|Short Paper #2:Due
April 14, 2004
have a choice for this paper, several choices actually. The first choice is the emphasis
of your paper. You can either 1) write a position paper like the first paper (but on a
different topic of course!) or 2)write a philosophical paper that examines a
film/book/artwork for ethical issues. Neither of these choices is better or worse--what
matters is what you do with your paper in either case.
Position Paper option:
You can critically examine and evaluate any of the issues we've discussed since the
first paper assignment (So, from Hobbes onwards). The criteria for evaluating papers will be those outlined on the
syllabus and in class. Your paper should have a definite thesis in the introductory
paragraph. You can run your topic/question/thesis by me before you start.
Philosophical Film Analysis
You have been asked to write a philosophical review for a new journal entitled
"Morals, Movies, and More". Your paper needs to be philosophical to fit in with
the audience of readers who are philosophers. Your paper should examine ethical issues at
work in a film (any film--I don't need huge background information on the movie--just
enough so I get the gist of what you're saying about the philosophical themes). Your paper
should still be analytical and deal with issues/questions/concepts. That is, writing about
a film does not mean you can become philosophically lazy (not that you would!).
I will post a list of films that might be interesting for this assignment, but you are
free to choose any film you think will work well for your paper.
Formatting issues are the same as for the first paper. Length is approximately
5 pages. Follow essay checklist from before.
Please note you can use any work of art--book, music,
poetry--that fits your topic of study. Please contact me if you have
any questions or want me to read a draft.
I look forward to reading your papers!
Sophie's Choice (ethics of care, Kant)
Cider House Rules (ethics of care, utilitarianism and more)
John Q (civil disobedience)
The Beach (Hobbes)
Lord of the Flies (ditto Hobbes)
Schindler's List (Kant!)
Life is Beautiful
Crimes and Misdemeanors (good for utilitarianism)
The Sixth Day (about cloning)
Extreme Measures (utilitarianism and Kant and Hugh Grant)
The Insider (how would ethical theorists respond to cases of whistleblowing)
Truman Show (Kant and lying/utilitarianism)
Matchstick Men (Kant and lying)
Changing Lanes (This movie is a crash course in Political
Theories--great film for this class)
There are lots of movies that deal with racism you could use as
well as movies about issues relating to the readings we did about
the legalization of drugs...Be creative