- In what ways does the first chapter of Beautiful Souls demonstrate virtue ethics? In what ways does it not? Write an argument of at least 400 words explaining how Paul Grüninger’s actions are mostly reflective of virtue ethics or mostly not, referencing at least Aristotle’s mean, his idea of telos, and his idea of rational choice. You are free to address other of his ideas, as well. For Aristotle’s work, use either Bekker numbers or book and chapter numbers; you do not need to use page numbers for Beautiful Souls.
Here’s a good way to organize each answer, using as many paragraphs as you need depending on how many points you will address:
- Intro paragraph–Reword the writing prompt and make clear what position you will take. Perhaps you will claim that Text X does demonstrate Ethics Y.
- Paragraph with details about the first point and examples supporting your claim.
- Paragraph with details about the second point and examples supporting your claim.
- Paragraph with details about the third point and examples supporting your claim.
- Paragraph describing the opposing viewpoint and examples–ways that Text X does not demonstrate Ethics Y.
A concluding paragraph is not necessary for an essay exam in my classes because such paragraphs are usually no more than some version of, “So there you have it!” But feel free to include a concluding paragraph if you wouldn’t feel right otherwise.
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Remember that philosophy doesn’t traffic in correct answers (with the exception of formal logic, which we are not doing here). Philosophy depends, instead, on good arguments: a claim supported by reasons which are, in turn, supported by evidence from the reading.
Criteria for the grade include the level of skill in discussing deontology and virtue ethics, the level of detail in evaluating the texts (King, Plato, Press) against the ethical system, and your use of conventional English in writing the paper.
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