The Ethics of Responsibility
Final Project Guidelines
This assignment is worth 15% of the grade (15 marks) and must be between 750 and 1000 words (not including the title or works cited pages). It must be double-spaced using size 12 font.
For this assignment, you will analyze a situation with ethical implications from your own life. This can be an event that happened to you personally, or to someone in your circle of acquaintances (i.e., friends, family, coworkers).
Once you have chosen a situation to write about, then you will briefly analyze it.
1) Briefly summarize the situation. Only provide the most important facts.
2) Identify the specific ethical issue. In other words, does the situation have
to do with truth-telling, loyalty, cheating, etc?
3) Who are the stakeholders? (this is one of the vocabulary words from
4) Identify two possible alternative courses of action that could have
been chosen in the situation that you describe.
5) Analyze each of the two alternatives using an ethical theory that we
discussed from the textbook. You may choose from among the Social
Contract Theory, Utilitarianism, or Kantianism (aka Deontology). You must
analyze each alternative using the same theory (i.e., one theory for both of them).
When choosing which of the three theories to apply to your ethical situation, make sure that it is one that is actually helpful when it comes to figuring out the best course of action. In other words, don’t choose a theory that does not provide much guidance just because you think it is easier to understand.
Once you have applied the ethical theory to both alternatives, you will weigh all of the arguments carefully and tell me which alternative is supported by the best/strongest arguments.
You may organize the essay however you like, but it cannot be written in point form, and you must use your own words (no unnecessary quotations- I will deduct marks for this). It is not necessary to refer to outside sources, but if you include material from the textbook then you must provide proper citations in either the APA or MLA format.
When grading the assignment, I will be looking for clarity of expression (well-organized, no spelling and/or grammatical errors); the correct application of the ethical theory; and evidence that you have thought about the situation carefully and thoroughly.
Remember that this is not a research paper about the ethical theory that you choose. You will show me that you understand the theory by how you apply it to your situation, so do not waste words summarizing the theory itself.