Bentham, Mill, or Singer (maximizing welfare)

2. Pick one representative figure from each of the three “approaches” enumerated/outlined by Sandel, then carefully and thoughtfully examine your chosen issue from each of the three perspective(s). You should pick one from each of the three following lists: • Bentham, Mill, or Singer (maximizing welfare) • Kant, Nozick, Locke or Rawls (respecting freedom and rights) • Aristotle (cultivating virtue and promoting the good life) A strong treatment will (i) explore how each approach would construct a case for both sides (or either side) of the argument and (ii) identify an objection (a weakness, flaw, problem) to each argument. 3. Have a clear, well-argued thesis making a case for which argument is superior and why. Due: Submit (1) an electronic copy via turnitin [on blackboard under course content] and (2) a paper copy directly to me on the day of the final exam by the start of the exam period. Instructions for Essay: Write a clear and concise essay, five (5) pages in length. Use standard margins; fonts must be 12 points, and acceptable fonts are those that make about 300 words per page, like Times and Times New Roman. Make sure the essay has an introduction, a strong thesis statement, and a brief conclusion. A strong thesis statement is precise, not vague, and indicates to the reader what you are going to argue. It means you must take a stand on an issue, and then back it up through a demonstrated understanding of texts and sources and good argumentation. Avoid overly broad statements (especially in your introduction) like “since the beginning of time” or “humans have always….” This sort of remark is not helpful, impossible to back up in a short paper, and provides no real context for the discussion. Stick instead to the details of a narrowly focused argument.

This essay is an opportunity for you to exhibit both a grasp of the texts, discussions, and lectures and some penetrating, independent thought. The essay has a number of goals: it should clarify your understanding of the various approaches to ethics; it should synthesize your grasp of the ethical theories with the practical issues; it should hone your own ethical reasoning skills and clarify both your theoretical leanings (are you a utilitarian? Kantian? Virtue ethicist?) as well as your considered ethical positions (are you a supporter or opponent of affirmative action? Same sex marriage?) This is not a research paper, but an exercise in ethical reflection and an opportunity to practice using and exploring the different ethical approaches. Therefore, it does not require that you consult outside sources; however, a good essay will reference the readings to support your claims and arguments, but quote only sparingly. Do not use large blocks of text from the readings to make your arguments for you. Instead, show your comprehension by explaining what the author means, and quote only essential passages. A good paper will always spend twice as much text illuminating the meaning of the quote. (i.e. If you quote a sentence that is one line in your paper, you should spend at least two lines explaining its significance. Otherwise, it did not need to be quoted.) Moreover, avoid rhetorical questions.

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