PHIL 440A:  FINAL EXAM PART II (TAKE-HOME ESSAY)

DUE IN THE PHIL 440 ELECTRONIC DROPBOX AT MIDNIGHT ON FRIDAY, JULY 22.

WORD LIMIT = 1500 WORDS (+ 100 WORDS GRACE)

 

 

            Topic:  What is the Fundamental Basis for Moral Judgment:  Objective Principles or Sentiment Only?

 

In your paper, you should explain and critically evaluate the disagreement between Baier and Friedman on the role of principles of justice in moral judgment.  Your paper should contain the following elements:

            (1) You should briefly explain the moral point of view of the care perspective as advocated by Baier.

            (2) In class we discussed three ways that Friedman claims that morally appropriate care requires justice.  You should pick the one that you think makes the strongest case for her position and explain it with an example.  The first time through, give an example involving an explicit appeal to principles--for example, explicit appeal to a right of a certain kind. 

(3) You should consider how Baier would respond to Friedman on the issue you discuss  under (2) above.  In doing so, you should explain how Baier would argue that sentiment would provide a better solution to the problems raised by your example.  Support your argument with cites to Baier.

(4) Explain how Friedman might respond to Baier's argument.  This requires you to go beyond what Friedman says to consider what she might say. Your response should distinguish explicitly applying a principle and being implicitly sensitive to or implicitly responsive to principles of justice.  Make sure you always distinguish between what Friedman actually says (for which you must provide cites) and what someone might say on her behalf.

(5) Consider how Baier would respond to the claim that morally appropriate care involves implicit sensitivity or implicit responsiveness to objective principles of justice.  (Hint:  She would not agree!)

(6) Your discussion of (1)-(5) should provide the basis for your own discussion of the following issue:  What is the fundamental basis of morality—objective moral principles or sentiment only?  Explain.  In your discussion you must be sure to reply to at least one objection to your position.

 

            IN YOUR PAPER, YOU MUST DISCUSS AT LEAST TWO OTHER PHILOSOPHERS FROM THIS COURSE, IN ADDITION TO BAIER AND FRIEDMAN.

 

            NOTE:  BECAUSE THIS IS A PHILOSOPHY COURSE, YOU MUST NOT USE YOUR RELIGIOUS VIEWS TO RESOLVE THE PHILOSOPHICAL ISSUES.  THINK OF YOURSELF AS BEING CHALLENGED TO EXPLAIN HOW BEST TO SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS WITH NO APPEAL TO RELIGION.

 

            DON’T FORGET TO COMPLY WITH THE PAPER GUIDELINES.

 

            IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TOPIC, DISCUSS THEM WITH ME OR SEND THEM TO ME BY EMAIL.  DO NOT DISCUSS THIS ASSIGNMENT WITH ANYONE ELSE.  YOU ARE TO WRITE THIS ESSAY ENTIRELY ON YOUR OWN.