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Assignment Questions

An Essay Contrasting Kant’s Approach to Ethics and Utilitarianism

Directions: Consider the question below and formulate a thesis and support it with reasons and
arguments. Be sure to address each part of the question below. I?m interested in quality of
argumentation and clarity, and your paper should be no less than 900 words and no more than
1300 (about three or four pages in length).
Type your answer in essay format (double-spaced, no more than one-inch margins), using proper
grammar, paying attention to spelling, sentence structure, etc. Use acceptable citation
conventions; i.e., reference the author, book, and page number in the text or in a footnote or
endnote and include a full bibliography.
1. Write an essay contrasting Kant’s approach to ethics with Utilitarianism. (Be sure to
explain each theory, especially the greatest happiness principle and the categorical
imperative.) Which approach do you think is better and why? Defend your answer with
reasons and arguments.
Helpful Advice
? You may our texts and outside sources, but put the ideas into your own words; paraphrase
and cite properly, using appropriate conventions.
? Stay on topic. Be sure to answer the questions that are asked and avoid posing and asking
other questions that aren?t asked. Just how you answer the questions, though, is up to you: I
am looking for your views and there is room for creativity and ingenuity within this format.
? This assignment is not a research paper, but rather like a take home essay question for which
there is no specific time limit.
? Be sure to give arguments for your views. Make sure that your views are backed up by
reasons and evidence.
? Writing a lot of words won?t guarantee that you do well and with careful thinking and editing
you can say a lot of good things in few words. To produce ?A? level work, plan to do a lot of
pre-writing, make notes, outlines, rough drafts, and the like. Be sure to edit and refine your
? When planning and preparing your answer, be sure to consult the Weston?s A Rulebook for
Arguments chapter eight, ?Composing an Argumentative Essay.? For additional advice and
assistance, I strongly recommend Soccio?s ?How to get the Most out of Philosophy? chapter
seven, ?Critical Writing.?

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