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March 11, 2024

PHIL 4: Intro Ethics Essay

PHIL 4: Intro Ethics Essay


Write a cohesive essay in which you give your own objection to one of the arguments listed below. If you think your objection is successful, address at least one reply that the author could give. If you think your objection is unsuccessful, explain why. You may pick any of the following arguments:

The “Argument Against Animals” purporting to show that Kant’s prin- ciple of humanity is false. (Shafer-Landau 195)

  • Lisa Cassidy’s argument that we have obligations to care for distant others in ‘Starving Children in Africa’: Who Cares?
  • Don Marquis’s argument in Why Abortion is Immoral that abortion is prima facie seriously immoral.

Judith Jarvis Thomson’s people-seeds analogy in A Defense of Abortion

  • The “Fred’s Puppies” analogy in Alastair Norcross’s Puppies, Pigs, and People: Eating Meat and Marginal Cases

PHIL 4: Intro Ethics Essay

PHIL 4: Intro Ethics Essay

To fulfill the prompt, you must:

(a) State the target argument and explain why each premise seems plausible. You may use standard form with numbered premises.

(b) Explain your own objection, how it is an objection to the view, and why it seems plausible.

(c) Give at least one reply to your objection. If you think the reply is mistaken, explain why. If not, explain why the reply is decisive.

Aim for 1000 words. 1100 words strict maximum. Upload to Canvas by Sunday, March 17, 11:59pm Pacific in .pdf or .docx format. Double spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font, 1″ margins.

PHIL 4: Intro Ethics Essay

Expectations and Suggestions

Your essay should include a short introductory paragraph that: (i) intro- duces the topic, (ii) states your thesis, and (iii) gives a brief overview of the paper.

  • Every essay should have a thesis. Your thesis is the main claim you’re arguing for: whether your objection is successful.
  • Pretend that you are writing for someone who has never taken this class before. You are trying to teach them this material for the first time, making sure they come away with complete understanding of the argument and no misunderstanding. Your paper will be graded, in part, according to how well you accomplish this goal.

PHIL 4: Intro Ethics Essay


You must include accurate citations every time you make a claim about an author’s views or use others’ ideas. Failure to do so is grounds for an unsatisfactory/incomplete grade. Whenever possible, cite the text rather than citing lecture or section materials. Use MLA style in-text citations with author and page number. For example: (Shafer-Landau 170).

However, avoid using quotations. Instead, paraphrase in your own words. The specific statement of the argument, especially if given in standard form, is an exception. In general, you should only quote when the author’s precise wording is essential the point you’re mak- ing. When you do quote or paraphrase specific passages, cite them.

PHIL 4: Intro Ethics Essay

It is highly recommended that you do not use any sources other than material from this class. If you do, it must be cited appropriately in the text and in a bibliographical entry. A bibliography is not needed if you use only class materials.

Your objection must be your own. The assignment is asking you to think for yourself about these arguments. You may build on an idea introduced in class or in the text, but if you do so, make sure you are adding something new and substantial. (In particular, if the reply to your objection could just be something the author already explicitly said, then you have failed to fulfill the prompt!). Use APA referencing style.

  • There is no minimum word count requirement. You should write no more and no less than is necessary to completely address the prompt.