Prostitution. Associated Reading: Ole Martin Moen’s Is prostitution harmful?
II. Paper Overview: Your Term Paper is to be a critical analysis of one argument on the topic of your choice found in the associated reading article. Each article contains many arguments, often from a variety of sources. Dan Brock, for example, takes himself to be presenting the best arguments regarding human cloning on both sides and discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each. Rupert Jarvis, on the other hand, reviews several arguments about how to increase the supply of organs available for transplants, rejects them, and proposes an alternative policy – reciprocity – which he argues in favor of. Finally, Ole Martin Moen looks at a variety of commonsense arguments that claim that prostitution is immoral because it is harmful, but argues that they fail to be persuasive.
In the Term Paper, you will summarize ONE of these arguments. Your summary should be aimed at a non-academic audience who has not read the article, and your goal should be to explain the argument in question, its strengths, and its weaknesses, to your reader. Define technical terms, give examples, be thorough – your goal here is to educate your reader on the argument, and you want to get the argument right.
Then, you will raise an original critical objection (one not found in the associated reading) to that argument. (For example, Moen argues that Prostitution is NOT harmful; so your objection could argue that prostitution IS harmful. However, you should not merely repeat things Moen has already discussed in his paper, though your argument might be inspired by one of the arguments he already discusses.) Your original objection may refer to the theories and readings we’ve discussed over the course of this semester. (For example, you might take a Kantian or Utilitarian approach to resolve the shortage of organs available for transplant, or you might talk about how rights allow or forbid human cloning.)
Finally, your Term Paper will include a reply to your objection. This reply can be from position of the author of the article you chose to write about; or may be from a different author’s point of view, or from your own. In short, between your objection and reply you will have argued “both sides” of the issue to the best of your ability.
III. Term Paper Outline: A satisfactory term paper will consist of the following sections. Each section will be worth a specified points value. Make sure to include Bolded Section Headings for each main section. Keep in mind, each section will contain multiple-paragraphs.
1. Introduction (20 points) – A brief (1-2 paragraph) summary of the paper. Discuss the topic at hand, briefly summarize the three main sections of the paper, and briefly explain the moral significance of your chosen topic.
2. Argument Summary (80 points) – A thorough summary of ONE argument on the chosen topic from the reading associated with that topic. A satisfactory argument summary will include definitions of all relevant technical terms, as well as examples which discuss how the argument would require you to act.
This section will probably take up 2-4 pages, and consist of multiple paragraphs. It is not unusual for an argument summary to be LONGER than the passage from the reading it is summarizing (after all, you must explain things for a non-academic audience that doesn’t have your background in the field.)
Note: You may quote any of the articles you’ve read for this class, or external sources, but make sure it is clear what is your work and what is merely a quote. If you quote an external source, ALWAYS explain what you think that source means in your own words. Using quotes to “fill space” will not contribute to your grade.
3. Original Objection (40 points) – This should contain an original critical objection of the argument discussed in section 2. This objection can be based on an argument found in the associated readings, in one of our assigned readings for the course, or another source. Be created, give examples. Your goal here is to say something philosophically interesting; something that may contribute to the literature on the subject and give us a greater insight into the topic.
4. Original Reply (40 points) – This should contain an original reply to your critical objection found in section 3. The reply can written as a hypothetical reply the author of your article might give, and should be philosophically interesting. It is NOT SUFFICIENT to say “Dan Brock would agree with me,” (especially as Brock doesn’t take a stance one way or the other in his article!); rather your goal should be to contribute to the literature. If you think your objection has succeeded in showing something; how might a critic respond? Would they change their conclusion? If so, how?