Philosophy Paper

In this paper, you will argue that racism is morally wrong because of the consequences and because it leads to morally problematic intentions.

As before, this paper is highly structured. Assume that your reader knows nothing about philosophy. Write in a way that would make sense to a friend or roommate. Your paper should be concise and on point. Once you’ve written a draft, read each sentence in isolation and ask yourself “what does this contribute to the argument as a whole?” Maybe the sentence is already perfect, but more often than not a sentence can be tightened up or deleted entirely. 

  1. In the first paragraph, introduce the issue and state your thesis, all in four sentences or less. Space is limited, so you’ll have to get to the point quickly!
  2. In the second paragraph, describe Kwame Anthony Appiah’s view of extrinsic racism. For Appiah, why is racism bad and what should we do about it? Be sure to refer to his arguments in “Racisms”. 
  3. In the third paragraph, argue that we have an obligation to end racism because of its effects or consequences. In doing so, describe utilitarianism, argue that it demands an end to racism, and explain how this applies to your life in a concrete way. 
  4. In the fourth paragraph, argue we have an obligation to end racism because it forms morally problematic intentions. In doing so, describe Kantian ethics, argue that it demands an end to racism, and explain how this applies to your life in a concrete way. Hint: You could argue that racism involves coercion which prevents consent (See O’Neill) or that racism can not be universalized (See Appiah).
  5. In the fifth paragraph, provide a brief conclusion.

In making your arguments, it will be useful to refer to lecture notes, online slides, “Racisms” by Kwame Anthony Appiah, “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” by Peter Singer, and “Kantian Approaches to Some Famine Problems” by Onora O’Neill. 

Paper specifications:

  • Your essay should be 800-1,000 words (about 3 pages double spaced).
  • Submit your paper through iLearn by 11:55pm on Nov. 13.
  • The file format must be a pdf or a word doc. Pages files and Google doc files will not be accepted. 
  • Use Times New Roman, 12 point font, double spaced. 
  • Do not put your name anywhere on the paper. Since you are uploading the paper through your iLearn account, I’ll know who you are. There is plenty of evidence that names can bring out implicit bias in graders, so I practice blind grading.
  • Do not use outside sources.
  • Include citations and a works cited page using MLA or APA formatting.
  • Late papers will be penalized 1 point per day (e.g. a 20 would become a 19).
  • Note: The due date has been moved back (it was initially due on Nov. 8).
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