Active Participation

Students must email a summary of the reading before class except when position papers are due. The summary must explicitly identify premises, conclusions, and inferences. It should not be long, should not include large sections of copied text, and should focus on showing the structure of the argument. It should indicate whether the author appeals to the consequences, respect for persons, or the character of the people involved. Send it to email. The subject line of the email must read "Notecard" and nothing else. Send the notecard in the body of the email.


Students will be assigned one role to play during the semester. The student must familiarize him- or herself with the role and engage in the discussion from this perspective. The discussion should appeal to the ethical considerations we have studied during the class and be aimed at arriving at a workable, collective decision.

Students must write up a reflection on themselves in their role before the following class period. 500-700 words. Answer the following:

  1. How well did you appeal to ethical considerations in your role? (Include at least one strength and one weakness.)
  2. How well did you communicate with others? (Include at least one strength and one weakness.)

Student who do not have a role during a section must listen respectfully and engaging in a productive evaluation afterwards.

Students who do not attend discussion and decision days cannot complete their position paper and will receive a zero.

Short Reflections

Student will print and bring to class a one to two page reflection on the material. The assignment will be included in the calendar description of the day. These reflections will be graded out of 10 points.

Position Papers

Students will write three position papers summarizing and evaluating the arguments in a given section. The grade will primarily depend on the strength of the argument offered. Write to convince me that your argument is the strongest one. Each paper must include a thesis, support the thesis, incorporate the readings, and deal with a counter-argument, use a moral theory, and clearly present all of the ideas in the paper. Additional requirements for each paper will be specified prior to the assignment’s due date

The assignments will be worth:

  1. Active Participation: 5%
  2. Short Reflections: 5%
  3. Actors: 5%
  4. Position Papers: 85% (28.3% each)