Applying an Ethical Theory

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.

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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 question you formulated and
    introduced in the Week One Assignment, or a different one based off the list of acceptable topics (SEE ATTACHMENT).
  • Choose either utilitarian or deontological ethical theory to apply to the ethical question.
  • Explain the core principles of that theory.
  • Demonstrate how the principles of the theory support a certain position on that question.
  • Articulate a relevant objection to that position.

Write a five-paragraph essay that
conforms to the requirements below. The paper must be at least 1,000
words in length (excluding title and reference pages) and formatted
according to APA style. The paragraphs of your essay should conform to the following guidelines:

  • Introduction
    The introduction should clearly state
    the ethical question under consideration, and define the essential
    issues. You may build upon the question and introduction you provided in
    the Week One Assignment; or you may choose a different question, but it
    must be based off the list of acceptable topics. Your introduction
    should include a brief remark about the kind of theory you will be using
    to approach this question. The last sentence of the introduction should
    briefly summarize the or position on the issue you think is best
    supported by this theory and succinctly state what the objection will
    be. Bear in mind that your essay will not be concerned with your own
    position on this issue, but what someone reasoning along the lines of
    the chosen theory would conclude; this may or may not be the position
    you took in the Week One Assignment.
  • Body Paragraphs
    Each paragraph in the body should start with a topic sentence that clearly identifies the main idea of the paragraph.

    • Theory explanation
      Explain the core principles or features of the
      deontological or utilitarian theory and the general account of moral
      reasoning it provides.
      You must quote from at least one required resource other than your
      textbook that defends or represents that theory. Refer to the list of acceptable resources (SEE ATTACHMENT).
    • Application
      Demonstrate how the principles or features of the
      deontological or utilitarian theory apply to the question under
      consideration and identify the specific conclusion that results from
      applying the reasoning characteristic of that kind of approach.
      Your application should clearly show how the conclusion follows from
      the main principles and features of the theory as addressed in the
      previous paragraph. Please see the associated guidance for help in
      fulfilling this requirement.
    • Objection
      Raise a relevant objection to the argument expressed in
      your application. An objection articulates a plausible reason why
      someone might find the argument problematic. This can be a false or
      unsupported claim or assumption, fallacious reasoning, a deep concern
      about what the conclusion involves, a demonstration of how the argument
      supports other conclusions that are unacceptable, etc. You should aim to
      explain this objection as objectively as possible, (i.e., in a way that
      would be acceptable to someone who disagrees with the argument from the
      previous paragraph).
      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.”
  • Conclusion
    The conclusion should very briefly summarize the main points of your essay.

Resource Requirements

  • 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 represent the theory you have chosen, and
    must be drawn from the list of acceptable resources available in your
    online classroom.
  • 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 be a scholarly source.
  • You are encouraged to use additional resources, so long as at least two conform to the requirements above.
  • 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.