PHIL 1301 Ethical Decision on News Article
Term Paper Prompt PHIL 1301: Introduction to Philosophy
DUE March 10th 2022 by 11:59 PM Central Students are required to submit a 1000-word (minimum) term paper, which will count for 20% of their final course grade. The student will present a situation requiring an ethical choice made by an individual drawn from the real world (i.e. a news story), consider the possible choices available and their consequences, take a position on the situation (i.e. state what choice they would make in the same situation), and justify that choice.
The student must incorporate significant references to at least two thinkers discussed in the course so far as part of their evaluation of the situation requiring an ethical choice. The paper will be graded according to the attached rubric. The student should do the following (please note—this is not an outline):
Choose a news story involving an individual faced with an ethical decision. Include a link to the news story at the top of your first page.
Summarize the situation, the available choices, and the consequences of those choices. Based on your chosen news story, identify the person making a choice, the options that person had available to them, and the potential consequences of those possible choices. You should also make it clear what choice the person actually made and what the consequences of that choice have been.
Take a position. In other words, make a choice. Explain what you would have done in that person’s position. You are free to agree or disagree with the choice that was actually made.
Justify that choice with rational arguments. In other words, explain why you would make that choice.
Include significant references to at least two thinkers discussed in class (from Unit 1 or Unit 2). These references can be used in any part of the paper and should demonstrate thoughtful engagement with the philosophers and ideas encountered in this course. In other words, this should be more than using two random quotes from philosophers. You could use references to different philosophers to explain your choice (For example, “I would have chosen to do _________ because I agree with Plato that __________.”). You could use these references when you outline the possible choices a person could have made (For example, “The person in this news story could have taken an Epicurean approach and done_________”, or, “Someone following virtue theory would choose to _________ because…”).
Papers must be submitted through eCampus. Any student who turns in plagiarized work for the midterm
paper will receive a failing grade for the course.
You will write a 1000-1500 word response to your chosen paper topic from the list below. See Course Outline for the due date.
This assignment is worth 300 points, or 30% of your grade.
DO NOT USE ANY SOURCES OTHER THAN THE DALRYMPLE ARTICLE AND YOUR TEXTBOOK, WHICH YOU WILL CITE USING MLA FORMAT.
YOU WILL ATTACH A FILE IN THE BOX AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.
Students will demonstrate their ability to construct arguments about issues of both personal and universal significance. Their writing should demonstrate that they can construct cogent, concise, and logically coherent arguments.
Students should demonstrate that they can distinguish the relevant points that form a logically coherent argument. They should also be able to construct criticisms which effectively undermine, through the use of appropriate counter-examples, some premise of that argument.
Your assignment is to read any ONE of the following four articles:
Then, FOR THE ARTICLE YOU CHOOSE TO WRITE ON, you will type a 1000-1500 word response in which you address EACH of the following points IN YOUR OWN WORDS: 1) What is the author’s main argument? 2) How does he support his main argument (evidence, ancillary arguments, etc.)? 3) Do you agree or disagree with him? 4) Why or why not? 5) Apply the insights of at least two of the readings we have studied in this course (in chapters 1-9) to your analysis. Make sure to give a substantive explanation of how the philosophers’ insights are relevant to the topic you are discussing.
A WORD OF WARNING: These articles are rather long and complex. The author likes to make extensive use of his rather copious vocabulary, so I strongly urge you to have dictionary.com handy as you work your way through your chosen article. The purpose of this essay assignment is for you to demonstrate your ability to discuss, analyze, and evaluate complex philosophic arguments. I am confident that the reading assignments, tests, and discussion boards will have prepared you for this final, and no doubt challenging, essay assignment.
Note: I only allow one attempt on this assignment. Students who do not fully address all of the components of the assignment as stated in the instructions as well as the grading rubric below will have to be content with the grade they earned.
Please use MLA format.
Your paper will be graded according to the following rubric:
The following standards are numbered in order of importance for grading.
1.Essay demonstrates an understanding of the material: The student has correctly grasped a philosophical problem or question, has explained it accurately, and on the basis of a substantially correct interpretation of any texts involved. Key terms are used correctly. The essay shows evidence of the student’s independent thought, and is written in his or her distinctive voice. Short (one sentence) quotations are used (comprising no more than 10% of the body of the paper), when appropriate, to support the writer’s analysis, and an explanation is offered for each quotation. The use of block quotations will result in a severe point deduction.
2.Essay has clear and coherent argument: There is a clearly stated thesis, and support for this thesis in the body of the paper. Each paragraph contributes to this argument, and follows logically from the paragraph before it. The argument presented is persuasive. The insights of two other philosophers are incorporated into the analysis.
3.Essay fulfills assigned task: The essay addresses the entire assigned question or topic, elaborating on important ideas in satisfactory depth, but without bringing in anything extraneous or irrelevant. The introduction of the essay focuses and provides clarity for the paper. Important terms are clearly and accurately defined. Each paragraph conveys a coherent, organized thought. Short (one sentence) quotations are occasionally used, when appropriate, to support the writer’s analysis, and an explanation is offered for each quotation. No more than 10% of paper is made up of direct quotes. No block quotations.
4.Essay obeys standards for good persuasive writing: the writer shows that he or she is comfortable using philosophical language, and the prose is clear, not awkward. The structure of the sentences reflects the relationships between/among the ideas discussed.
5.Essay is technically correct: The essay has been carefully and thoughtfully proofread. The argument is written in complete sentences, with punctuation that does not mislead the reader. There are no mistakes in spelling, grammar, word choice, and punctuation.