2. Before doing this assignment, make sure to review the two Moral Frameworks The Good– which is Utilitarianism (Morality based on Good or Bad Consequences)– and The Right– which is Deontology (Morality based on Duty and Rights). In addition read, “Appendix B: How to Write a Philosophy Paper” pp. 415-424.
Objective of this assignment: To put theories into conversation with each other, in order to appreciate that:
- Ideas are not isolated or made in a vacuum, but are created by real people grappling with real issues in conversation with others.
- Disagreements aren’t just matters of opinion, but rather can reveal underlying value frameworks. For instance, by analyzing the underlying frameworks of Mill’s Utilitarianism and Kant’s Deontology, we see that Mill and Kant don’t merely disagree with what is moral or not, but they also seem to THINK about morality differently.
This matters because it allows us to see that perspectives that are unfamiliar (or that we disagree with) are often nevertheless rooted in value systems that can be shared or at least understood. Recognizing underlying value systems is one of the first and best ways to move forward when people who disagree deeply are at an impasse.
- Learn to express your ideas clearly and concisely in writing.
- Learn the argument essay format.
- Practice critical thinking by evaluating moral theories and constructing your own argument.
For this assignment we will use a thought experiment like the Trolley problem that you read on philosophyexperiments.com and discussed in Weekly Discussion #7.
Suppose you are a train conductor on a runaway train. The train heads straight for five men who will not have time to get out of the way, and your train will kill them. But! You notice there is a track going to the right, and you have just enough time to pull the lever and turn onto that track. There is one person on that track who will die just as assuredly as the five would if you stayed on their track. Should you head to the right?
You will write an essay of approximately 1000 words which describes what you think John Stuart Mill would recommend that you do in the train scenario, what Kant would do in the train scenario, and what you would do in the train scenario and why you would choose to do that. This paper requires that you use in-text citations for any quotations you include and that you create a references page citing all of the references that you quote in the paper. You may use MLA style citations (a guide to these can be found here) (Links to an external site.) or APA style citations (a guide to these can be found here) (Links to an external site.). Submit your word processor document through turnitin below.
Use the following guidelines to structure your paper. This is a kind of fill-in-the-blanks guide to writing this paper. Include the sentences in bold italic word for word in your paper. You will need several of your own sentences in addition to those provided below.