In what ways does either Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” or Plato’s Crito demonstrate deontology? In what ways does it not? Write an argument of at least 400 words explaining how King’s or Plato’s argument is mostly deontological or mostly not deontological, referencing at least Kant’s categorical imperative, his ideas about external factors (including inclination and emotion), and his ideas of free will. You are free to address other of his ideas, as well. For Kant’s work, use either AK numbers or the page numbers in the pdf I provided; you do not need to use page numbers for King’s letter or Plato’s dialogue.
Here’s a good way to organize each answer, using as many paragraphs as you need depending on how many points you will address:
- Intro paragraph–Reword the writing prompt and make clear what position you will take. Perhaps you will claim that Text X does demonstrate Ethics Y.
- Paragraph with details about the first point and examples supporting your claim.
- Paragraph with details about the second point and examples supporting your claim.
- Paragraph with details about the third point and examples supporting your claim.
- The paragraph describing the opposing viewpoint and examples–ways that Text X does not demonstrate Ethics Y.
A concluding paragraph is not necessary for an essay exam in my classes because such paragraphs are usually no more than some version of, “So there you have it!” But feel free to include a concluding paragraph if you wouldn’t feel right otherwise.
Remember that philosophy doesn’t traffic incorrect answers (with the exception of formal logic, which we are not doing here). Philosophy depends, instead, on good arguments: a claim supported by reasons which are, in turn, supported by evidence from the reading.
Criteria for the grade include the level of skill in discussing deontology and virtue ethics, the level of detail in evaluating the texts (King, Plato, Press) against the ethical system, and your use of conventional English in writing the paper.
notes provided by professor
http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/Bedau_Civil_Disobedience_in_focus.pdf (this is the pdf of book from page 68-82) for the above essay.