Thursday, August 29, 2013

Revised First Assignments

First reading and writing assignments:

For Monday, Wednesday and Friday (8/26, 8/28 and 8/30):
o   Rachels, The Right Thing to Do (RTD: Ch. 2, “Some Basic Points About Arguments,” available here for students who don’t yet have the books:

Handouts on Overview of Logic and Arguments
See also the handout from class, which hasn't been posted here yet
· Overview of Basic Moral Evaluations: Morally Permissible, Obligatory, Impermissible/Wrong
o   Available in Making Moral Progress here, in the section “Right and Wrong? Wrong”:

Read for Wednesday, 9/4)):
o   Rachels, The Right Thing to Do: Ch.1 “A Short Introduction to Moral Philosophy,” available here for students don’t yet have the books: Focus on the second half of the chapter, on utilitarianism and Kant's ethics. 

After this, we will briefly review the later chapters on utilitarian and Kantian moral theory in greater detail, discuss John Rawls’s moral theory, an African ethical theory [ some writings from [and then return to earlier chapters of the Elements of Moral Philosophy and related readings in The Right Thing to Do.

DUE (Wednesday, 9/4): WITHOUT READING ANYTHING ABOUT THESE TOPICS – E.G., DO NOT SEARCH THE INTERNET – please write a short (2-3 page) essay that addresses one of these questions:
·         Is the death penalty wrong?
·         Is affirmative action wrong?
·         Is it wrong to use illegal drugs, such as marijuana?
·         Suppose a married woman did not want any more children but became pregnant. She could raise another child but does not want to. Would it be wrong for her to have an abortion? Assume the father would support her decision, whatever it is.
·         Are racism and/or sexism wrong? Why?
-  Is it wrong to own a gun? Is it morally wrong to carry a handgun (assume that this is legally OK)?
·         Or another moral issue, with approval of the instructor, but not homosexuality or the treatment of animals.

Please discuss at least three arguments relevant to the issue.

Please write this essay on the basis of what you already know: again, please do not do any research for this paper (if you do, Turnitin might reveal that and you will be penalized!). This is an assignment to measure where you are at now. If you take it seriously and put in a good effort, your grade will reflect that. J

Reading writing For Monday (9/9) Ch. 1, "What is Morality?" (Elements of Moral Philosophy, EMP):
Writing assignment 1: very detailed summary OR OUTLINE of this chapter, covering every section. 

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