Kant and Morality

Immanuel Kant argues that autonomy, or the ability to self-govern or self-determine oneself, is the basis for morality and justice. In your paper, describe how Kant understands autonomy and why it is necessary for his concept of morality, personal responsibility, and justice. Next, explain how John Stuart Mill provides a philosophy, based on utility, that is opposed to Kant’s morality.  Afterwards, explain how both Kant and Mill might support or reject drug use according to their ethical systems. You may want to address concepts of self-harm, consent, enslavement, indirect vs. direct harm, negative vs. positive rights, paternalism, consequences vs. intentions, and etc., to name a few.  Finally, determine which side (pro or con drug use according to Kant and/or Mill) has the better argument; defend your position on drug legalization.

Your paper should be 6 full pages double-spaced with standard margins. The paper is due Saturday, May 7th by midnight. LATE PAPERS will not be accepted. Papers will only be accepted if submitted through the TurnItIn Final Paper Link in the Course Content section of Blackboard (Your name on the paper is all that is required since you will be submitting electronically. A lengthy paper header is not required.) Please consult the syllabus for additional paper requirements and for the grading rubric for assigned papers in the course. To submit the paper, go to the Course Content section of Blackboard and upload an appropriate file (.doc or .pdf) via TurnItIn Assignments Final Paper link.

Note: extensive use of secondary sources in your paper is discouraged and will result in a lower grade. Engagement and analysis of the primary texts (i.e. the pdfs provided for free by the course) is expected in the paper. Citing lengthy primary text quotes without thorough explanation does not constitute engagement with the text. Additionally, papers will be checked for plagiarism. It is your responsibility to make sure your paper is free of copied and improperly cited material. Citation of the primary text does not have to follow rigorously the MLA or Chicago standards, since the readings were provided as free pdfs. For example, you can cite a passage with the (author, page number) format. Finally, there will be a Final Paper Review video from another hybrid online class posted in the Course Content section to help you develop your paper. Your paper should be written following its guidance; you should have a thesis which you propose and defend with logic/analysis in your paper.


Method Guidelines

Your answer to the question must not only present your own considered opinion on the matter, but must have a basis in the readings for the course, and be formulated so as to include at least:

1. a comparative examination of two or three different possible answers to the question;

2. a critical analysis of your own position which identifies potential weaknesses in the position and explains what makes that position nevertheless superior in some way to the others considered; and

3. specific reference to ideas, insights, and/or arguments presented by the philosophers assigned in the prompt.


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