Utilitarianism and Moral Self-Indulgence

| February 23, 2015

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Paper #2 Instructions: write a three page argument position (approx. 850 words) that develops your own view by engaging Utilitarianism and Moral Self-Indulgence’ by Bernard Williams.
Your goal for this paper is to provide an original argument on the topic the author raises in the article. Begin by (briefly) explaining and critiquing the author’s argument. No more than one or two paragraphs should be dedicated to exposition/critique, but a reader unfamiliar with the work should fully understand the author’s stance and why you believe that stance to be incorrect. Subsequent to the analysis and critique, offer a line of reasoning that fills the hole created by your objection.
For example, Applbaum (and others) critique fair play on the grounds that there is in-sufficient consent to governance among the public to generate civic obligations. Once he establishes that critique, he works to explain his own argument he uses fair play to justify adversarial actions that would otherwise be impermissible’ to fill the hole he has created with his critique.
Your paper should be in typed double-spaced in 12-pt Times New Roman font with, 1″ margins. Minimal citations are needed. You should not reference any other materials beyond the paper assigned for you to analyze and you should prefer explanations in your own words to quotes from the assigned reading. List the word count at the end of your paper.
Tips on Succeeding at this Assignment:
1) Establish Clarity Walk us through your argument step by step, using examples and other tools to make yourself clear. Remember that we don’t know what you’re going to argue, so you need to be direct enough that your argument comes across to us clearly.
2) Engage the Original Paper Your goal is to help us understand your position, but you first have to lay the ground work by explaining the original paper and critiquing the stance that an-other author takes. After you’ve defeated the existing argument, fill the void by creating your own stance that addresses the issues the original position missed.
3) Use Objections At some point during your paper, address some of the objections a smart interlocutor might have about your position. Rather than try to mask your argument’s potential weaknesses, deal with them in advance by addressing them directly.
Guidelines on Reading and Writing Philosophy
-James Pryor, “Guidelines on Reading Philosophy”
-James Pryor, “Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper”
-Chris Robichaud, “Writing Philosophy Papers”
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Category: Political Science

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