Consider a policy that governs or shapes some aspect of community life within LA (e.g., neighborhood oil drilling, healthcare, housing, or labor policy), and identify the ways this policy affects a community or subcommunity within LA. Apply one of the moral theories that we have examined over the course of the semester (Plato’s theory of justice, Aristotle’s virtue ethics, utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, etc.) and determine the moral value of the policy–in doing so, explain the basic elements of the theory which you apply, identify the relevant material details of the case, and evaluate the policy in light of these considerations. Does the policy adequately respond to the needs of the community, and if not, what do you think ought to be done?
Identify and explain what you take to be the most powerful objection or counter-argument to the position you have developed. Explain how you think the objection can be responded to.
Your essay should be around four pages, double-spaced, in twelve-point font, with 1″ margins. In the paper, your aim should be to develop a position by explaining the details of a situation and constructing arguments that could convince a reasonable interlocutor who isn’t knowledgeable of the subject matter. That means your paper should both provide context for understanding the theory discussed, and you should clearly detail the reasoning process by which you arrive at your conclusions. For additional guidance in planning and developing your paper, see:, and feel free to contact me with questions. You may use either MLA or APA formatting, and you should cite any relevant article or text in developing your argument.
For additional scholarly research and explanation, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is an excellent starting point:
This paper is worth 60 points and will be graded on the clarity of your thesis (6 pts), its being well formatted, grammatical, and well written (12 pts), the accuracy and informativeness of its content generally (18), your use of sources (6 pts), and the structure and thoughtfulness of your argument (18 pts).