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Carefully explain the argument for ethical relativism as formulated by Pojman. On what grounds on does he rejects this theory?

Topics for Essay I


[1] Carefully explain the argument for ethical relativism as formulated by Pojman. On what grounds on does he rejects this theory? Explore the concept of “moral isolationism” as proposed by Mary Midgley and its significance in ethical relativism. Additionally, delve into Midgley’s assertion that moral skepticism leads to a program of immoralism. Examine the relativist perspective that argues against criticizing practices of other cultures, and critically evaluate Mary Midgley’s stance that any moral framework prohibiting condemnation of brutal and intolerant practices, such as honor killing and female genital mutilation, should be automatically rejected.

[2] Glaucon argues that the unjust man would be happier because he has fame and fortune. Plato disagrees with Glaucon, arguing that the unjust man would be unhappy because he has sold his soul. On Socrates’ view, the just man would be happier because he has a well-balanced soul. Aristotle agrees with Socrates that the unjust man would not be happy—because fame and fortune are merely instrumental goods. Aristotle disagrees with Socrates that the just man would be happy. Aristotle argues that man is by nature a social animal. We have an inherent need to be productive and to be valued for who and what we are. We cannot self-actualize, to use Maslow’s term, in isolation. Explain Aristotle’s claim that happiness is an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue. Each of these philosophers give radically different accounts of the good life. What do you think is important in life: fame and fortune (Glaucon), integrity (Plato), or integrity and opportunity (Aristotle). Whose account of the good life do you think is most accurate? Defend your answer.

[3] Critically evaluate the Divine Command Theory (DCT) as formulated by Rachels in light of the Euthyphro dilemma. Do you think the arbitrariness problem is a fatal objection to the divine command theory or do you think the central features of the divine command theory can be salvaged? If so, how?


[4] What are the precepts of the Theory of Natural Law, as developed by Aquinas. As Rachels notes, the official moral teaching the Catholic Church rests on the Theory of Natural Law. Explain Pope Paul IV’s argument against the use of artificial birth control. Do you think procreation and unity are the only legitimate uses for sexual intercourse? Rachels argues that the theory of natural law is open to two serious objections. Explain these objections.

[5] Compare and contrast Mill and Kant on the trolley problem. Explain each philosopher’s respective approach to moral philosophy, and explain how each would approach the trolley problem. Discuss the core objections to each moral theory. Whose view do you find the most convincing? Defend your position.

[6] Rawls and Nozick have radically different theories of justice. Rawls analyzes justice in terms of fairness. On Rawls’s view, the job of government is to make things more equitable. Nozick thinks the job of government is to uphold liberty. These are contrasting views because in order to impose artificial equality on society, the government must deprive some citizens of their liberty—i.e., the government must tax working Americans to provide goods and services to those who either cannot or will not work. Analyze both positions in light of the short stories by Vonnegut and Hongoltz-Hetling. Who do you think is right, Rawls or Nozick? Defend your answer.

Please read the instructions for this assignment carefully! Review the grading rubric for essays. Make sure you use the Suggested Outline for Essay.


Please compose a 3-5 page essay in response to one of the above prompts. Essays should be written in MLA format. Use a standard 12-point font with one-inch margins. Do not place blank lines between paragraphs in order to make your essay appear longer than it actually is. Your essay must be a minimum of three full pages, not including your Works Cited page. You may use parenthetical citations—e.g.,. (Plato in Module 1). Note that MLA format does not use a cover page.

Essays must be submitted in Word format.

You must reference the assigned readings. You may not use outside sources. Note that quality essays are typically closer to five pages than three pages.

Be mindful that your submission will be processed by Turnitin, a plagiarism detection program.