Explain why or why not the argument works, i.e. whether or not the argument is valid and sound–make sure you know what those terms mean.

Contemporary Moral Problems

 

By this point, we will have covered a number of major moral problems. Various authors will have presented opposing sides to each contemporary issue.

 

Choose one of the essays (from your textbook or a module) that you feel you can best explain (you don’t have to agree with it). Then,

 

1) Summarize the author’s argument.

 

2) Explain why or why not the argument works, i.e. whether or not the argument is valid and sound–make sure you know what those terms mean. You will be graded on your ability to explain and evaluate the argument based on careful reasoning.

 

Some essays have one argument (e.g. the Longino essay on pornography), some essays have numerous arguments (e.g. the Little essay on abortion); only choose one issue for your essay, as it is short. This is not a book report; this is a philosophical essay. Stick to the issue.

 

Imagine you are explaining the issue to a stranger from another culture who doesn’t understand the controversy. This means you cannot resort to religion, faith, or personal experiences to make your argument. You can only resort to reason.

 

Direct your response to the issue at hand; do not waste essay space on summary or exposition. Show me what you have learned from our discussions and readings. Remember, I will not grade you on your opinion: I will grade you on your ability to explain and analyze an argument.

 

Your notes, textbook, and readings are all welcome sources. Be sure to cite quotes if used (and use them sparingly). I highly recommend typing your response into a word processing program and saving regularly before pasting into Canvas.

 

If you cut and paste something that is not yours, I will figure it out. Plagiarism of any kind results in an automatic zero.

 

Keep your responses between 300-350 words. Use paragraphing. You have 100 minutes to complete the exam.

 
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