writing a paper that bridges a moral theory studied in the first half of the course with a contemporary moral problem studied in the second half of the course.
• If capital punishment is ethical, is it morally permissible to use capital punishment for the mentally ill or handicapped who commit the worst crimes?
• If capital punishment is ethical, is it morally permissible to use capital punishment for minors who commit the worst crimes?
Your paper should include:
A title of the form “A _x theory on the subject of _y_.”, where x is replaced with a moral theory that we studied in the first half of the course (such as utilitarianism or deontology), and y is replaced with a moral problem that we studied in the second half of the course (such as capital punishment or terrorism).
The purpose of the essay is to bridge some moral theory that we studied in the first part of the course, with a contemporary moral problem that we studied in the second part of the course. Ask on the discussion board if you’re unsure about what this means.
A short introductory paragraph, with a clear thesis statement (e.g., I shall argue that Regan’s argument is incorrect. because…). Your thesis should almost always be the last sentence of your introductory paragraph.
A short, charitable reconstruction of the argument as presented by the philosopher that we read in class (you may, but need not, use standard premise / conclusion form).
An brief explanation, in your own words, of the positions that you’re describing (such as the Categorical Imperative, Justice as Fairness, Singer’s Famine Relief, etc).
A suitable concluding paragraph.
At least two sources, and zero internet sources. If a source is not printed in a physical book or journal form (even if it is also available on the internet) it is not a suitable source, and should not be referenced in your essay. Essays that rely on the internet to make their central argument, rather than high quality class materials, will not receive a grade higher than a D. (Read that sentence again to be sure you understand it)
No direct quotations. It is not necessary to directly quote any author. When it is important to do so, simply explain the position which he/she is defending. It is, however, necessary to cite all authors whose ideas you reference. Thus, if you begin a sentence with, e.g., ”According to Plato..”, you should end that sentence with a citation. Essays that include “direct quotations” will not receive a grade higher than a D. (Read that sentence again, too, to be sure you understand it).
A clear and complete bibliography, formatted according either to APA or MLA
Your paper will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
Papers must demonstrate an understanding of the arguments being discussed.
Papers must demonstrate a mastery of the relevant concepts regarding the philosophical problem.
Don’t worry about getting the ‘right answer. Rather, concentrate on the quality of reasoning used in your evaluation.
Your grade will reflect the degree to which these rules and general requirements have been observed. All papers should be double spaced, between 600-750 words, and submitted as a doc or doc file. Include your name and a brief title at the top of page one, and your last name as a header or footer on every page. Include a bibliography or references section. Format according to APA or MLA citation style.
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