Overview and Instructions You have now written four (4) case analyses. You will develop ONE for your second, and final, essay in connection with the topic you choose from below. You must answer all pa

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Overview and Instructions

You have now written four (4) case analyses. You will develop ONE for your second, and final, essay in connection with the topic you choose from below. You must answer all parts of the question to receive credit. Your answers need to be written as short essays (1000-1200 words), so you need to include an introduction and conclusion and any quotations or paraphrases must be appropriately cited. In addition, it is important to think of this essay as a development of your previous work — you won’t merely copy over that previous work, and then add an introduction and a conclusion. Instead, you will use the feedback from me, along with your further reflections and review, to revise and expand the case analysis you’ve chosen for this final essay.

If you have questions about any of this please email me immediately.  You can also check out this material on philosophical essay writing.

TopicsWelfare

In this essay you have 5 tasks:

  1. Give a clear and concise explanation of the case at hand.
  2. Give a thorough, philosophical exegesis of the relevant aspects of Walzer’s and Murray’s arguments. (Click here for some tips on how to do a successful exegesis.)
  3. Present an argument applying the relevant philosophers to the case at hand. This should include an argument justifying who each philosopher would give the welfare to and why.
  4. Present an argument explaining why one of the philosophers can be viewed as offering a more successful solution to the case at hand.
  5. In no more than one paragraph, explain what solution you would propose for Rebecca and Jimmy.

Consider Rebecca, a single mother of 4 who has been a long-term welfare recipient.  Rebecca is a weekend meth user who often spends her money on meth.  However, without her welfare money, her children would not have any food or medical treatment and would most likely be placed in foster homes where their lives would go worse than they currently are. Rebecca’s yearly welfare application is due.

Now consider Jimmy, a veteran of both Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  During the battle, Jimmy was wounded and now suffers from some moderate physical disability and post-traumatic stress.  Sadly, although Jimmy tried to find a job, there weren’t many systems in place to help him re-integrate or work through his issues.  Each day Jimmy begs for money at his local off-ramp.  Through no fault of his own, Jimmy has fallen through the proverbial cracks. Jimmy applies for welfare.

You are the welfare overseer.  At most one person can get welfare. You can make ONE of the following three decisions:

  1. Give the welfare only to Rebecca
  2. Give the welfare only Jimmy
  3. Don’t give any welfare

Healthcare

In this essay you have 5 tasks:

  1. Give a clear and concise explanation of the case at hand.
  2. Give a thorough, philosophical exegesis of the relevant aspects of Bradley’s and Peikoff’s arguments. (Click here for some tips on how to do a successful exegesis.)
  3. Present an argument applying the relevant philosophers to the case at hand. This should include an argument justifying in which world each philosopher would place Jim and why.
  4. Present an argument explaining why one of the philosophers can be viewed as offering a more successful solution to the case at hand.
  5. In no more than one paragraph, explain what solution you would propose for Jim.

Consider Jim. Jim has worked in middle management his entire life.  He had the option of paying into his company’s managed healthcare system but decided he wanted to keep the money instead and invest it in case he ever needed acute medical treatment.  Unfortunately, on his 40th birthday, Jim decided to buy a red Corvette with that money.  6 months later, Jim went to a doctor to see why he was feeling so awful.  The doctor diagnosed Jim with emphysema, diabetes, and kidney failure.  All three of these conditions are the result of Jim’s lifestyle choices: smoking, poor eating and exercise habits, and excessive drinking.  These conditions are chronic and will require treatment for the rest of Jim’s life including cutting-edge lung and kidney treatments and weekly meetings with a nutritionist, endocrinologist, cardiologist, etc.

Here are the two possible healthcare “worlds” for Jim (he must be “placed” in one of them):

  1. Participate in a universal healthcare system, paid for by income taxes, which doesn’t provide Jim with the latest and greatest medical technology but does meet basic standards of care.
  2. Participate in a pay-for-service system, which allows Jim to pay for whatever treatment he wants and/or can afford but will not treat him unless he pays for the service.

Capital Punishment

In this essay you have 5 tasks:

  1. Explain your understanding of the case.
  2. Give a thorough, philosophical exegesis of the relevant aspects of Kant, the ACLU, and Van den Haag’s arguments.
  3. Present an argument applying the relevant philosophers to the case at hand. This should include an account of what each philosopher would argue should happen to Bob.
  4. Present an argument explaining why one of the philosophers can be viewed as offering a more successful solution to the case at hand.
  5. In ONE paragraph, explain how you think we should treat Jim.

Consider Bob. Bob was raised by wolves (literally – don’t ask me how). Although his IQ would probably be normal, there is no way to test it, since Bob doesn’t speak or read any human language. One day, Bob emerged from the wilderness and ended up in downtown Long Beach. He was hungry (presumably) so he “found” some food in the normal wolf way: he stalked a mother walking her baby and, deciding it was easiest to prey on the weaker, killed and ate the baby. There’s no question that Bob is “guilty” of the crime. He did it and there were lots of witnesses.

Affirmative Action

In this essay you have 5 tasks:

  1. Give a clear and concise explanation of the case at hand.
  2. Give a thorough philosophical exegesis of the relevant aspects of Pojman’s and Mosley’s theories.
  3. Present an argument applying the philosophers’ arguments to the case at hand. This should include an argument justifying to whom each philosopher would give the job.
  4. Present an argument explaining why one of the philosophers can be viewed as offering a more successful solution to the case at hand.
  5. In no more than one paragraph explain who you would hire and why.

Consider a new position at the very prestigious Chronus Department of the Federal Government.  The Chronus Department examines how issues from the past have an impact on current affairs, and their new position aims at recruiting a new employee to be groomed to eventually because of the director of the department.  The ideal candidate would be someone who has a degree in some area of the humanities that deals with research, history, and culture, and who has a demonstrated ability to work well with others in a leadership capacity.  This position has an incredible benefits package including, healthcare, vacations, and a pension.

The Department has narrowed its selection down to two candidates:

  • Molly is an African American woman from a very affluent and politically active Texas family.  She attended Yale, where she earned an undergraduate degree in Anthropology with a minor in US Civics.  After graduating, she volunteered for two years in the Peace Corps, and then took a year off to tour around Europe.
  • Cameron is a third-generation Irish American from a working-class family in Pennsylvania.  After high school, he spent a year working with his father in a steel mill, but then decided he wanted to go to university.  He received a scholarship to Princeton, where he graduated with a degree in US History.  In his final year of school, Cameron was elected Student Body President and implemented a union for the teaching assistants.
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