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Ethics Position Paper

Ethics Position Paper


Question descriptionPhil 1112 Ethics Final Paper The final paper. The paper will be 8 pages in length, 12 pt font (New Times Roman is a standard font), and double-spaced.

Topics Choose one of the two topics for your final paper.

1. Contemporary Moral Problem. The paper should be a position paper focused on your chosen topic from Part 3 Moral Problems of our text (the table of contents gives you an idea of the variety of topics available). You will need to choose a topic (e.g. Abortion, World Hunger, Capital Punishment, etc), set out and explain at least two of the positions argued for from that section by the authors in the text. Explain and evaluate their arguments. Additionally, argue for (i.e. explain and defend) your own position on the topic.

2. Carl Elliott’s White Coat Black Hat. Set out and explain Carl Elliott’s argument in White Coat Black Hat in detail. Provide textual evidence/citation in setting out and explaining his argument. Present, explain, and discuss at least 2 types of “players” (e.g. guinea pigs, ghost writers, etc.) in the medical world that he discusses in order to illustrate his argument. Evaluate Elliott’s argument you have presented.

Discuss whether you think the argument is a good one. Incorporate at least two of the following moral theories into your discussion: Utilitarianism, Kantianism, and/or Virtue Theory. Remember to explain and defend your own points in regard to your evaluation of his argument. Note: Imagine that the reader of your essay is not entirely familiar with the views you are presenting. This means you might want to explain any specific or technical concepts/language you use. Make sure you answer all of the above parts of the topic. Try to be clear and to the point in your essay. Use examples to make your points, but remember that you will need to explain how your example actually illustrates the point you are trying to make, i.e. don’t rely on the example to do your explaining for you. Also, avoid excessive quotations and a reliance on them to do the explaining for you.

Evaluation Criteria

The primary criteria for evaluating papers will involve a demonstrated understanding of the arguments/positions relevant to the paper topic, the soundness of arguments for one’s own position regarding the topic and general clarity of expression. That is to say, papers will be graded for philosophical content and writing style. If you have difficulty in expressing your points clearly through writing, I suggest you plan on writing many drafts of your essay and that you seriously consider working with the writing center/tutors in order to strengthen your essays.

I use the following scale in distributing grades for assignments. I have also provided explanations for what each level of paper will be like. A Superior achievement of assignment/course requirements.

An A paper will be well organized and extremely clear such that the author’s flow of thought is very easy to follow. One key for this is that there are very few typos and grammatical errors. The thesis, if there is one for the assignment, should be very clear and the essay should be focused on it. There should be no irrelevant digressions or tangents, and the thesis should be well-supported and explained. The views discussed should be captured correctly, and there should be no inconsistencies in the paper’s argument/discussion. An A paper will also show originality/insight and independent thought. It should be an excellent essay that goes well beyond merely satisfying the questions.

B Better than satisfactory achievement of assignment/course requirements While an A paper is an excellent one, a B paper is a good one. It does a bit more than just satisfying the assignment. It shows that effort has been put into the essay with a clear thesis and generally solid argumentation and explanation of the key issues/points involved in the assignment. However, there could be improvement in content and writing. There may be grammatical errors, though not many, which detract from the flow of the essay. There may be confusion in argumentation or some small point at issue, but the errors will not generally be very substantial.

C Satisfactory achievement of assignment/course requirements a C paper is satisfactory and covers the material of the assignment. It is generally correct and deals with at least one of the relevant issues well enough to be understood and to make its point. Various deficits of a C paper include mistaken arguments and key points as well as unexplained concepts/terms that should be explained. Other deficits may be an unclear thesis, a glaring inconsistency in reasoning, other elements that detract from clarity, or an essay consisting of just description/narrative without any analysis of the material. Often times these essays just mention key points without explaining and evaluating them, or they do so in very brief fashion.

D Less than satisfactory achievement of assignment/course requirements but acceptable for credit A D paper seems to have a thesis and point, though it is hard to see what, exactly, it is. The essay mentions relevant material, but it is organized and written such that it is a list of unrelated points and thoughts. Key subject matter is omitted or not explained at all. F Failure to achieve assignment/course requirements An F paper shows little to no comprehension of the material or the assignment directions. These papers usually display an incompetence in grammar and reasoning skills.

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