Philosophy 355 Contemporary Moral Problems Fall 1999 SECOND (ROLLING) PAPER ASSIGNMENT EXTENDED MORAL CONVERSATION PROJECT This will be due at a time to be negotiated with your section leader, generally within two or three weeks of the report of your moral conversation. Inevitably, there will be some overlap both with assigned topics and with timing for other papers in this course. You should not select topics for your other papers, therefore, that overlap significantly with the topic of your moral conversation. And you should make arrangements with your section leader for reasonable due dates, when due dates conflict or are too closely spaced. The premise of this assignment is that the moral issues confronting us in this course are sufficiently complex and difficult that we should not expect to find "solutions" to them without a good deal of thought and discussion, and that we should always be prepared to rethink our positions in light of new perspectives and considerations. When you are assigned a topic, you are to think about it with some care, and read assigned essays related to it, before you meet with your partner. With your partner, then, you are to explore the issue together, learning more about it, and your position on it, as you bounce ideas off each other and see things from each other's perspective. Then, when you bring your conversation back into the larger group, you will be getting yet more feedback and beginning to see yet other considerations--reasons for and against various positions, objections to arguments for and against those positions, and so on. But this is really only the beginning stages of thinking the issue through. Having digested everything in the process up until then--the readings, conversation with your partner, extended conversation with your section--the next step is to rethink the issue yourself. In a way, this involves going through the whole process all over again, but this time in your own mind and in light of all the perspectives you have encountered and heard the first time through. In this way your own thinking becomes informed and broadened by the perspectives with which the earlier stages of the process brought you in contact. You should begin this process by having a conversation with your section leader (this is a part of the assignment), so he can highlight what, in light of your report, are directions you might usefully pursue. You take it from there, reconsidering all the arguments and considerations you've encountered in coming to your own best analysis of the issues-- clarifying them, evaluating arguments and objections advanced on all sides--working towards a considered judgment for yourself. Your essay should be a 1000 to 1500 word essay that presents that critical analysis. You should also devote some space to commenting on the process itself. How did your thinking progress? What considerations that you had not initially considered did you come to find relevant and why?