Choose an objection discussed in class to Utilitarianism: the difficulty of measuring well-being, the concern that utilitarianism is too demanding, or the worry about impartiality. Develop the objection, and then answer it. The task is to present a potential worry to or criticism of Utilitarianism and then to explain why this worry or criticism isn’t a problem for the theory.
Begin by offering a brief explanation of Utilitarianism, focused on the aspects of the theory that the objection you select takes issue with. Next, explain the objection, presenting as convincing an argument as you can to the effect that your selected objection problematizes Utilitarianism. (You’ll need to explain the putative problem in more detail than Shafer-Landau does.) Finally, argue as persuasively as you can that the putative objection doesn’t in fact pose a problem for Utilitarianism. (Here too you’re likely to provide more of an answer to the problem than Shafer-Landau does.)
You may find the Utilitarian response to the objection you pose insufficient. If this occurs, feel free go on to argue that the response you present to the objection fails. [This isn’t required, but it’s intellectually honest as well as a good exercise for honing your critical thinking and argumentative skills. If you decide to do this, expect to write more than 300 words.]
Be approximately 100-300 words. I expect that a strong SDSWA 3 will be closer to 300 than 100 words, though this will depend on which objection you select. It’s okay to go over 300 words so long as everything you’re saying is relevant and advancing the discussion.
Be uploaded in file format .doc, .docx, or .rtf. PDFs will not be accepted
Be 1.5 point or double-spaced.
Include a word count, excluding Works Cited or References
Include citations – e.g. (SL, 291). And, you must work closely with the texts discussed in class. We strongly recommend that you not use outside sources, but if you do, you should not do so at the expense of the assigned materials, and you must include full citations of any unassigned material you use.
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