Aim: This task raises the bar for your learning. It asks you to use a higher
level of skills than the first reflection – synthesizing the aspects of a theory
into a short summary. As a result, the knowledge you gain will be richer and
Outcomes: You will perform higher-level philosophical skills, namely,
summarising and synthesizing organizing principles of ethics. By
concentrating the overall ideas into a short space, you also improve your
a memory of the material, the sharpness of your critical reconstructive skills,
and the depth of your understanding.
Length: 400 (min) to 500 (max) words. Skimping on words will be
regarded as incomplete.
Format: Clean and clear, but no set format other than Please use a
suitable referencing system; and present your writing as one united
text, not separate questions
A. Preparation: Practice each week (but do not submit)
Choose one approach to the source of morality that you have studied, i.e. one
of the theories about the source of morality that we have discussed and read
about in weeks 5 to 9. Think through – perhaps by discussion, writing notes, a
mind map, or diagram – the following prompts, and then compose your
answer to the second part further below.
1. What distinguishes the theory from other theories we’ve encountered?
(is it focused on ‘interior’ or ‘exterior’ states? Is it about intentions or
2. Think about the kind of evidence that the theory appeals to. What is
the fundamental insight really about? (e.g. is it about objectively
measurable facts & results, or subjective intuitions?)
3. What kinds of action or character do you think this theory promotes?
4. What sorts of words might you then choose to summarise the theory?
B. Writing: What you submit
1. Summarise the text in a single word. Yes – one word! Use this as the
title of your reflection.
2. Write 4-500 words explaining and defending the word that you have
chosen by following these steps:
a) By appealing to the main ideas of the theory in your own terms, explain
why you chose your word
b) Provide evidence from the Unit Readings, in the form
of precise quotation and explanation of that quotation, to demonstrate how
your word captures the philosophical ideas (precise = one or two short
phrases or sentences that demonstrate your point)
c) Use an example (from the lecture, reading or referenced source) that
aims to convince your reader that your interpretation is justified. (That is, your
chosen word is a reasonable summary and your explanation of the ethical
ideas authentically engage with the concern of the theory).