Explain the basic ideas of Aristotelian virtue ethics.The questions are listed below. You should only answer THREE of them (not all of them!).
Each essay should be between 500 and 1000 words.
The questions are listed below. You should only answer THREE of them (not all of them!).
Each essay should be between 500 and 1000 words. I won’t penalize you for going over, though I will stop reading at around 1,000 words, unless you’ve provided convincing evidence that you *need* the extra words to make your point.
Direct quotes from the book or handouts can be cited simply as (page number or handout name). If you choose to use outside resources, please use a standard citation style (such as APA, MLA, or Chicago), and provide a full citation. In general, no more than 15% of your paper should be quotes.
Please don’t use the words or ideas of others without proper attribution. Please see the syllabus for details on the policy regarding plagiarism and academic integrity. I regularly use www.turnitin.com to check for plagiarism or related issues.
Since the goal of the exam is to demonstrate how well you understand the material, you should try to use your own words/examples. Essays that simply reproduce the handouts will not receive good grades.
Please submit your exam as a SINGLE MS WORD file to the D2L assignment folder. Each essay should start on a new page.
Answer THREE of the following questions. If you’ve already written on these topics (in discussion boards or essays for the class), it’s fine to reuse what you wrote. However, I do expect that you will make an effort to revise and improve earlier work.
Pretend you are teaching the allegory of the cave to a group of 12-year-olds. Use simple, clear words and examples they can relate to in order to explain both the structure of the allegory and “what it means.” In your explanation, be sure to include each of the following parts: the shadows, the puppets, the fire, the objects in the world outside, and the cave.
In recent years, there have been a number of prominent political acts aimed at changing laws (see MLK handout for some examples). Do a little research, and choose one particular political movement that interests you. Describe it in 1-2 paragraphs, making sure to say what law/policy was being challenged, and how those seeking to change the law responded. Now, consider how MLK (in “Letter for Birmingham Jail”) and Plato (in “The Crito”) might evaluate it.
Carefully describe the Euthyphro dilemma (the dilemma that arises from claiming “Morally good actions are those God loves”) in your own words. Then, explain what you think the best response is for theists (e.g., people who believe in God).
Argue for a yes/no answer to the following claim: “Morality relative to culture.” Be sure to incorporate what you’ve learned from James Rachels’ reading. I’d also encourage you to bring in real-life examples of what this might mean (the review question on the handout has some sample issues).
Argue for a yes/no answer to the following claim: “Any rational person ought to be an egoist.” Be sure to incorporate what you’ve learned from James Rachels’ reading. Again, use examples where appropriate.
Is lying always immoral? In your answer to this question, please explain and analyze Kant’s claims that lying is wrong because it treats people as mere means and/or lying isn’t “universalizable.”
Use utilitarian ethics to evaluate a state or federal law/policy. Some ideas might include gun control laws, health care reform, environmental protection, college funding, a decision to go to war, or whatever. (This may be require a little outside research) In your answer, you should be sure to (a) explain what exactly utilitarianism is, and how utilitarians approach these sorts of problems, (b) identify both benefits and costs of the policy/law in question.
Note: You don’t necessarily need to solve the problem here. Instead, you just want to show that you understand how utilitarianism works.
In 2-3 paragraphs, explain the basic ideas of Aristotelian virtue ethics. Now, apply it to your own life: pick a moral virtue you want to improve at, and explain how Aristotle might advise you to approach this.
Explain the argument of Lois Pineau’s “Date Rape” in a way that might be understandable to a high school freshmen. Consider at least two questions the students might have, and provide answers to them.
Exam Grading Rubric
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