Introduction to Philosophy – Fall 2021

Happiness and Moral Virtue – Story and Essay: Assignment and Rubric

The Prompt:

First Part: Write a (very) short story of 200-400 words that illustrates someone developing the moral virtue of courage OR temperance.

Second Part: Write an essay of 600-900 words answering the following questions:

  1. What is a moral virtue according to Aristotle?
  2. How does Aristotle think we develop moral virtues?
  3. How does Aristotle define the virtue you have described in your story? What is it a meanbetween?
  4. How does your story illustrate Aristotle’s theory of moral virtue? Some questions to consider:
    1. What activities does the main character in your story perform to develop their chosen moral virtue?
    2. What roadblocks do they encounter in developing this moral virtue?
    3. Is the main character ultimately successful in developing this moral virtue?
    4. Does the main character become happier thanks to their attempt to develop a moral virtue?

Assignment Goals:

Completing this essay will help you work towards Goals 1-3 of the course, which are:

  1. To understand core concepts in philosophy.
  2. To read arguments.
  3. To write clearly.

Assignment Specifications:

  1. Due 10/7 by 11:59 PM.
  2. Late papers will be marked down 10 points every 24 hours that they are late.
  3. NO papers will be accepted after 10/10.
  4. Your papers are blind-reviewed. Do NOT place your name on your paper.
  5. You should upload your paper through Canvas.
  6. If you would like to discuss your paper, I can meet with you during my regular office hours (Th 2-3:30 in DM 341-D) or by appointment.
  7. Please include a “Works Cited” section for the second part of the assignment.

Rubric: This paper is worth 200 points out of the 1000 points for the course. I reserve the right to dock up to 5 points for papers significantly under or over the word length.

Below are the criteria by which your essay paper will be graded:

Short Story (20 points)Points
Your short story contains a main character who strives to develop the moral virtue of courage or temperance. There is a coherent narrative, and the story is sufficiently detailed.20
Your short story contains a main character who strives to develop the moral virtue of courage or temperance, but there is no coherent narrative, or the story is insufficiently detailed1-19
Your short story does not illustrate anyone developing the moral virtue of courage or temperance.0
Essay – Comprehension and Use of Evidence – Questions 1, 2, & 3 (80 points)Points
Your essay demonstrates that you have carefully read the Nicomachean Ethics because your presentation of the text accurately interprets Aristotle’s views. Furthermore, you quote from relevant parts of the text in support of your interpretation.80
Your essay demonstrates that you have read the Nicomachean Ethics because your presentation of the text accurately interprets Aristotle’s views. BUT you rarely or never quote from the text in support of your interpretation.35-79
Your essay does NOT accurately interpret Aristotle’s views.0-34
Essay – Story Analysis – Question 4 (60 points)Points
You analyze how the main character’s journey illustrates Aristotle’s theory of moral virtue. The analysis is clear and detailed.60
Your analysis is insufficiently detailed or lacks clarity.0-59
Essay – Organization (20 points)Points
The paragraphs of the essay build on one another. Each paragraph is on a focused topic and it is clear from the first sentence of each paragraph what the topic of the paragraph is. Further, the transitions from paragraph to paragraph are always clear.20
The paragraphs of the essay build on one another. BUT it is only clear until midway through some paragraphs what the focus of the paragraph is.10-19
The paragraphs of the essay build on one another. Each paragraph is on a focused topic and it is clear from the first sentence of each paragraph what the topic of the paragraph is. BUT the transitions from paragraph to paragraph are NOT always clear.10-19
The paragraphs of the essay do NOT build on each other. There is little to no logical progression to your argument.0-9
Spelling and Grammar (Overall) (20 points)Points
There are no spelling or grammatical errors.20
There are occasional spelling or grammatical errors.10-19
The paper contains many spelling or grammatical errors.0-9

Rubric

Happiness and Moral Virtue

CriteriaRatingsPts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeStoryThis component of the rubric evaluates the quality of your short story.20 to >19.0 ptsFull MarksYour short story contains a main character who strives to develop the moral virtue of courage or temperance. There is a coherent narrative, and the story is sufficiently detailed.19 to >0.0 ptsAverageYour short story contains a main character who strives to develop the moral virtue of courage or temperance, but there is no coherent narrative, or the story is insufficiently detailed0 ptsNo MarksYour short story does not illustrate anyone developing the moral virtue of courage or temperance.20 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEssay – Comprehension and Use of Evidence – Questions 1, 2, & 3This component of the rubric evaluates your interpretation of Aristotle and your ability to support your interpretation using textual evidence.80 to >79.0 ptsFull MarksYour essay demonstrates that you have carefully read the Nicomachean Ethics because your presentation of the text accurately interprets Aristotle’s views. Furthermore, you quote from relevant parts of the text in support of your interpretation.79 to >34.0 ptsInsufficient Textual EvidenceYour essay demonstrates that you have read the Nicomachean Ethics because your presentation of the text accurately interprets Aristotle’s views. BUT you rarely or never quote from the text in support of your interpretation.34 to >0 ptsInaccurate InterpretationYour essay does NOT accurately interpret Aristotle’s views.80 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEssay – Story Analysis – Question 4This component of the rubric evaluates the comprehensiveness of the analysis of your story.60 to >59.0 ptsFull MarksYou analyze how the main character’s journey illustrates Aristotle’s theory of moral virtue. The analysis is clear and detailed.59 to >0 ptsAverageYour analysis is insufficiently detailed or lacks clarity.60 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeEssay – OrganizationThis component of the rubric evaluates the clarity of your essay’s organization.20 to >19.0 ptsFull MarksThe paragraphs of the essay build on one another. Each paragraph is on a focused topic and it is clear from the first sentence of each paragraph what the topic of the paragraph is. Further, the transitions from paragraph to paragraph are always clear.19 ptsUnclear TransitionsThe paragraphs of the essay build on one another. Each paragraph is on a focused topic and it is clear from the first sentence of each paragraph what the topic of the paragraph is. BUT the transitions from paragraph to paragraph are NOT always clear.19 to >9.0 ptsUnfocused ParagraphsThe paragraphs of the essay build on one another. BUT it is only clear until midway through some paragraphs what the focus of the paragraph is.9 to >0 ptsLittle to No Logical ProgressionThe paragraphs of the essay do NOT build on each other. There is little to no logical progression to your argument.20 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSpelling and Grammar (Overall)This component of the rubric evaluates your spelling and grammar.20 to >19.0 ptsFull MarksThere are no spelling or grammatical errors.19 to >9.0 ptsOccasional ErrorsThere are occasional spelling or grammatical errors.9 to >0 ptsMany ErrorsThe paper contains many spelling or grammatical errors.20 pts
Total Points: 200

Please Use this book as a reference:Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book I, chapters 1-2 +4-5Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book I, chapters 7-9 + 13Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book II, chapters 1-8Links to an external site.Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book VIII, chapters 1-5 + Book IX 4, 8-9

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