Read The Case for Torture” by Michael Levin. Specify the following:





Types of Evidence (intuition, personal experience, analogies, case examples, authorities, research studies, etc.); Identify the types of evidence used, how the author used them, and judge each piece’s quality (good, fair, poor) and why

Week 7 Discussion: Virtuous Person, Virtuous Citizen

Required Resources
Read/review the following resources for this activity:

Textbook: Chapter 12
Minimum of 1 scholarly source (in addition to the textbook)
Each person owes a duty to himself or herself and to the world to study ethics and to engage in thoughtful debate about what is right, and what is wrong. It is this habit of thinking about and reflecting on ethics that will help you determine the right choices when faced with an ethical dilemma.

Initial Post Instructions
Articulate a moral dilemma wherein one has to show a specific virtue or virtues (it can be any virtue or virtues including honesty, courage, charity/generosity, compassion, etc.)

What is the moral dilemma about?
What virtue or virtues should be shown? (You are here selecting the best course of action)
Why is that virtue or those virtues to be shown?
How should the virtue or virtues be expressed, and why in that manner?
Apply Aristotle’s golden mean to the dilemma.
Tell us how the dilemma involves conflict moral duties (loyalty to community versus to self, professional versus familial duties, national or personal obligations).
The dilemma must be a situation in which a choice has to be made.

Be sure you told us why your chosen course of action was best.

Be precise in your speech. Difficulties in communication are often caused by ambiguity, and a lack of clarity. This chapter should help us get better at defining our terms, and knowing how to decipher well reasoned argument from sloppy imprecise argument.

1. Summarize the basic problems, principles, and methods of Logic.

6. Assess the arguments found in passages of philosophical/psychological literature.

Grading Rubric

Full Credit: Completes all exercises assigned, and answers most questions with correct answers. Answers illustrate an adequate grasp of the material, and  illustrate a satisfactory degree of effort. Formatting is easy to follow, and any writing is coherent and grammatically sound.

(a) From your own present point of view, does life have a meaning? Leo Tolstoy and David Swenson present a theistic answer to that question, (b) what is the difference between their arguments? (c) Use these two articles to support your argument or reject your argument.
Make sure to use the first paragraph to introduce the topic and state your thesis. The body should include the support for your thesis and the difference and similarities between Leo Tolstoy and David Swenson. The length of the paper should be three pages and double-spaced.

Read Chapters I and II, of Kant’s major foundational work in ethics, Groundwork to a Metaphysics of Morals. (You can skip ch. 3 if pressed for time.)

We have devoted quite a bit to Kant now, so you should be able to analyze and evaluate this core theory:

In your short essay, assess Kant’s ethical theory. What works / does not work? What is attractive or useful (or not)?  Support your analysis, discussion, and evaluation with quotes from Kant’s texts. (As usual, cite from the section in Kant, if you cannot refer to actual page numbers.) Be fair and accurate in your summary (avoid the “Straw Man” fallacy) before you proceed to evaluate it.  Feel free to use examples (real or imagined). You can also bring in Sandel as a supplement if you wish.

As usual, also post a least one peer response.

Discuss the distinction between ethical egoism, the moral minimum, the moral maximum and supererogation as it relates to the following scenario: You are strolling in the park on a beautiful day and spot a child drowning in a lake. You cannot swim. What should/ could you do?

Discuss in light of the debate on neighbor love discussed in class. Address how benevolence, nonmaleficence, supererogation, self-interest, selflessness, altruism and egoism fit into the debate. Discuss the Johnson article and how it applies to the issue of selfishness and helping. 

Briefly introduce your topic (one or two sentences, maximum)
(ii) State your thesis (viz., whether Platos argument succeeds or fails)
(iii) State how the paper will proceed (e.g., First I will…, then I will…)
II. Exposition: (i) Explain why Plato wants to prove that the soul divides into parts; why is his
doing so crucial at this point in the Republic?
(ii) Summarize and explain the Platonic argument. That is, dont just state the
premises and conclusion of his argument; make clear what the ideas mean.
III. Evaluation: Defend your thesis by taking a stand on Platos argument; is he right or wrong? This will
require subjecting Platos position to criticism in the form of objections and/or
counterexamples, showing that Platos view either can or cannot be defended. In other
words, argue for your position regarding Plato.
IV. Conclusion: (i) Briefly restate the main points of the papers body

Pick your favorite politician or other public figure. One that you genuinely like, or would vote for, or whose concerts you go to, etc. Now, find an occasion where your favorite politician or public figure used rhetoric to the detriment of logic to make their point. This may take a little bit of research, and perhaps a bit of cognitive dissonance as well.

Then, chances are, your peers will have selected a public figure that you dislike. Find a post from your peers that features just such a public figure, and then do a little additional research and find an argument made by that public figure that uses logic over rhetoric to make a sound argument that you agree with. Again, this may take some digging.

Lastly, respond to any comments made to your original post.

Oh, and be polite, but assertive.

Grading Rubric







Shows a full understanding of the topic.

Shows a good understanding of the topic.

Shows a good understanding of parts of the topic.

Does not seem to understand the topic very well.


Student is able to accurately answer the question(s) posed about the topic.

Student is able to partially answer the question(s) posed about the topic.

Student is able to say very little about the question(s) posed about the topic.

Student is unable to accurately answer questions posed about the topic.


Uses vocabulary appropriate for the discipline. Extends vocabulary by defining philosophical terms that were not introduced by the Instructor.

Uses vocabulary appropriate for the discipline. Includes some philosophical terms that were not introduced by the instructor, but does not define them.

we have now posted the assignment. Additionally, we have prepared a special Spotlight Lecture that provides a detailed explanation of paper expectations, as well as some general guidance about how to write an effective paper. We strongly encourage everyone to watch the lecture for clarification regarding the assignment!

instructions for paper and topics in attachment