Ethics Essay Assignment #1

Fall 2008

Essay #1 (Rough Draft) Due: September 23, 2008
Essay #1 (Final version) Due: October 9, 2008

A "rough draft" of the essay must be submitted a week before the due date.

The Rough Draft is mandatory; not optional. The Rough Draft may be submitted before the Rough Draft due date. Note: For those selection topic #4, you may have until September 25 to submit the rough draft.

Written Assignment:

Select one of the 4 following essay questions listed below. Write an essay that answers your chosen essay topic. The length of the essay should be in the 400 - 600 word range.

This essay assignment should be considered as both an exercise in philosophical argumentation as well as an exercise in clear writing style. Important Note: While reading supplementary articles is acceptable for learning more about the subject matter, the essay must be written "in your own words" to receive credit.

(1)     Create a dialogue, much in the same way that Plato has done in The Republic with “What Is Right Conduct?” and “Why Should I Be Moral?” that explores your views on the topics of right conduct, and whether one should act morally. The dialogue should:

(a) pose a specific question,
(b) answer the question in a way that includes an argument in support of your conclusion, and
(c) address any objections that pose obstacles to your final conclusion.

(2)     How does Thomas Aquinas define "natural law"? From where does it come and how do we know it? Explain in depth. How does natural law differ from other categories of laws? Do you agree or disagree with him? Explain.

(3)     In the context of our study of Moral Objectivism and Moral Relativism, analyze the following quote from Pope Benedict XVI: "We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism that recognizes nothing definite and leaves only one's own ego and one's own desires as the final measure." In your analysis, include an explanation of the theories of Moral Relativism and Moral Objectivism.

(4)     In the context of the contemporary American debate between security and freedom that resulted from the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in September of 2001, analyze the moral philosophy of Thomas Hobbes.

To return to Professor's home page, see Home Page

To go to class syllabus, see Class syllabus

This page was last updated 09/09/2008 06:30:00 by Prof Christie.