1. Prepare an Annotated Bibliography along with introductory paragraph and detailed thesis statement for their major research paper. The introductory paragraph and thesis statement should be one page in length. The thesis statement moves beyond the statement of a research topic to a clear and concise statement of what the specific argument will be pertaining to the topic and how that argument will be made. In addition to the single page introduction and thesis, the annotated bibliography will bring together the minimum number of 6 secondary sources and offer three key elements for each source: 1) a brief description of the argument of the source, 2) a statement on how this source contributes to the thesis statement (i.e. the specific argument) of the student’s research paper and 3) an assessment of the merits of the article and a critical evaluation of the article in relationship to your argument.
The aim of this paper is to bring analytical skill to bear in addressing: a) the key philosophical issues raised in developing an overarching worldview and ethical norms within it, and b) the potential applicability of a moral philosophy in bringing central tenets to bear on a pertinent, contemporary, practical issue. In bringing philosophical moral theory and practical issues together, students will learn what fruitful dialogue may be had through disciplined, philosophical analysis and argumentation on relevant personal, societal, and global issues.
Through an examination of both the relevant primary literature of a central philosophical figure studied in the course (Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, and Nel Noddings) and the contemporary debates found in the secondary literature, students will offer a thorough and critical summary of the central tenets of the moral philosophy proposed by their chosen figure. Students will then argue how this philosophical account contributes to understanding and engaging a contemporary practical issue of their choosing. The students must be aware of the central issues of debate in their chosen contemporary topic and illustrate how the contemporary question might be approached from the philosophical standpoint offered by the moral theory of the author of their choosing. The student will conclude with a critical assessment of the outcome of the given philosophical approach to ethics when viewed in terms of its outcomes pertaining to the contemporary topic. The student is free to agree or disagree with the outcomes of the applicability of theory to praxis, but must defend the claim through philosophical argument.
Contemporary ethical issues will be joined with historical topics such as sexual ethics, abortion, euthanasia, social justice, globalization, environmental ethics, war, capital punishment etc. It will also deal with issues such as freedom, choice, and concepts of personhood, religion and ethics.
An example question might be “What is a Platonic approach to good political governance in the contemporary globalized context?
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