Term Paper (30%) In broad strokes, this project will require you to apply what you have learned in the course to address a contemporary ethical issue. The term paper project will give you the opportunity to practice research skills, critical reading, analysis, and philosophical writing skills. It will allow you to make a meaningful connection between course content and your personal values. Progress on these projects will be self-guided, but you may arrange to meet with the professor at any point to discuss topics, review arguments, receive comments on a draft, etc. A rough draft and draft report will be due for credit midway through the semester and will account for 10% of your overall paper grade. For these assignments, you should identify a specific contemporary social issue that is important to you. You must discuss this issue and its moral significance. You must research this issue and choose 4 academically reputable sources to inform your paper. For each source, you should identify the author’s main argument, explain how it bears on the moral issue you have identified, and evaluate that argument. You must take a stance on the author’s conclusion and provide original reasoning for this stance. Finally, you should generate your own moral argument. You must present this argument in premise and conclusion form and evaluate. Finally, you must discuss how the discussion should inform our views on the social issue you have identified. Content Requirements: – Identify a contemporary social issue and explain its moral significance. o What benefits, harms, or rights violations are associated with this issue? o How would addressing this issue make a moral difference? – Discuss the main argument from Source 1. o What reasons does the author give for believing her premises? o Is the argument convincing? o If we take the position seriously, what moral conclusions should be drawn regarding the social issue? – Take a stance on the conclusion. Do you think that it is true or false? Why or why not? o If you think the conclusion is true, but cannot be accepted on the basis of the author’s argument, what changes must the author make in order to better support the conclusion? If you think the conclusion is true and the argument given provides adequate support, what other original reasons can you give for believing the conclusion to be true? If you think the conclusion is false, where does the argument go wrong? – Repeat for Sources 2-4 and compare and contrast author’s views along the way. – Give your own main argument in premise and conclusion form – Explain each premise and the conclusion – Discuss evidence for believing the premises (you may use additional outside sources here). – Discuss the type of argument you have constructed (deductive, inductive, abductive) and evaluate. o If deductive, is it valid and sound? o If inductive, is it strong and cogent? o If abductive, is it the best hypothesis to account for the observations? – Summarize the discussion and advocate for a moral position regarding the contemporary social issue you have identified. Technical Requirements: – 8-12 pages. – Word count in header. – Font: Times New Roman, size 12, double-spaced. – At least 4 outside sources used and properly cited. – You may discuss the assignment with other classmates but all writing and analysis should be your own. Plagiarism will result in a failure of the assignment
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