Monday, February 05, 2007

For Wednesday

For this Wednesday:

EMP Ch. 2 (continued) and this article:

"What's Culture Got to Do with it? Excising the Harmful Tradition of Female Circumcision"

Please print out the article, have read it and bring it to class.




DUE MONDAY FEB 19 IN CLASS and submitted through

4 – 5 pages, 12 pt font, double spaced, pages numbered and stapled. Put your name, email and class time at the top of the 1st page, and give your paper a “real” title (not “paper 2”).

Your paper should be well organized, grammatically correct, and carefully written: you should follow all the advice you developed for yourself in Paper 1. You should write to an audience who has not read the readings or is familiar with these issues, so you need to explain things so that they will understand. And you should try to explain everything in your own words.

For this assignment, I want you to argue for – that is, to give and defend reasons to think –one of these conclusions:

(a) that female genital mutilation is morally wrong, or

(b) that female genital mutilation not morally wrong, i.e., it is morally permissible.

To do this, you must explain the nature of this practice, i.e., briefly give the essential factual information about what’s involved in the practice. This should be no more than ½ a page. Your information should come from the Rachels’ text and/or the “What’s culture got to do with it?” article. You do not need any outside sources: this is not a research paper, it is an argumentative essay in moral philosophy.

You must present some of the reasons that are given in its favor, including claims that cultural relativists might make in defense of female genital mutilation. (You must carefully explain what the moral theory of “cultural relativism” is).

You must state and explain whether these reasons are good reasons in favor of female circumcision or female genital mutilation. So, you must explain whether the moral theory of cultural relativism is true or not and why. You must give reasons and defend your reasons.

You must state and explain some of the best objections to circumcision / female genital mutilation, i.e., the reasons to think it’s wrong. You must explain whether these objections are good or not, i.e., whether they provide good reason to think that female genital mutilation is wrong or not.

In conclusion, you must explain whether you think the arguments for, or against, female genital mutilation are strongest and defend your views.

If you use quotations, you must use an official citation method.

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