Select from ONE of the following topics:
1. Discuss the function and role of moral emotions and sentiments in moral life. Provide definitions of the various moral emotions that you discuss, such as sympathy, guilt, shame, and the like. Which moral sentiments are most important and why: sympathy and care, sense of duty, honor, or nobility? Can these sentiments also lead to wrongdoing?
2. Discuss the three theories of moral agency: determinism, libertarianism, and compatibilism. Which one do you think is the more credible and why?
3. Describe and define the cardinal virtues. Discuss Aristotle’s theory of the mean in this context. Which virtues or sets of virtues do you think are most important and why? Do you think that character virtues are sufficient for leading a moral life? Discuss the instrumental vs. the integral theory of the virtues in this context. If not, what else is required to make a person morally good?
Recommended organization of the paper:
Provide a brief account of the paper’s topic. Why is it important, and how might it be relevant to people’s lives and moral outlooks?
Provide a more detailed account of your response to the various factual questions posed in the assignment. For example, for #1, provide definitions and explanations of the principal emotions and sentiments. For #2, an account of the three theories of agencies. For #3, an understanding of the chief virtues. And the theory of the mean.
Use this section to answer the question of the debatable questions. Make sure to provide good reasons for your claims. For example, for #1, why might you think that sympathy and care are most important, or do you think all four sentiments are essential? For #2, how would you defend your choice of theories about the agency? What are its strengths and weaknesses? How might those weaknesses be overcome? For #3, do you agree with the virtue ethicists that virtue guarantees good morals? Do you think they can be used for various good and evil purposes?
You will be graded based on the following rubrics:
· Language mechanics: Grammar, spelling, diction. 10%
· Organization of the essay and clarity of style 10%
· Research and use of scholarly and reading sources 10%
· Definitions and comprehension of basic concepts 20%
· Merit of the Argument or Position 50%