Morals Ethics and Values

Over the new few weeks, we will be reading and talking about morals, ethics, and values. For this essay, you will be choosing a social/ethical/moral value that is brought up in an assigned text (see below)(i.e. truth from Plato’s “The Cave”) and thoroughly investigating it.  To do so, you will need to clearly explain how the author represents the value and also define the value for yourself.  Some things you must also address are 1) what would happen if the value were raised to the universal?  (i.e. if everyone were always truthful what would happen? Would society crumble?) 2) Is the value an absolute value or a situational value? (You will want to look ahead to the essay by Appiah to help you consider these questions.) 3) what do you think about this value personally? 4) how does this value apply to society? 5) what are the problems with this value? Be sure that you address the perspective of at least one other author from our assigned readings in our textbook. (For instance, how would Appiah’s work apply to the truth.)  As with all papers for this class, this essay must be 5-6 pages in length, double-spaced, and in MLA format. Papers not submitted in MLA format will be considered plagiarized. Hint: Plato is the author, not Jacobus, and the other editors; be sure this is reflected in the citations. Please submit your papers as RTF documents.  Directions for how to submit as it can be found in essay assignment one.   While I have listed all of the weekly readings in the weekly overviews, I realized that for this first essay assignment, it might be useful for you to have a comprehensive list of readings for the class so that you know what essays you might choose to work from.  I am cutting and pasting the list below. Please let me know if you have any questions. The following is a list of readings you may choose from: Handout: Momaday, “Man-Made of Words Langer, “Language” Rosseau, “The Origin…” Thoreau, “Civil Disobedience” Nietzsche, “Morality as…” Appiah, “The Case ….” Machiavelli, “The Qualities…” Marx, “The Communist Manifesto” Tocqueville, “Government by Democracy” Douglass, “from Narrative …”   Note: DO NOT use “language” as a value. Language is something that is useful, that we do place value on; however, it is not a value in the same sense as assigned. Think more in terms of characteristics we strive to embody, things like compassion, generosity, kindness, etc…

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