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PHIL 311 Syracuse University Professional Ethical Responsibility Essay


For the first paper, you will explore professional ethical responsibility, in terms of your profession’s code of ethics and the ethics for experts that we examine in class. That is, you will need to be able to articulate a defensible conception of ethical professional expertise (referencing key readings from class) and how it relates to your profession’s sense of ethical responsibility, drawing on a relevant professional code of ethics. 

For the focus of the essay, you should construct an argument in answer to the following question (set in the context of your own potential future profession: What should be required to be an ethical expert, especially in [insert potential future profession here]? 

To answer this question, you will at minimum need to do the following: 

1. Argue (giving supported reasons) that your future career can be identified as a profession. 

2. Summarize and explain the main focus of your profession’s code of ethics (supported through reference to specific provisions of that code). 

3. Argue to what extent you feel that your code of ethics provides an adequate basis for being an ethical expert. That is, to what extent is the code itself adequate, and to what extent is the code compatible with other criteria used to determine the ethical responsibility of an expert? To answer the first question, you need to engage with Davis’s argument and show examples of interpretation in your analysis. For the second, you should engage with either Hardwig or Elliot, or both. You can also explore other readings (from in class and from outside research) to compose your argument. Be sure to use relevant concepts in your analysis, including ideas like rational deference, trust, selfdetermination, and interpretative obedience. 

4. Employ specific kinds of reasons, like those from the “Basic Points about Argument” (e.g., hypothetical examples, analogies, definitions, appeals to authority, preemptive critiques), in order to strengthen your overall presentation. A strong argument will, at the very least, make appeals to appropriate authorities, employ a hypothetical example drawn from the specific work of your stated future profession, and address potential critiques of the position you take. 



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