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Happiness Paper Assignment
The assignment is to write a personal reflection paper on the selections from the Readings In Classical Ethics book we have been conducting a study of. Please see the syllabus for guidelines on paper form. The paper you write will be judged upon its content and the following outline
{Choose 7 of the following 9}
The Ethics of Stein
The Ethics of Plato
The Ethics of Aristotle
The Ethics of Epicurus
The Ethics of Seneca
The Ethics of Augustine
The Ethics of Kant
The Ethics of Mill
The Ethics of Manning
My [meaning your] Reflections on Ethics
Conclusion
The individual sections on “The Ethics of ____” will not be expected to be comprehensive in nature and thus do not require any outside research. I would simply like you to give a brief explanation of the ethics of the philosopher in question covering some of the basic issues we covered in class. How does this philosopher define happiness? What are some of the major pitfalls to attaining happiness for this philosopher? What issues need to be worked out or balances need to be maintained in order to attain happiness as defined by this philosopher?
A good thing to do with regard to these descriptions is to search for a one sentence thesis statement that describes each ethical theory. For example: “Mill’s theory seeks to bring the greatest amount of happiness to the greatest amount of people.” Start your section on each philosopher in this way and then delve into some of the other questions. Please do not make these descriptions into one long critique. For you really do not have the credibility to critique a philosopher until you demonstrate that you, at least to some extent, understand their thought.
I suggest you write the body of the paper first and then write the “My Reflections on Ethics” section afterwards. A good way to go about this is to simply answer the classical question of ethics (“How can I live the good and happy life?”) for yourself incorporating some of the ideas from the 7 philosophers you choose to write about in the main body of the paper. Then write a conclusion and, after everything else is done, write a short introduction to the paper.
This sort of paper will require at least 6 pages and might go as long as 10. The key points to keep in mind are: follow the outline, it is a reflection paper and not a research paper, and write the body of the paper first and the introduction last. I will grade the paper on form, content, and originality. The criteria for form is in the syllabus, the information for content is in your mind, notes and the Readings In Classical Ethics book, and the originality is within each one of you. Remember to take the time to reflect upon the material and to be confident in your own voice.
This paper is due in the first week of November (on the day we cover Mannings Ethics) and shall be turned in through Canvas.

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