This is a persuasive essay. The following is a prompt to help you think about forming a paper, and to show you
the kind of paper I am looking for. Please craft your own thesis, focusing on the
issues, principles, or articles that you find most important to the topic. Interpret the
prompt in the way that allows for the most interesting discussion of relevant values.
However, please make the paper about our class and about our readings and topics.
If you worry that you are deviating too far from the topic, please speak with me. Use
your short introduction to “form a contract with the reader,” so that I know what I
am looking for. When possible, try to include values other than just harm, fairness,
and autonomy (consent). Perhaps review my rambling handout on the “Sea of
Values” just to remind yourself of other sorts of values. Extreme example: “This
paper will be focus on only two views of sexual consent.” Okay, now I know.
DO NOT TRY TO ANSWER EVERY QUESTION IN THE PROMPTS. They are there to
point out possibilities.
Please refer the sources I provided.
TOPIC: HATE SPEECH/FREE SPEECH: How should we treat hate speech on campus?
How can the administration both be neutral on the marketplace of ideas, and
still maintain an environment that is inclusive? Are campus speech codes
needed? What about the administration not banning but condemning
speech? What is the proper function of the university in this regard? Why
should we accept your view?
Further prompting: (What the hell IS hate speech, for the purposes of your
paper? Define. Is this supposed to include invited speakers like Ann Coulter?
Or is hate speech best seen more like Charles Lawrence’s examples from
other students?) Appeal to theories of free speech. Critically assess the
arguments from Lawrence, Rauch, Friedman, or others that are help you to
develop your thesis. Should we be more concerned about the free exchange of
ideas, or about equality of education, or other values? Or is this a false
dichotomy? Consider different contexts (classroom, cafeteria, the Arbor or . . .
). Show at least competence in 1st Amendment law. (At least try to stay
within a constitutional framework). Identify the key values at play, and
attempt to resolve the conflict. (You MAY paraphrase the Capps Speaker, Dr.
Howard Gillman. Just present him as fairly as possible. However, most of
what he will say is in the chapter posted in Week 9). What is the proper role
of soft sanctions? Start with other people’s work, and build from there.
instructions: This is a course in ethics and justice. This is not an opinion paper (“This is just how I
feel”), nor is it a book-report (“So-and-so says so”) — nor a research paper where
you dig up facts. You are to clarify and defend an informed and articulate
perspective, supported by strong arguments. Start with other authors. Use the
arguments of various authors as a springboard to developing a nuanced view. Use
good logic, from plausible premises, and moral principles or other values you think
most reasonable people would accept. If your principles are controversial, then you
need to argue why we should accept your principles. Important: Identify the
competing values or principles at play in the issue, and try to resolve them in a way
that does not just steamroller over the other important values (like “free speech is
the only value that matters”). Principles and values are more important than
political theory like utilitarianism. While the topics are different, I will reward for
invoking values other than the usual rights, harms and fairness.
• Assume that the reader does not agree with you, but she is thoughtful,
informed, and willing to change her view in light of sound reasoning. Just
stating how you feel will not change her mind.
• Don’t try to settle everything; don’t try to answer every part of a prompt.
These are big issues. Perhaps you want to really get some part of the consent
debate. Say so in your brief introduction, which you will use to make a
“contract with the reader,” so the reader knows what to expect.
• Use other people’s work as a starting point. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
• A thesis sentence is a good idea. A thesis sentence is not “First I will examine
arguments, then…” A thesis sentence is of the form, “We should revoke the
• There is no firm rule about the number of quotes, but there is such a thing as
over-quoting. A few apt quotes are needed (2-4?). Advice: Quote material
you want to discuss or use somehow.
IMPORTANT: Here are some links of resources, and I have attached more resources, please read and refer them in the essay, but you do not need to refer all of them, only choose the ones you think is important and relevant to your essay.