This assignment is not an essay but an exercise that helps build toward your Final Paper for the course. Your task in this assignment is to construct the best argument you can for a position on a controversial topic. Your argument should be your own creation. You may take inspiration from other arguments, but the formulation of the argument you present should be original to you.
- Begin by choosing a topic from the PHI103 Final Paper Options list.
- Construct an argument for a position on the topic. This is the position that you will defend in your Final Paper. Make your argument as high quality as possible: In particular, make sure that all of your premises are true and that the truth of the conclusion is demonstrated by your premises.
- Consider possible objections to your argument, and revise it several times until you have an argument that is as strong as possible.
- Search in the Ashford University Library for quality academic sources that support some aspect of your argument.
- Constructing quality arguments is harder than it sounds; you may find that your first few attempts have problems and that it takes quite a bit of time and effort to revise an argument to a point that the premises adequately support the conclusion. You will be revising this argument for each of the remaining assignments in this course.
PHI103 Final Paper Options Here is the list of options from which to choose your paper topic. The idea is to use the same topic for all three papers in this course, developing and improving your argument as you go. If you want to switch topics between papers or choose a topic not on this list, consult with your instructor first. It is also possible for your instructor to add other options to this list, so check the instructor’s announcements for any modifications. • Is it ever permissible to torture a person? • Should athletes be allowed to use performance-enhancing drugs (such as steroids or EPO) or techniques (such as blood doping or oxygen tanks)? • Should universal healthcare be available to all regardless of their ability to pay in the same way that other services (such as education) are available to all for free? • Does one have an obligation to report wrongdoing by one’s employer, even when doing so will result in the loss of one’s job? Are whistle blower laws effective and necessary?• Does social media enhance or hinder interpersonal relationships?
Write: In your paper,
- Present a main argument in standard form with each premise and the conclusion on a separate line. Here is an example of what it means for an argument to be presented in standard form:
All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
- Provide support for each premise of your argument. Explain the meaning of the premise, and provide supporting evidence for the premise. [One paragraph for each premise]
- Pay special attention to those premises that could be seen as controversial. Evidence may include academic research sources, supporting arguments, or other ways of demonstrating the truth of the premise (for more ideas about how to support the truth of premises take a look at the instructor guidance for this week). This section should include at least one scholarly research source. For further information about discovering and including high-quality research take a look at the FindIt@AU Tutorial.
- Explain how your conclusion follows from your premises.
- For an example of how to complete this paper, take a look at the Week One Annotated Example The Ethics of Elephants in Circuses. Let your instructor know if you have any remaining questions about how to complete this paper.