Immanuel Kant’s Deontological Ethics

Write a philosophy paper, per the guidelines detailed in “Writing a philosophy paper” in week two. You will research and discuss one of the theories listed below. You need to pick one you understand and like or appreciate. You should strive to demonstrate adequate understanding of the theory first in the paper. At least half of the paper should be a discussion of the various components of the theory. Work to demonstrate your understanding of the theory. Then, you will apply the theory to a discussion of a contemporary topic. See the example at the bottom of this page.

Week Three Goal: To complete the Proposal/Source Evaluation Worksheet. After crafting your introduction paragraph (or two) per the instructions in “Writing a Philosophy Paper” you will list and evaluate a minimum of three resources you intend to use in completing in the final paper. Keep the following in mind as you compile the resources:

  • At least one resource must come from either the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy or the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Depending on the philosophy or philosopher some alternatives may be acceptable – check with your instructor).
  • It is good to find at least one peer-reviewed paper on either the philosophy or the topic or both. See the Philosophy Program Guide for links to many helpful resources.
  • One can be from a credible internet resource such as Crash Course videos. TED or other scholarly, video resource. Depending on the topic, you may use websites or other credible online resources. What will be the best resource will depend on your topic.
  • The final paper should be no less than 1200 words, be double-spaced, and contain properly formatted citations and references. Ideally, MLA or APA will be used, but if your degree normally uses another system, check with your instructor.
  • NO WIKIPEDIA or other open resources.
  • There is no minimum word count on the “summary” section but must be at least several well-crafted sentences to describe the contents of the source and how you plan to use it. [Note, this list is not meant to be carved in stone or a complete list. As you research, your final list could be longer or contain some different sources.].

Theories to choose from (You must pick one of these or some other accepted moral theory – be sure you do some research before choosing. You will be using the theory to justify your position on the contemporary issue):

  • Care Ethics
  • Contractarianism
  • Divine Command Theory
  • Ethical Egoism (Ayn Rand)
  • Immanuel Kant’s Deontological Ethics
  • John Rawls’ Theory of Justice
  • John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism
  • Natural Law Theory
  • Prima Facie Duties (W. D. Ross)
  • Rights Theory (human or non-human animal)
  • Virtue Theory (Aristotle)
  • If there is another theory you have read about and intrigued with, consult your instructor for permission or guidance
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