I need help on Write for a non-academic
audience unfamiliar with our readings or the topic at hand.
For this assignment you will summarize one applied ethics argument covered in our weekly readings or videos, raise a criticalobjection to that argument, and then reply to your critical objection. A satisfactory paper will demonstrate an understanding of the topic and that you care are capable of discussing moral issues on “both sides” of the debate. Write for a non-academicaudience unfamiliar with our readings or the topic at hand.Your Term Paper assignment will consist of three sections – an Argument Summary, an Objection, and a Reply Section. Usebolded Section Headings to label each section. (Make sure you have an Objection and Reply in mind before you begin yourpaper; if you can’t think of an objection and reply for the argument you wish to summarize, you may need to pick a differentargument!)There is no minimum or maximum page count or word count for this assignment. A typical Term Paper will likely be 2-6 pages, double spaced, but this varies depending upon the topic and arguments being discussed.Follow the instructions below for each section.Section 1: Argument SummaryBegin your Term Paper by choosing an applied ethics topic from this semester’s assigned readings or videos (Duties to thePoor, Voting Rights, Drugs, Gun Rights, Abortion, Animal Rights, Euthanasia, or Affirmative Action). Then, choose one appliedethics argument from one of those readings and videos. (An applied ethics argument is an argument concerning how weshould act when confronted with a moral question, and will give reasons in support of a moral prescription.)Summarize your chosen argument in your own words. Discuss the reading or video your argument came from, and refer toauthors by name. Explain what the author thinks the argument shows and what the implications of the argument are. (You may need to discuss implications not found in the original work. For example, an abortion argument might end up having moralimplications for our duties to the poor, the scope of medicine, whether euthanasia is morally acceptable, etc.)Make sure to cite your sources and refer to authors by name. Be specific. Give details. Discuss examples or thoughtexperiments that you think will help explain the argument, it’s conclusion, and it’s implications. An applied ethics argument will end with a moral prescription. Make sure you explain whether argument’s moral implications are personal (individuals shoulddo such and such) or policy related (we ought to pass a law that does such and such).Section 2: ObjectionSection 2 will consist of an original objection to the applied ethics argument you summarized in the previous section. Inphilosophy, an objection is an argument against a theory, position, or argument. Objections can take many forms. Note thatyou can play “devil’s advocate” here and present an argument you don’t believe in.You can construct a counter-example that demonstrates the argument has a false conclusion and explain it.You can argue that the argument has one or more false premises. (You might argue that a moral premise is false, orprovide evidence that suggests an empirical claim is false.)You can argue that the argument is invalid. (An invalid argument is an argument where the conclusion does not followfrom the premises. There are many ways an argument can be invalid. Some arguments have hidden premises thatassume things the author forgot to argue for. Sometimes an author confuses two different terms or ideas, for example one premise might refer to legal rights, and another moral rights.)Sometimes an argument is invalid because the author is confused about a concept or idea. If so, it might help to write a definition or give examples to better explain the concept or idea at the heart of the argument, and then show how the author’s argument turns on confusion about these concepts or ideas. (For example, I suspect a lot of disagreement in the abortion debate stems from confusion over the term “person.”)A satisfactory objection section will give your reader good reasons to doubt the conclusion of the argument summarized insection 1. (Do not write a strawman argument – a purposely bad argument that easy to knock down.) Keep in mind that aphilosophical objection is a response to an argument, not a criticism of an author’s writing talents! Do not say that author’spaper was poorly written, that it was boring, or that you had trouble reading it.Note: Your objection can build on the work of others. For example, if you choose to summarize an anti-abortion argument, you might base your objection on one of the pro-choice arguments we’ve discussed in class, or referenced in the reading you’resummarizing. If your objection is based on someone else’s work, cite the source and reference the author by name. Make sure that your objection includes something original; this can be thought experiment, example, definition of one or more terms being discussed, etc.Section 3: ReplySection 3 will consist of an original reply to your objection. Generally a reply will take one of two forms:(1) A satisfactory reply can argue that your Section 2 Objection fails. This can be written from the perspective of the authoryou summarized in Section 1, from your own perspective, or you can play “devil’s advocate” here an argument for a position you don’t hold.(2) Alternatively, a satisfactory reply can concede that the Section 2 Objection gives us good reason to doubt your summarized argument, and try to discuss how one might progress. You might offer a different argument in favor of the position discussedin section 1, or discuss how the author in section 1 might try to revise their theory to keep as much of their original conclusion as they can. Again, feel free to play “devil’s advocate” here, but try not to write a strawman.In either case, a satisfactory reply will demonstrate that you understand both sides of the moral debate in question, as well asthe practical implications of the arguments you’ve made throughout the paper. This does not have to be the “final word” on the debate; though if there are some concepts or ideas that you think will need to be explained or defined to resolve the debate,you can go into some detail here.
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