PHIL 003 University of Pennsylvania Theory of Moral Psychology Paper


This paper is worth 5 points. Turn this paper in during week 8 via “turn-it-in” within Canvas. Plagiarism of any kind will result in a grade of zero. This paper should be 3-4 pages. Use MLA guidelines. All references should be properly documented. Using MLA guidelines, properly document any references or ideas that are not your own. WARRNING: DO NOT USE WIKIPEDIA IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM. WIKIPEDIA IS NOT A LEGITIMATE SOURCE. ANY USE OF WIKIPEDIA WILL RESULT IN A GRADE OF ZERO. USE ONLY TRUE PROFESSIONAL SOURCES. The purpose of this paper is for you to intellectually explore a topic, issue, problem, or figure relevant to our course material. The readings from our course should be the primary “source” that you utilize. Practice standards of good writing. Have a clear thesis. Devise evidence for your thesis. Make a sound, logically constructed argument. Proofread vigorously. Correct English grammar is expected.


(1) How would Plato respond to Woody Allen’s film Crimes and Misdemeanors? What would be his response? Do you believe that Plato’s faith in his own theories would be shaken by Woody Allen’s fictional presentation? (Hints: Think about the characters, their “well-being” from Plato’s point of view. Consider his theory of Justice, as discussed in our text….etc.)

(2) Consider the film Boomerang!, (1947) by Elia Kazan. How does this film argue in favor of Kantianism and radically against Utilitarianism? Consider the readings in our text. Use your own mind to formulate a response.(Hints: Think about Kant’s view of persons and the respect that we owe them as members of the moral community. Think of the accused man and the district attorney’s decision to defend him. What possible consequences might the district attorney face by defending the innocence of the accused? Why would Kant recommend such a defense? Why would Utilitarian recommend against such a defense.)

(3) What theory of the meaning of life, as presented in our text (chapter 7) do you find most compelling. Why? (Hint: Think about any of the figures discussed, Tolstoy, Stace, Russell, Camus, Nagel, as well as the film Amelie (2001) by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. How would the theory of meaning in life that you support respond to Schopenhauer’s pessimism, as discussed in chapter 4 of Questions of Value?

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