Are there situations that are morally acceptable to be dishonest


Course Writing Assignment

In your writing assignment you will analyze a moral question from the perspective of the four families of moral values.

Your first step is to select a moral question from Section 1 (The Personal), Section 2 (The Public), or Section 3 (The Political) of George’s What Should I Do?
Once you have selected a moral question, you must prepare an analysis of that question that consists of six sections. The sections of your analysis must be completed in the following way.

Section One
In Section One you must first state the moral question you are working with and then give a summary of what the philosopher or philosophers say about that question in George, What Should I Do?. Also include a brief commentary on what the philosophers’ response, that is, say what you found to be most important in the philosophers’ response and why, and say what you found most controversial in the philosophers’ response and why. Write at least two pages for Section One (and please do not write more than four pages).

Sections Two, Three, Four, and Five
In the next four sections you must analyze the question from four different moral points of view:
Section Two: Kant’s Categorical Imperative (pp. 126-130 of Weston)
Section Three: Utilitarianism (pp. 148-155 of Weston)
Section Four: Virtue (pp. 173-188 of Weston)
Section Five: Ethics of Care (pp. 201-216 of Weston)

Your analysis in each case must consist of the following two components. First, you must explain how moral questions are framed and answered from within that perspective. Second, you must say how the moral question you are working with would be answered from that perspective and explain why. Sections Two, Three, Four and Five should be at least two pages long (and please do not write more than four pages for each section).

Section Six
Section Six is your conclusion in which you state your own considered answer to the moral question. Be sure to explain in detail why you believe that your answer is the correct answer. Your answer may be that you are not sure what the correct answer to the question is, along with an explanation of why different moral values or perspectives seem to be pulling you in different directions on that question.

Format Requirements
You must use a bold heading for each section (Section One, Section Two, etc.). Your name and the words “Ethics, PHIL 1103” must appear at the top of your submission. You must number the pages. Your submission must be prepared as an MS Word or pdf file. You must submit your writing assignment to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the deadline (the deadline is given in the Course Calendar).

Tips for good philosophical writing

Clarity of expression is of maximum importance in this sort of writing; clarity is the chief stylistic aim. One strategy for writing clearly is to write as simply as possible: write short sentences in the active voice, avoid rhetorical questions, patiently explain each move your thinking is taking, and spend time making your strange or controversial claims sound plausible. Reading your paper aloud to yourself will help to expose places where explanation would be helpful. Remember that the goal is not just to express your ideas, but to express your ideas in a way that can be understood by others. Drawing distinctions is one of the most important tasks of philosophical writing about ethics. There are many different kinds of rights and virtues, many different ways to understand what ‘well-being’ and ‘care’ mean. Always ask yourself “what are some different senses here” of any concept or notion that plays an important role in your work.

Standards of Evaluation
In grading your submission, attention will be given to the following: use of English (grammar, spelling, punctuation), whether each of the required tasks in each section was attempted, clarity of expression, the detail in which the ideas are explored, and imagination.

12 pages


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