The Standard Formula Of An Article In Applied Ethics

803 words - 4 pages

The Standard Formula of an Article in Applied Ethics Although philosophical articles can vary widely in their structure and writing style, most credible articles in applied ethics follow a predictable formula. In this conception of that formula, applied ethics articles can typically be broken into five distinct components: 1. Introduction to the case the author wishes to analyze The introduction usually features a brief overview of the issue and a quick recap of the relevant literature on the subject. If the article is a response to a different view on the same case, the other view will be presented and explained before the author presents his or her own view. Optionally, the author may ...view middle of the document...

If any conclusions seem vulnerable to objections, the author will try to dismiss them. If there are portions of the application that could be applied differently to reach slightly different conclusions, those will be mentioned and (usually) dismissed as inaccurate or vulnerable to compelling objections. Articles which follow this framework can be attacked in several ways, but here are the three most conventional strategies:    Show that the theoretical framework is flawed. Show that the author applies the framework improperly. Show that the conclusion of the author’s analysis has unacceptable conclusions.
University of Tennessee, Knoxville Department of Philosophy

Trevor Hedberg Graduate Teaching Assistant

Example of a Standard Applied Ethics Article “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion” by Mary Anne Warren 1. Introduction to the case the author wishes to analyze Warren provides a brief survey of the abortion debate and identifies some problems with current anti-abortion lines of argument. She particularly focuses on the distinction between the genetic and moral senses of the term “human being.” 2. Proposal of a theory (or principle) which can be used to analyze the case Warren proposes a theory for what we mean when we use the term “human being” in the moral sense, which she calls a “person.” She proposes five distinct qualities of personhood, and contends that only persons are worthy of moral consideration. 3. Critical analysis of the theory and explanation of why it is...

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