Ethics Paper 2 Instructions

This being your second paper and your first truly argumentative one, I have done much of the work for you. In the paper 2 module, you have a few topics with extra sources. You can also choose any of the applied topics from the last few weeks of the class (abortion, animal ethics, sex ethics, immigration, ???)

There are 5 conditions that must be fulfilled (see below). However, you are ultimately responsible for choosing the topic and direction of your essay.

1. Roughly 1500 -1800 words double-spaced (MINIMUM). It is permissible to go over the 1800 words if needed (no excuses about not knowing you could write more to fulfill the tasks)

2. You must present an applied topic. The topic could be from lecture, a default topic, or from outside lecture. If you choose to use a topic we did not cover in class you must verify the topic and readings with me before you begin.

a. Examples: Freedom of speech, terror, euthanasia, etc…

b. In presenting this topic, you should consider the notion of moral permissibility, not just preferred behaviors.

3. You must tie your applied topic into a previously covered theory of ethical evaluation. In other words, take a position. You can make it a mixture of positions (eg, Rule Utilitarianism) but that is definitely a more difficult project.

Examples: Kant’s deontology, Mill’s utilitarianism, Ethics of Care, Virtue Ethics, Social Contract Morality (Hobbes or Rawls and his egalitarianism), or even one of the other theories (but they would need to do an additional reading for clarification of the ideas).

4. You must use an objection that both applies generally to the theory and the situation. You must also attempt to meet/answer the objection.

5. You must include one secondary source and provide a full MLA/APA/WHATEVER works cited page. (This means citing the articles we used IN CLASS)

*Most Importantly! (but optional) . You SHOULD meet with me to discuss your paper before you start writing it. I want to lead you in a successful direction. If you cannot meet with me during office hours, I can arrange to meet on canvas online conference system. You don’t have to, but it is highly recommended.

Note: Remember so many of our discussions about your first papers! Part of the difficulty of writing philosophy is organization. If you can organize your paper correctly, then the hard part is over.

Aside from the articles and videos on the abortion in the module (which you should use!), I am posting a few docs and a few extra ethics papers. You will (ideally) use some combination of the three readings we cover from our textbook (5th edition chapters 39-41: Warren/Thompson/Marquis) plus one of the documentaries below (along with the chapters/lectures on the Moral Theory you are using–eg, If I am doing a Kantian analysis then I must use Kant/O’Neill chapters). I have also listed a few more papers you can use below the documentary options.


Lake of Fire (Links to an external site.)

Frontline Episode from 2019: (Links to an external site.)

After Tiller (Dr. Tiller was assassinated for being an abortion doctor) (Links to an external site.)

No Woman, No Cry (Abortion on the international stage) (Links to an external site.)


Abortion Ethics Paper Overview.pdfPreview the document

The Chapter we did not cover on Virtue Ethics and Abortion can also be used (EE, 5th ed. chp 42)