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It can be argued that both virtue ethics and care ethics approach ethics from very different perspectives from each other, while also looking at morality in a very different manner from the dominant contemporary moral theories (Kantian ethics and utilitarianism).  On the other hand, Alan Thomas argues that virtue ethics and care ethics are actually more alike than sometimes thought. 

Write an essay which (1) explains and evaluates Thomas argument, (2) demonstrates how care ethics and virtue ethics both challenge the approach to morality shared by Kantian ethics and utilitarianism, and (3) defends your own views on the value of virtue ethics or care ethics.  Be sure to explain the key elements of both virtue ethics and care ethics, Thomas argument about the similarities of these two theories, discuss the ways in which virtue ethics and care ethics differ from each other and from the dominant contemporary moral theories, and explain and give reasons supporting your own views regarding virtue ethics and care ethics.

You do not need to provide a full explanation of Kantian ethics and utilitarianism.  Instead, you should focus on the criticisms of those approaches found principally in the feminist ethics unit (but remember how Thomas agrees that virtue ethics shares similar differences from Kantian ethics and utilitarianism).

You may only use course materials–the reading assignments, PowerPoint presentations, and lectures.  Papers must be in 12-point font and double-spaced.  No title page is needed–just put your name and UC 410 in the top left corner of the first page–and you also do not need a reference or works cited page.  Refer to each author by last name, to make it clear that you are discussing their ideas (cite PowerPoint for any general points in a PowerPoint that arent specific to one philosopher).  Alternatively, you can use any citation format you prefer (APA, MLA, Chicago). 

Your grade will be based on how well you answer the questions listed in the assignment description.  However, I will weight more heavily your explanation and analysis of virtue ethics and care ethics.  The primary purpose of this paper is for you to demonstrate your understanding of these ethical approaches.  While I do want you to explain why you like or dislike either or both theories, the key task is to show that you can explain the key ideas for both virtue ethics and care ethics (while also showing how they provide different ways of looking at morality in comparison to Kantian ethics and utilitarianism).


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