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Autor: anton 07 September 2010
Words: 720 | Pages: 3
The papers in this class require you to find an example of a morally significant issue, event, action, person etc.. Once you have your example you must do three things. First you must explain in detail why the example you have chosen in morally significant. Second you must explain in detail how one of the philosophers we have read would evaluate the situation and what this thinker would recommend as the morally right thing to do. Third you must provide a reasoned argument for what you believe is the morally correct resolution to the example.
Papers are due in class: Tuesday February 22
Friday March 18
Monday April 25
Late papers will be docked one full letter grade for each calendar day they are late.
You have 3 weeks until the first paper is due. Your paper should reflect 3 weeks worth of work.
You must attach a hard copy of your source to your paper. Your paper will be late until you turn in your example.
Papers should be 4-5 pages long. This means that your paper should dribble onto page 5 but be no longer than 5 pages. If you get 6 words onto page 4 this is a 3-4 page paper and is insufficient.
Grammar and punctuation matter. You must express your ideas clearly. I will read your paper as carefully as I can but I cannot read your mind.
There is no need for outside research for this paper. I am not asking you to produce a book report on e.g. Plato's theory of knowledge. I am looking for a detailed discussion of the passages in each question. You will learn more from your attempt to understand the material than you will by quoting from the Encyclopedia of Philosophy. If you do consult outside sources these must be fully and accurately cited.
Save all notes and drafts. If I suspect plagiarism we will have to meet to discus your paper and the easiest way to prove that the ideas and writing are your own is to produce notes and drafts.
Avoid long quotes. If you feel the need to quote you must do much more than just type the quoted passage. You must specifically and precisely analyze the quoted passage. If you quote the correct passage of Plato without explaining what it means in your own words and then explaining how and why the ideas fit into your paper you will not have demonstrated your understanding of the material.
How to write the paper:
Step 1: find an example. I found this on News of the Weird:
According to an August Washington Post profile, Maura Hall of Washington, D.C., has spent more than $25,000 (an amount which a United Nations food program says will feed 350 third-world children for a year) for a kidney transplant and post-operative care for "Lily," her longhaired gray cat. (Among the post-op procedures: weekly, $200 blood tests for the rest of her life.) Hall said she encounters hostility from not only those who disagree with her priorities but also other pet owners who feel guilty that they
can't afford such expensive care.
The article goes on to provide relevant details
Step 2: write your paper
2a: explain in detail what is morally significant about the example you have chosen. Do not summarize your example. I am going to read the attached copy before I read your paper. Any one of the following is a good place to start:
Ms. Hall values her cat more than the humans she could have saved.
It is her money and she can do with it what she pleases.
The other pet owners are not exhibiting good character.
The Vet who would take her money is exploiting her.
2b: explain in detail what one of the philosophers we have studied would say about the example and explain in detail how and why he would come to that conclusion.
Plato would say she is wrong for valuing her cat so much. She can't, after all, keep the cat from dying eventually. So she is just setting her self up for misery.
2c: explain your own judgment. Give a clear, precise, well-reasoned account of what you would do and why. Do not be wishy-washy. Writing "I don't know I guess everyone needs to do what is right for herself" is inadequate. If you don't have your own ideas pick another topic.