Philosophy Final Paper

Final Paper Topic

Immanuel Kant argues that autonomy, or the ability to self-govern or self-determine oneself, is the basis for morality and justice. In your paper, describe how Kant understands autonomy and why it is necessary for his concept of morality, personal responsibility, and justice. Next, explain how John Stuart Mill provides a philosophy, based on utility, that is opposed to Kant’s morality. Afterwards, explain how both Kant and Mill might support or reject drug use according to their ethical systems. You may want to address concepts of self-harm, consent, enslavement, indirect vs. direct harm, negative vs. positive rights, paternalism, consequences vs. intentions, and etc., to name a few. Finally, determine which side (pro or con drug use according to Kant and/or Mill) has the better argument; defend your position on drug legalization.

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Your paper should be 5 pages double-spaced, normal margins. Do not copy from the internet and external sources. You do not need to use external sources. You may use class notes to guide your analysis, but do not copy notes.
Method Guidelines
Your answer to the question must not only present your own considered opinion on the matter, but must have a basis in the readings for the course, and be formulated so as to include at least:

1. a comparative examination of two or three different possible answers to the question;

2. a critical analysis of your own position which identifies potential weaknesses in the position and explains what makes that position nevertheless superior in some way to the others considered; and

3. specific reference to ideas, insights, and/or arguments presented by the philosophers assigned in the prompt.

1. The paper must be 5 pages long, typed, double-spaced, in 12-point font with standard margins.

2. The paper must be written in accord with the conventions of Standard Written English. Your paper will be evaluated in part in terms of spelling, grammar, and overall structure.

3. You must use direct quotations from the readings assigned in class to support your claims about what the philosophers say and/or believe. Citations should be in either the MLA or Chicago Manual of Style formats (information on both of which is available on the UHD Library website, under the heading, “Citing Sources”), and as such must give full bibliographical information for your sources in either a “works cited” (MLA) or bibliographical footnotes (Chicago). Quotations should be set off from the rest of the paper (typically by quotation marks), and you must cite the page numbers in the relevant text where the quoted passage appears.

4. Do not assume that the reader of your paper is familiar with what has been read or discussed in this class. Think of your reader as an educated person who, although they may be familiar with philosophy in general, is not necessarily knowledgeable of the texts (or topics) you are discussing in the paper. As such, you should make every effort to explain the ideas you discuss and the quotations you use in straightforward language that generally conveys meaning to your reader.

The Assigned readings are listed below that need to be quoted.
The Republic of Plato. Basic Books. (ISBN: 978-0-465-09408-0)
Nicomachean Ethics. Hackett Publishing. (ISBN: 978-0-87220-464-5)
Meditations on First Philosophy. Hackett (ISBN: 978-0-87220-192-7)
Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals. Hackett (ISBN: 978-0-87220-166-8)

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