University of Pittsburgh, Fall Term 1998
Ben Eggleston, Instructor
Philosophy 0300—CRN 35193: Introduction to Ethics
mailbox: CL 1001—office: CL 1428E
Thursdays, 5:45 p.m. to 8:10 p.m., in CL 142
office hours: Tuesdays, 5:15–6:15, and Thursdays, 4:40–5:40

Paper Assignment no. 1

Choose one of the following topics (or think of another topic and get me to approve it) and respond to it in a paper of about 4 pages. Your paper should make ample use of the relevant text, not only representing the author’s views accurately, but also citing and interpreting specific passages where appropriate. It should also go into as much depth and detail as a paper of this length can. Finally, your paper should conform to the instructions provided in “Guidelines for Writing a Philosophy Paper.” It will be due at the beginning of class on October 1.

  1. In Locke’s view, moral guidance is to be obtained by consulting natural law. Select the aspect of Locke’s conception of natural law that you find most objectionable and discuss it. Begin by explaining Locke’s position and the reasons that Locke gives in support of it. Then, explain why you find Locke’s position objectionable.
  2. Among Locke’s main concerns in the Second Treatise is to indicate when it is permissible for a people to discard its current government and to set up another one in its place. Suppose for a moment that the U.S. lacked an impeachment procedure and that the only way to remove a sitting president from the presidency were to have a revolution of some kind. Suppose further that the American people were inclined to remove President Clinton from office. In Locke’s view, would the American people now be justified in doing so?