This is a standard philosophy paper arguing that the ethical theory put forth by John Stuart Mill
is not an adequate ethical theory. In forming its central arguments, this essay should ONLY consult Chapters 2 and 4 of Mill
The first paragraph after the introduction should answer the question, what is the nature of an ethical action, according to Mill
The second paragraph should state that this is not an adequate ethical theory and explain the reasons why; citing examples.
The next several paragraphs should flesh out what you take to be the most philosophically compelling defense of Mill
's view, followed by a response to that defense. There should be two or three different arguments: one paragraph for the defense, one for the response, then another for the defense, and another for the response etc. There is no minimum number of quotations that must be used, but definitely include some.
The following are some general guidelines for the class that we must fulfill:
"(1) State your thesis at a fairly early stage of your paper. Try to make it as clear, precise, and succinct as possible. Also, make sure that it is a claim that you can adequately defend or justify in the body of your paper. While a stronger or bolder thesis may be more exciting, it is always better to choose a thesis that you can properly support.
(2) For the sake of clarity, please write with gender neutral language. When you mean men, say men; when you mean women, say women; and when you mean both, say humans, persons, and so on.
(3) Always give the authors that you are considering a charitable interpretation. So, for instance, if there are two interpretations of an author’s view, both of which are compatible with what the author actually says, but one is an interesting and compelling position while the other is incoherent and patently false, choose the more compelling interpretation as the focus of your discussion. If you can then show how even this “charitably interpreted” view is subject to problems, you will have created a very strong argument. On the other hand, your argument will not be nearly as strong if launched against the weaker, patently false interpretation (what philosophers sometimes call a “strawman”).
(4) While it is perfectly acceptable to write a philosophy paper in the first person, you should avoid locutions such as “In my personal opinion….” This phrase is typically followed by a thesis that lacks any rational or philosophical support. Where you are tempted to use such a locution, ask yourself why you hold such a view, that is, what your reasons are for having the opinion in question. The answer to this question will often result in some rational or philosophical arguments that will provide support for the thesis you wish to defend.
(5) Quotations should always be accompanied by the appropriate citation and bibliographical information. One option is to have a Works Cited page at the end of your paper accompanied by references in footnotes, endnotes, or inserted directly into the text after the quotation in question. An example of a bibliographic citation is:
Paley, William. 2009. “The Watch and the Watchmaker,” in Louis Pojman (ed.), Philosophy:
The Quest for Truth, Seventh Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
An example of a reference is:
Paley (2009, p. 86).
Alternatively, you may include both the bibliographical information and the reference in your footnotes or endnotes.
(6) Any ideas that are borrowed in any way must be appropriately cited. Failure to do so is plagiarism. "
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