Essay Assignment

Submitted By Tish-Thompson
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Pages: 3

Essay Assignment: Kantian Ethics and Gone Baby Gone
Dr. Flato, Spring '13
Due: on Thursday April 11th by 5pm I will not accept late assignments.
However, if you want to turn it in early, feel free.
DIRECTIONS: The movie Gone Baby Gone poses an interesting ethical question: should one be honest and follow principle or try to further the happiness of another? Write a paper about this as a way to “test” Kant’s ethical perspective. You are to write a (min) 3-5 page (or more), typed, 12 font (Times New Roman), double spaced response.
Your paper must include a discussion of the following:
1.5-3 pages:
1. Explain briefly how Kant argues against the view that the moral worth of an action is tied to consequences. Express as clearly as you can the premises he uses to draw his conclusion. Make the logic of his reasoning as clear as you can, clearly identifying premises and conclusions.
2. Discuss briefly what Kant means by “acting out of duty.” Be sure to discuss exactly how the character of moral obligation leads to Kant’s basic moral principle, the categorical imperative.
1.5-3 pages:
3. Evaluate Kant's argument critically according to a central choice made in Gone Baby Gone. One way to go about this is to discuss the premises on which Kant bases his conclusions. Are any of them open to question? Does the movie illustrate this? Which ones, and for what reasons? Second, even if we accept Kant’s premises, do they guarantee the truth of his conclusion? Again, does the movie dramatize this? How? Is Kant overlooking anything relevant that he ought to consider? Be sure to support your views as well as possible from the film.
IMPORTANT: In your paper you should state Kant's views in your own words as much as possible. You may use quotations (sparingly) from the text, but be sure to surround quotations of more than 7 words in quotation marks and to indicate the page number on which they can be found as follows: “Nothing can possibly be conceived in the world which can be called good without qualification except the good will” (p10). You do not need to use footnotes in a brief paper like this. This is not a research