Price gouging

Paper instructions:
PHIL 205 Summer pre-session 2016 final paper assignment

Guide

In this writing assignment, you are to address the following questions:

What precisely is price gouging, and what are some common reasons for thinking that it is morally objectionable, and reflects poorly on the character of the price gouger? How does Zwolinski respond to those reasons? Does that response succeed?

Your paper should have six paragraphs.

In your first paragraph, introduce the topic and the plan of your paper, and say precisely what price gouging is (use Zwolinski’s definition). This first paragraph should be very short.

In the second paragraph, carefully explain two reasons why someone might think that price gouging is morally objectionable.

In the third paragraph, carefully explain one reason why someone might think that price gouging reflects poorly on the character of the price gouger.

In the fourth and fifth paragraphs, explain Zwolinski’s responses to the reasons you gave in your second and third paragraphs.

In the final paragraph, say whether you think Zwolinski’s responses succeed—has he successfully defended price gouging? Explain why you have come to that conclusion.

Do:

Explain arguments step-by-step.
Use simple language.
Ask yourself “why?” for every sentence you write, and make sure the reason is clear to your reader.
Don’t:

State different reasons without explaining them.
Use fancy language.
Remember that your task is to explain things in your own words. You may use quotations, but you must explain what they say too. Most of the paper should be your own writing, not long blocks of quoted text.

If this is the first time you have written a philosophy paper, you may benefit from this guidance.

Formatting

Your paper will be in a 12-point font (preferably Times New Roman).
Your paper will have 1 inch margins on all sides.
Your paper will be double-spaced.
The paper size can be A4 or letter paper.
PDF format is preferred. DOCX or ODT are acceptable.
Upload your paper to the dropbox before the deadline given on the syllabus.
Your paper should be two or three pages long (maximum three pages, not including your bibliography if you have one).
Use any standard citation/references scheme you like, so long as you use it consistently and correctly.
Grading

The purpose of this assignment is for you to be able to carefully explain the ideas in Zwolinski’s paper. In a short pre-session course, I do not expect you to have developed complex ideas of your own about price gouging. It is more important that you can understand and explain the steps of Zwolinski’s arguments.

Your paper will be graded out of 20 points, broken down as follows:

3 points for grammar, spelling and punctuation. Proofread your paper carefully!
3 points for sentence, paragraph and overall essay structure. Carefully plan your essay before you write it.
4 points for the quality of your explanation of why someone might argue that price gouging is morally objectionable. Is it clear to the reader how someone would argue?
2 points for the quality of your explanation of why someone might argue that price gouging reflects poorly on the price gouger’s character. Is it clear to the reader how and why someone would argue like that?
6 points for the quality of your explanation of Zwolinski’s responses to these arguments. Do you make a strong case on his behalf?
2 points for the plausibility of your concluding position on whether Zwolinski has succeeded. Is it clear what you think, and have you developed the reasons why you think that?
Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions about this assignment.

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