Applying an Ethical
Please read these assignment instructions before writing your paper, and
re-read them often during and after the writing process to make sure that you
are fulfilling all of the instructions.
The following short essay assignment is designed to help prepare you for an
important part of the Final Paper. In this essay, you will do the following:
- Choose either the same ethical
problem or question you discussed in the Week One Assignment, or a
different one from the list of acceptable topics.
- Choose either utilitarian or
deontological ethical theory to apply to the ethical question.
- Explain the core principles of
- Demonstrate how the principles
of the theory support a certain position on that question.
- Articulate a relevant objection
to the theory on the basis of that argument.
Write a five paragraph essay that conforms to the requirements below. The paper
must be 600 to 900 words in length (excluding title and reference pages) and
formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. The
paragraphs of your essay should conform to the following guidelines:
The introduction should be one paragraph, no more than 120 words. This
should clearly delimit the ethical problem or question under
consideration, and define the essential issues. You may build upon the
problem you raised in the Week One Assignment, or you may choose a
different topic, but it must be from the list of acceptable topics.
The last sentence of the introduction should briefly summarize the
conclusion or position on this issue that you think is best supported by
this theory, and succinctly state what the objection will be. Remember
that your essay will not be concerned with your own position on this issue,
but what someone defending the chosen theory would conclude.
- Body Paragraphs
Each paragraph in the body should start with a topic sentence that clearly
identifies the main idea of the paragraph. Each paragraph should have at
least four sentences.
- Theory explanation:
This should be approximately 150 to 200 words explaining the core
principles or features of the deontological or utilitarian theory and the
general account of moral behavior it provides.
This should be approximately 150 to 200 words, and should address how the
principles or features of the deontological or utilitarian theory apply
to the problem or question under consideration and identify the specific
moral conclusion that results from that application.
- Your application should
clearly show how the conclusion follows from the main tenets of the
theory as addressed in the previous paragraph. Please see the associated
guidance for help in fulfilling this requirement.
This should be approximately 150 to 200 words raising a relevant
objection to the argument expressed in part "b." A relevant
objection is one that exposes a weakness in the theory as it applies to
your problem, and so you should explain how it brings out this weakness.
- Note that this does not
necessarily mean that the objection succeeds, or that the conclusion the
theory supports is wrong. It may be an obstacle that any adequate
defense of the conclusion would have to overcome, and it may be the case
that the theory has the resources to overcome that obstacle. Your task
here is simply to raise the objection or present the “obstacle”.
The conclusion should be one paragraph, no more than 150 words. The
conclusion should very briefly summarize the main points of your essay and
must contain a paraphrased restatement of your thesis.
- You must use at least two
resources to support your claims.
- At least one of the resources
should be one of the Required or Recommended resources that directly represent
the theory you have chosen, and must be drawn from the list of acceptable resources.
- The other source should pertain
to the particular issue you are writing about, and should be drawn from
the Required or Recommended readings in the course, or found in the
- You are encouraged to use
additional resources, so long as at least two conform to the requirements
- The textbook does not count
toward satisfying the resources requirement.
- To count toward satisfying the
requirement, resources must be cited within the body of your paper and on
the reference page and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the
List of Acceptable
Primary Resources for the Week 3 and Week 5 Assignments
These are the primary
resources that you can cite when explaining a moral theory in order to fulfill
the relevant portion of the resources requirement. Readings included in the
“Required Readings” list are indicated with a *.
*Mill, J. S.
Utilitarianism, in the original version in the textbook, or in the version by
Bennett retrieved from www.earlymoderntexts.com.
Haines, W. (n.d.).
Consequentialism. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from
Singer, P. (2003).
Voluntary euthanasia: A utilitarian perspective. Bioethics, 17(5/6), 526-541.
Retrieved from the
* Kant, I. (2008). Groundwork for the metaphysic of morals. In J.
Bennett (Ed. & Trans.), Early modern Philosophy. Retrieved from
(Original work published in 1785).
Virtue Ethics:* Aristotle. (350 B.C.E.). Nicomachean ethics (W. D.
Ross, Trans.). Retrieved from http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.html
Annas, J. (2006).
Virtue ethics. In D. Copp (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory (pp.515–36).Oxford:
Oxford University Press. Retrieved from https://www.sesync.org/sites/default/files/resources/case_studies/10-kenyaecotourismhandbook.pdf
Hursthouse, R. (2012).
Virtue ethics. In E. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved
MacIntyre, A. (1984).
After virtue. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press. Chapters 14-15 are
included in the Chapter 6 readings of the textbook.
*Held, V. Feminist
transformations of moral theory. Included in the Chapter 6 readings of the
*Gilligan, C. (1982).
In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development.
Cambridge,MA: Harvard University Press. Retrieved from https://lms.manhattan.edu/pluginfile.php/26517/mod_resource/content/1/Gilligan%20In%20
* Noddings, N. (2010). Maternal factor: Two paths to morality.
Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Retrieved from the ebrary