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Ethics Final Analytic essay
One of the ways philosophers share their knowledge is by collecting short essays about the most important ideas in their fields of study. For the final project for this class, each student will need to deeply consider and craft a final essay on one big idea within the hundreds of ideas in this course.
For the short reflective essays (~750 words), we will pause in our material (no new readings) after each major section of the course (Virtue Ethics, Universalist Ethics, or Utilitarianism) to make time to reflect further on the ideas that have been most important to you in the module. Your peers will read your work and respond to your ideas (not as editors, but in dialogue as thinkers.) You should help each other a lot in the process. This project is actually a lot of fun, because everyone in the class gets to choose their own focus and follow their passions.
Everyone will have the same final deadline for their expanded essay: You will need to compose both the reflection and expansion formally, and your final paper will be ~2000 words in length. If you would like feedback and the opportunity to revise, please turn in your paper via email. I am happy to give extra-credit for extra-work, and I am open to students adding sections to their papers if they meet the requirements below. There will be a late penalty of 10% for every 12-hours late, but I am happy to grant Incompletes or support you in other ways as needed.
Reflective Essay Instructions—->Analytic Revision
Some of you wrote longer reflection essays and may have already completed aspects of the outline. The ‘a’ points are for the reflection; the ‘b’ parts of the extension and revision instructions.
Outline for Reflective Essay (part a) and Outline for Final Essay (part b)
Part 1a: Define
Define the big idea, key concept, or terminology. Include important examples and counterexamples used by our authors. ONLY use references from our course materials. Parenthetical references are fine; no bib needed.
Part 1b: Refine with textual evidence
You will need to locate 3-4 quotes from our readings refining the definition of the big idea, and explain the idea in greater detail across 3-4 paragraphs. This is your chance to revise any misunderstanding from your reflection presentation, but also to specify more closely how the philosopher’s specific big idea is different from the common sense definition of the concept chosen (ex. Aristotle on friendship vs general usage of friendship.)
For the final paper, you will be graded for accuracy in your definition and the quality of your textual support.
Part 2a: Reflect on place in class
Discuss why you think this idea was assigned in any Ethics class and this class in particular.
Part 2b: Put into dialogue with another philosopher, author, or film from the class.
To demonstrate an analytic (not reflective or speculative) understanding of our materials, you will need to integrate the work of another text/film from the class. There are several options for developing your analytical writing: 1) show how another text extends or expands the idea you chose, 2) show how another text points to an oversight (missing) point that should be added to the big idea, OR 3) show how another text helps us in understanding an important ethical problem or question raised by the big idea. You will need to use at least 3-4 quotes or scenes from the other author/film as textual evidence to support your analysis. Again, you will be assessed according to the quality and accuracy of the connections you draw. It helps to almost role play a dialogue between the author of the big idea and another author from the class. What would they say to one another if they met in real life and had a conversation about the big idea?
Part 3a: Impact
Explain why you chose to focus on this idea and what is important about it to you. Write in the first person and as if you are trying to explain the impact of this idea. You may want to also raise questions or describe possibilities for applying this idea.
Part 3b: Impact as the class concludes.
This section should be written in the first-person and should discuss what the idea means to you now that we have finished the class. How will it stay with you after the end of the semester? This section is still reflective, but it is a summary reflection that draws together your understanding of the entire semester. This section should comprise no more than 250-500 words of your paper. Essentially, you need to follow the directions above and turn in polished college-level writing (not first draft prose) to do well on this assignment. Excellent work earns an A, very good work a B, etc. I expect you to incorporate insights from the discussion of your paper and suggestions from my feedback into your revised and expanded essay.
Add your reflection essay topic and info here
Below is the information on Rule Based Ethics and Kant; the topic that you wrote for my short reflective essay, and I’ll also be attaching my short reflective essay below.
1. Watch this short video on the topic, Rule Based Ethics and Kant, where Kant would very much disagree with Jeff Goldblum’s famous monologue in the Big Chill: Big Chill – Rationalizations – YouTube . Please also these two links first: PHILOSOPHY: Immanuel Kant – YouTube and Kant & Categorical Imperatives: Crash Course Philosophy #35 – YouTube. 2. We will be focusing on pages 76-84 of Kan’t reading. You may find a clean copy of the reading at these web links: kantianethics (2).pdf( i will also attach the PDF)
3. I have also scanned my copy of the reading with my notes. PROMPT — DO NOT PLAGIARIZE, please. Your ideas are enough.
Focus on Kant’s belief that because we can choose to act in accordance to our Reason, we should. Do you believe that we have a duty to be rational, especially in our moral judgments? Or is morality something that cannot or should not be subject to rational argument?
While Kant believes that we do not always act rationally and that sometimes we cannot (for example, a brain injury would excuse us from moral responsibility for lying, etc), he thinks that our capacity to REASON is fundamentally human and a good basis for an ethical framework that universally applied across all of humanity. Do you agree that this ‘solution’ is universal or as close to universal as any ethical framework could get?
Should we regard someone as being moral when and only when they intentionally and rationally do what is right? If a person reacts and instinctively helps someone else, is this different than when they deliberately consider the situation and make a choice? Explain why or why not.
Add your new topic and info here
I think you can use “Ida B.Wells and the Red record” for part 2b of the paper. This is the information on this topic:
Note: Be sure to read/listen to the materials in order, because I am providing background info which will allow deeper engagement. We are very lucky that a rich archive of resources has been created in connection to a 2021 PBS project remembering Wells, so the content this week includes very important archival materials. However, I also want to encourage you to use self-care in reviewing the materials and let me know if you are concerned about specific triggers related to the topic. I have provided alternative texts and options as needed in the past.
BACKGROUND and MATERIALS
Read this hand-out: Guide to Wells and King (attached)
Watch the 2021 WTTW film: Ida B. Wells: A Chicago Stories Special Documentary.
Follow up by reading ONE of the resources below.Read Exposing the “Thread-Bare Lie”: How Ida B. Wells Used Investigative Journalism to Uncover the Truth About Lynching | Ida B. Wells | Chicago Stories | WTTW Chicago. This includes primary materials of images and writing from Wells. Some of the images are graphic, but you have to click-through to view them.
Read Joy James’s “The Quartet in the Political Persona of Ida B. Wells.” James is a contemporary Black feminist philosopher who unfolds the importance of Wells as a political thinker in 4 parts.
Read Tommy J. Curry, “The Fortune of Wells.” Curry is also an influential contemporary philosopher; here he connects Wells to the intellectual tradition of militant resistance to racist violence. This reading also helps us expand our understanding of the power of friendship in moral development.
All of our readings have placed great emphasis on the importance of justice and the rule of law. These are seen as vital to the principles of humanity (Kant) and the defense of our mutual respect, dignity, and fundamental autonomy and freedom as persons. These are also seen as vital in our fostering of King’s beloved community, a vision of justice, but also of love and non-violence. He was despised for holding out hope for true integration, the protection of all, and a path of growth for every child not marred by hate. Finally, Wells was driven by principles of truth, fairness, justice before the law, self-determination, and self-defense. Wells allied with a great number of white antiracists and had deep, intimate friendships, but she first wanted Black Americans to speak dangerous truths, demand justice, and organize for their own protection and felt this was the precursor to meeting the white establishment as true equals and from a position of power. Add your professor’s comments for the reflective paper here
And these were my professor’s comments for the reflective essay:Rule Based Ethics and Kant:
This is a cogent and accomplished essay! Thank you. You were right to underline the categorical imperative as Kant’s primary moral compass. One thing that may interest you is that there is also the hypothetical imperative, which does not necessarily ask us to ” act in a certain manner regardless of whether doing so gets us anything we care about.” Basically, Kant still thought we had interests and ethics that were not absolute (that did not require rules/universality). The pursuit of happiness would be an example of this for him. As you expand this essay, whether comparing him to rule-based or other thinkers, this might help you tease out further areas of agreement and disagreement. Again, thank you for this fabulous work!
Please write the whole paper in very simple language.
NO plagiarism should be found.
Read through all the instructions and materials given and write the paper accordingly.
Write the paper in first person.
Also, look at the comments of my professor and please make the necessary changes.
This paper should be 2000 words of length.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!
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