philosophy

ESSAY 3 PHIL 011

Topic: For your first essay, you will ANALYZE VARIOUS THEORIES OF ETHICS and engage them critically, through argument analysis (strengths and weaknesses) and personal assessment (your own opinion and arguments). After doing this you should have a good understanding of common Western theories of ethics and be able to explain which theory and supporting arguments you find most compelling You will write your essay by answering the following questions:

1. You need to address the subjectivism vs. objectivism debate in ethics. Which do you find the most convincing? What arguments do you find the most compelling to support your position? In other words, you need to choose either ethical objectivism or ethical relativism, explain which arguments help you choose your position, and explain why other arguments are NOT convincing.

a. You will find details of this debate in our William Lawhead “Philosophical Journey” book (pages 431-453)

2. Next, you need to present the various theories of ethical relativism found in our Lawhead book and give the strengths and weaknesses of each theory. Then you will need to decide which theory you find most convincing, and support your decision with arguments.

a. Subjectivism pp. 433-435; Conventionalism pp. 435-443

3. Finally, you need to present the various theories of ethical objectivism found in our Lawhead book. You will need to give strengths and weaknesses of each theory, explain which is the most convincing, and support your decision with arguments.

a. Ethical egoism pp. 453-469; Utilitarianism pp. 470-487; Kantian ethics pp. 488-505; Virtue ethics pp. 506-525

Your entire paper should be around 1000-1500 words. That means you should answer each question with 350-500 words.

Reading: To answer these questions you should use this books—

· William Lawhead, “The Philosophical Journey”

· You will find this book under “Content”

· If you are having a hard time understanding each theory, you can look at the end of each chapter and section for a good summary of strengths and weaknesses as well as further details on the theories

Here is a rubric I will use to grade your paper:

Excellent Good Needs Improvement Unacceptable
CONTENT
Argument
Thesis A clear statement of the main conclusion of the paper. The thesis is obvious, but there is no single clear statement of it. The thesis is present, but must be uncovered or reconstructed from the text of the paper. There is no thesis.
Premises Each reason for believing the thesis is made clear, and as much as possible, presented in single statements. It is also clear which premises are to be taken as given, and which will be supported by sub-arguments. The paper provides sub-arguments for controversial premises. If there are sub-arguments, the premises for these are clear, and made in single statements. The premises which are taken as given are at least plausibly true. The premises are all clear, although each may not be presented in a single statement. It is also pretty clear which premises are to be taken as given, and which will be supported by sub-arguments. The paper provides sub-arguments for controversial premises. If there are sub-arguments, the premises for these are clear. The premises which are taken as given are at least plausibly true. The premises must be reconstructed from the text of the paper. It is not made clear which premises are to be taken as given, and which will be supported by sub-arguments. There are no sub-arguments, or, if there are sub-arguments, the premises for these are not made clear. The paper does not provide sub-arguments for controversial premises. The plausibility of the premises which are taken as given is questionable. There are no premises—the paper merely restates the thesis. Or, if there are premises, they are much more likely to be false than true.
Support The premises clearly support the thesis, and the author is aware of exactly the kind of support they provide. The argument is either valid as it stands, or, if invalid, the thesis, based on the premises, is likely to be or plausibly true. The premises support the thesis, and the author is aware of the general kind of support they provide. The argument is either valid as it stands, or, if invalid, the thesis, based on the premises, is likely to be or plausibly true. The premises somewhat support the thesis, but the author is not aware of the kind of support they provide. The argument is invalid, and the thesis, based on the premises, is not likely to be or plausibly true. The premises do not support the thesis.
Counter-Arguments The paper considers both obvious and unobvious counter-examples, counter-arguments, and/or opposing positions, and provides original and/or thoughtful responses. The paper considers obvious counter-examples, counter-arguments, and/or opposing positions, and provides responses. The paper may consider some obvious counter-examples, counter-arguments, and/or opposing positions, but some obvious ones are missed. Responses are non-existent or mere claims of refutation. No counter-examples, counter-arguments, or opposing positions are considered.

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