This essay is an opportunity for you to engage in more extended analysis and criticism of the areas of ethics that we have covered this far in the course. Your paper should be based on the readings from the course and should demonstrate the following learning outcomes::
Read, analyze, and critique philosophical texts.
Explain and assess major arguments in ethics.
Present well-reasoned ethical positions in writing.
Apply ethical concepts and principles to address moral concerns
Based on the topic proposal and outline submitted in your previous assignment, you will write a 4-5 page paper (double-spaced, standard borders and font, not including title or works cited).
The paper should have an introduction and a conclusion, but those sections should be no more than a single paragraph. The paper should be composed in such a way that it clearly advances a thesis with support from the assigned readings and minimal external research. If any external research is used, it must be cited in a works cited page. Each paragraph should address a separate topic and they should build to a logical conclusion.
Use a word processing software to write the paper, then attach it to this assignment. Please make sure that you save your file with a .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .pdf ending. There is no guarantee that I will be able to open any other file type.
Aristotle argues that happiness is the ultimate good and purpose of human action. He believes that virtue is the way to achieve happiness. Does this view offer a reason for thinking that ethics might have a general character that can be applied to all people, places, and times? Can someone be fully happy (in Aristotle’s sense, that is, fulfilled, excellent, flourishing) even though others might consider them wicked?
Does virtue or piety capture what we mean by morals and ethics or is something lost in these characterizations? When Plato and Euthyphro discuss piety, they seem to treat piety as if it were another word for ethical, that is, if a person is pious then they do the right thing while an impious person does not. Similarly, Aristotle’s entire work on ethics is concerned with the development of virtue. But is virtue or piety all there is to ethics? Are there other rules, guidelines, or moral principles that are not captured by the concepts of virtue and piety? What are they? What is missing?
Euthyphro tries to ground morality in the statements of the gods; Aristotle grounds it in human nature (the soul, its purpose and it’s function). Which of these two approaches to grounding ethics seems more likely to succeed as an ethical theory? Do they both miss something? Is there another way to ground our notions of ethics? Why would one or the other fail to provide an adequate theory of ethics?
The paper will be graded holistically based on the following components. Each component will be assessed a score of 0-3 (0 = no response, 1 = inadequate , 2 = approaching expectations, 3 = meets expectations). Your score will then be translated into a final grade.
Knowledge: The paper demonstrates a basic knowledge of the concepts, terms, readings, and ideas relevant to the topic chosen. The author properly identifies sources of these ideas.
Critical analysis: The author considers other viewpoints, challenges premises and arguments, and considers counter examples. The author questions the consistency of the ideas presented.
Argument: The paper advances a thesis with supporting evidence. Paragraphs build toward a logical conclusion.
Application: The author considers applications of the ideas to real life scenarios.
Composition: The paper is written clearly and in a consistent voice. A priority should be placed on communicating ideas directly and economically, avoiding ambiguity or vagueness, and avoiding errors that detract from the ability of the reader to understand what the author is saying.
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