Philosophy 3100 - Ethical Theory

Topics for Second Paper


See syllabus for length requirements and due dates of papers. Read paper guidelines before reading this. As these guidelines say, you don't need to do a pre-assigned topic. In fact, it's great if you have your own idea. But if you don't have your own idea, you may write a topic addressing one of the following. If you do one of these pre-assigned topic, make sure to indicate the letter of this topic at the very top of your paper, right under your name.

  1. Explain Ross' view of moral knowledge and whether you think it is successful.
  2. Pick one of Mackie's arguments from queerness against Intuitionism, explain what you take it to be, and explain whether you think it is a good argument.
  3. Consider the following moral principle: it is always wrong to play God. Offer an interpretation of 'play God' as it appears in this principle. Illustrate the theory (so interpreted) with an example. Attempt to come up with a counterexample to this theory, explain your counterexample, and whether you think it is ultimately a good one.
  4. Does utilitarianism imply that it is always right to calculate the utilities of each of one's alternatives before one acts? If so, explain why and whether this is a problem. If not, explain why not.
  5. Come up with your own possible objection to utilitarianism and evaluate that objection.
  6. Explain the Argument from Psychological Hedonism against Hedonism about welfare and whether it is a good argument.
  7. Explain what you take to be Nozick's Experience Machine objection to Hedonism about welfare and whether it is a good argument.