ethical theories 2 1

For this second draft of your ethical theories analysis, you will address the critiques I gave you in your earlier draft and revise the assignment thoroughly. You will delve somewhat deeper than you did in the earlier draft–from approximately 500-700 words to approximately 750-1000.

You will also add a couple of other components:

  1. You will find a law or policy that is relevant to this case and determine where any policy vacuums might be present.
  2. You will add two new sources to address your analysis–the policy or law can be one of them. You might find another article on the same or a similar issue for the other, or theoretical work, or…you decide what would be needed.
  3. Be sure you include a conclusion that MUST include an overall assessment of whether or not the actions taken were ethical based on your analysis of the four frameworks AND propose a different policy/action if you decide it was not ethical. You CAN add your own opinion and whether it changed through the analysis, if you wish to.

Why this assignment?

This assignment assists you in understanding ethical theories and the processes of analyzing a case by applying the analysis to your case. It helps you to develop your critical insights regarding ethics in information technology systems and practices. And this second draft helps you to further your ability to communicate ethical issues and solutions more effectively. (Competencies 1, 2, 5)


You will create an overview of each of four ethical theories in relation to a particular case (as assigned in the 3.2 module), and assess the pros and cons of each theory in determining the ethics, and identify policy vacuums and any conceptual muddles.


Using the case that your house or group accessed in session 3.2, you will look at each of four ethical Frameworks, similarly to the way we did it in class on the ethical framework worksheet. You will look at deontology, utilitarianism, ethics of care, and Rawlsian justice. You will identify the factors at play: conceptual muddles, policy vacuums, or Faustian Bargains. For this draft, go into far greater depth on the policy vacuums.

Then for each framework you will look at the pros and cons of using the framework to determine the ethics related to the case. Describe which factors would be relevant to determining the ethical behavior in the case for each framework. For example if you are evaluating the case according to utilitarianism, what is the greatest good in this case? Or if you are looking at deontology, what is your duty? How do you best express that duty while keeping in mind the categorical imperative (both the part about universality and using people as a means to an end). What care might be associated with the case? And who might be the group of people that is the least well off in the case? These are the types of factors you should consider as you write.

The essay should be between 750 and 1000 words. APA formatted in-text citations and reference list. The actual paper should just be an easy to read font such as Georgia, Gill Sans, Minion, etc. 12 point and either single or double spaced is fine. Please don’t put your name on the main text of the document, though if you WANT to make a title page you can put it there (no title page required).

Note that students will be grading each other’s work on this essay.

You will turn this assignment in on canvas in the appropriate drop box. We will be grading it the next day in class.

This is the checklist/rubric by which we will be assessing the assignment–IT HAS CHANGED SLIGHTLY FROM THE FIRST RUBRIC:

Checklist/Rubric for Ethical Theories Assignment

Number of the paper assessed:_________

  • Discusses Conceptual Muddles, .25 pts.
  • Discusses Faustian Bargains, .25 pts.
  • Discusses Policy Vacuums, 1 pts. Includes a relevant policy/law and assesses policy vacuums in relation to that law/policy
    • Total out of 1.5 pts.______
  • Utilitarianism is discussed relative to the case, including:
    • Which “greatest good” has been identified as most relevant, .25 pts.
    • Determines that the case is ethical or not ethical using utilitarian framework .25 pts.
      • Total out of 0.5 pts.______
  • Deontology is discussed relative to the case, including:
    • Which “duty” has been identified as most relevant, .25 pts.
    • Discusses the categorical imperative, .5 pts.
    • Determines that the case is ethical or not ethical using deontology.
      • Total out of 0.75 pts.______
  • Ethics of care is discussed relative to the case, including:
    • What sort of care has been identified as most relevant, .25 pts.
    • Determines that the case is ethical or not ethical using ethics of care.
      • Total out of 0.75 pts.______
  • The Rawlsian justice framework is discussed relative to the case, including:
    • Which group or groups have been identified as most likely to be the “least well-off”, .25 pts.
    • Determines that the case is ethical or not ethical using the Rawlsian justice framework, .25 pts.
      • Total out of 0.5 pts.______
  • Includes a conclusion that assesses:
    • The overall morality of the action taken, given the analysis of the four frameworks.
    • If it is not ethical, then a proposal of how to amend or change the action/policy so it is ethical.
      • Total out of 0.5 pts.______
  • You must include 2 or more sources to discuss the ethics of this case, one of which can be the policy or law you discuss. 0.25 pts.
  • You must address the critiques I levied in your earlier paper 0.25 pts.
    • Total out of 0.5 pts.______

Length: Is the essay fewer than 750 words? Subtract 1 point for every 0-100 words fewer than 750 (650-749=Subtract 1; 500-549=subtract 2; 400-459=subtract 3; and so on). Subtract___________

Spelling, grammar, or syntax errors, subtract 0.25 pts for each over 4. (each person gets 4 “free” errors, then they “cost” 0.25 pts each) Subtract___________

Muddled writing? Take 1 pts off for any individual instance of writing too muddled or confusing to understand. This is a harsher penalty than in the earlier draft, as I expect it to be well-edited. Subtract___________

Total points earned out of 5: _____________

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