Morality

Prompt 1: Morality
Utilitarianism, Kantianism , Virtue Ethics
Prompt: Which do you think is most likely to be the correct theory of morality? Why? [1]
Here’s a paper structure I highly recommend.
Paragraph 1
Intro: What’s at stake? (Don’t waste time with your intro. Be brief.)
What’s your thesis? (“The ethical theory I take to be most likely correct is ________.”)

Paragraph 2
Explain what attracts you to the position you’ve chosen.

Paragraphs 3 and 4
Explain why the objections to your theory aren’t so bad.
To do this, you will need to:
a. Say what the objections are. (It may help to pick what you take to be the strongest objection in the case that your theory had many objections. Address one objection per paragraph.)
b. Explain why the objections to your theory are either
i. Surmountable, or
ii. Not as bad as the objections to the rival theories.
(You should choose (i) only if the objection is actually surmountable. Some of the objections, though, are not so plausibly surmountable. In that case, it would be more helpful to opt for (ii).)

Paragraph 5
Conclusion. Wrap it up. Don’t dawdle.

Email me with any questions you have about this structure.[2]
                           


Prompt 2: Meaning in Life

Subjective, Objective, Nihilism
Prompt: Is the meaning that a human life is capable of possessing objectiveor subjective? Or is there no such meaning at all? This response should be 1-2 pages.
I recommend the following structure to your answer.
Paragraph 1
State your thesis.
“The meaning a human life is capable of possessing is (subjective/objective/nonexistent).”
Paragraph 2
What attracts you to the position you’ve chosen?
Paragraph 3
Address the objections.
a. What’s one (or two) strong objection(s) to your preferred position?
b. Is this objection(s) surmountable? Or is it simply not as bad as the objections to the rival positions?
Paragraph 4
Conclude. Wrap it up. (Don’t dawdle.)




[1] Yes, this means we have to operate under the assumption that morality is real. Arguing philosophically (rationally/sensibly/logically/coherently) for a position you do not agree with is a great intellectual exercise at the very least. So it’s required.
[2] You’re not bound to this structure. If you think you can argue intelligently for one of these Ethical theories without the aid of this paper structure, you can. I simply don’t encourage it. (There will be no penalty to your grade if you do that.)