Questions on Assignments

Here you can post questions about the assignments.  Please edit the page and I will answer.

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With Paper #2 being based on a previous blog and going to be published on the blog, should we write it as a blog (with hyperlinks, a little less formal) rather than a typical paper?         -Carl

Hyper links and other blogable features makes sense.  Formality should be no less than other paper.  You should be making an intellectual, sophisticated argument.  Don’t dumb down your argument.  Now, sophisticated arguments may be made clear or engaging.  I’ll work on an example.

The referential is essential to justice; there is no way to separate the idea of moral right from particularistic comparisons of individuals or some higher-level social aggregate.  Were one to agree with the impossibility of cleaving particular from justice then Walzer’s formulation of complex inequality is available as an ethical framework upon which to build a robust set of approaches to ascertaining the justice, or lack there of, of any subset universal sets of conditions of material or other forms of well-being, that is, a sub-set of specific conditions.

Again, as sophisticated, but written more accessibly.

Justice is always referential; we can not make claims about just or unjust without some reference point.  The reference point may be a particular individual, a particular group, or some other relevant social entity.  In short, to determine if what Ralph or Juan or Gita have, no matter what the having is, we must be able to compare any of them to a benchmark.  If we agree that cleaving justice from the particular lacks meaning, then we can find a robust ethical framework in Walzer’s formulation of “complex inequality.”  Complex inequality means that any particular, concrete set of people and the distribution of what is valued can exhibit many forms of inequality.  But challenging dominance, and not inequality per se, is where Walzer seeks to foster justice.  Now, I will discuss several examples of dominance and how taking complex inequality seriously helps us see the problem and possible solutions.

Some more questions about Paper 2:
1) Are we or are we not supposed to use a case we have talked about in class as the source of our ethical discussion? Did you want us to make up our own case? I was going to use Shell.
2) Can it be a sort of “continuation” of my first Paper. I talked about a social responsibility of business related to Nike in Paper 1 and I would like to use that framework to build off of with Donaldson’s discussion about rights or Bowie about Kantian ethics for Paper 2. I don’t want to have to re-explain what I mean by social responsibility etc. so I thought it would be neat to reference it and move forward from there. Or is that not acceptable?

1) Not “make up” a fictional case.  Shell is ok; you will need to do your own research to extend what was presented in class reading.

2) You can reference your earlier ideas.  You should use a quotation and not just the reference.  You can also build on earlier ideas.  However, this paper must definitely be an extension, revision, or departure from what you did earlier.


2 Responses to Questions on Assignments

  1. Alyssa Haglund says:

    Jordi – could we please spend some time in class to list the ethical perspectives we have covered thus far and their definitions? I think this would be a great review and help us a lot with our argument drafts and final papers.

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