the topic question, suitably revised. It should be focused, concrete, and on a relevant moral problem. You should then introduce the topic in the way described by the Week One instructions, but reflecting the developed understanding and information you have gained about the topic and any necessary refinement of the scope. Follow this with a thesis statement that states your position, and a brief description of the primary reason(s) supporting your position. (See the handout on thesis statements provided). Finally, provide a brief preview of the overall aim and procedure of your paper.
Explanation and Demonstration of Moral Reasoning This section of the Final Paper will explain and demonstrate what you believe to be the best way of reasoning about the question you have chosen, and showing how that reasoning supports the position you have taken on the question. You might explain the principles, rules, values, virtues, conceptions of purposes and ends, and other general ideas that you find persuasive, and show how they support concrete judgments. In the course of doing so, you must make reference to at least two of the approaches that we have examined in the course (such as deontological, utilitarian, or virtue-based), and utilize at least one resource off the provided list for each of the two approaches. One of these theories may be the theory you discussed in your Week Three Assignment, but your discussion here should be more refined. For example, you might find the reasoning associated with Aristotelian virtue ethics to be the most compelling, and reference Aristotle in the process of showing how that reasoning supports a certain conclusion. In the course of this, you could contrast that with a utilitarian approach, referencing Mill for instance.
Objection and Response After explaining the ethical reasoning that supports your position, you should raise an objection and respond to it. An objection articulates a plausible reason why someone might find the argument weak or problematic. You should explain how it brings out this weakness, and do so in a way that would be acceptable to someone who disagrees with your own argument. Then, provide the best response you can to the objection, showing how it does not undermine your position. Your response should not simply restate your original position or argument, but should say something new in support of it.
Conclusion Provide a conclusion that sums up what you presented in the paper and offers some final reflections.
Resource Requirement You must use at least four scholarly resources. Two of the resources must be drawn from the list of acceptable primary resources on each of the two theories you discuss. For example, if you discuss deontology and virtue ethics, you would need at least one resource under the “Deontology” list and at least one resource under the “Virtue Ethics” list. The other two may be from either the Required or Recommended Resources, or scholarly resources found in the Ashford University Library.
The textbook may be cited, but it does not count toward the resource requirement. If you cite the textbook, you will still need to cite at least four more sources that fulfill the requirements stated above.
If you need help with finding additional resources, or are unsure about whether a particular resource will count toward the requirement, please contact your instructor.
For sources to count toward the resources requirement, they must be cited within the text of your paper and on the reference page. Sources that are listed on the references page, but not cited within the paper, do not count toward fulfilling the resources requirement.
For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center.
LIST OF ACCEPTABLE PRIMARY RESOURCES FOR THE WEEK THREE ASSIGNMENT AND WEEK FIVE FINAL PAPER
These are the primary resources that you can cite when explaining a moral theory in order to fulfill the relevant portion of the resources requirement.
* Indicates readings included in the “Required Readings” portion of the course.
*Mill, John Stuart. Utilitarianism, in the original version in the textbook, or in the version by Jonathan Bennett. Retrieved from www.earlymoderntexts.com
• See the guidance for the required portions of the text.
Haines, W. (n.d.). Consequentialism. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/conseque/
Singer, P. (2003). Voluntary euthanasia: A utilitarian perspective. Bioethics, 17(5/6), 526-541.
*Kant, Immanuel. Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals in the original version in the textbook, or in the version by Jonathan Bennett. Retrieved from www.earlymoderntexts.com
• See the guidance for the required portions of the text.
O’Neill, O. (1993). A simplified account of Kant’s ethics. In T. Regan (Ed.) Matters of Life and Death, 411-415. Retrieved from http://users.manchester.edu/Facstaff/SSNaragon/Online/texts/201/O’Neill, Kant.pdf
*Aristotle. (1931). Nicomachean ethics. (W.D. Ross, Trans.). Oxford, GBR: Clarendon Press. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/8438/pg8438.html
• See the guidance for the required portions of the text.
Hursthouse, R. (2012). Virtue ethics. In E. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-virtue/
MacIntyre, A. (1984). After virtue. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.
• Chapters 14-15 are included in Chapter 6 of the text.
*Held, V. “Feminist transformations of moral theory.”
• Included in Chapter 6 of the text. See the guidance for the required portions of the text.
*Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Retrieved from https://lms.manhattan.edu/pluginfile.php/26517/mod_resource/content/1/Gilligan In a Different Voice.pdf.
*Noddings, N. (2010). Maternal factor: Two paths to morality. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. (213-220) (Ebook)