Modern Ethics

3. David Hume argues that benevolence is something universal and therefore found in human nature. With this argument, he seeks to disprove the selfish theory of morals (moral egoism) which says it is self-interest which motivates human ethical concerns. However, beyond this, there is also an question: why be moral? Why not be the “sensible knave” and try to secretly be immoral to get an advantage over others? Hume provides an answer at the end of the conclusion. Is Hume right? Should we still be moral? Or is Egoism correct either that this is the chief motivation of moral action? ***Please consider Mandeville’s poem “The Grumbling Hive” in your paper if you choose this topic. It is under the content tab and where the other readings are.***
• 800-1000 words (roughly 2-3 pages). You can write more than 1000 words if you’d like.
• 12pt. Times New Roman font.
• 1-inch margins.
• Double spaced.
• Cite like this: (37).
• Minimum 3 citations
• If a quote is more than 40 words, it must be turned into a block quote where you single space and indent both sides (no more than one block quote for the entire paper).
• Number pages.
• Use the Oxford Comma.
• Have a creative title.
• Your name at the top of the paper along with the title only.
• Only submit using a word file or a .doc or .docx file! NO PDFs or others files!
The first half to two-thirds of the paper should be an explication of the philosopher’s arguments. TRY TO PRESENT THEIR ARGUMENT AS ACCURATELY AS YOU CAN! (Don’t straw-man.) The last half or third of the paper should be your argument in support of or against the philosopher’s position. Your paper should contain an intro paragraph, a body (comprising the bulk of the paper BUT which is not one long paragraph but instead many), and a conclusion paragraph. Your intro paragraph should contain a clearly stated thesis (a thesis is a one or two sentence proposition which clearly states the argument of your paper). The conclusion should restate the thesis in a more nuanced way once your argument has been developed and defended and it should repeat the main themes of the paper discussed.

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