ESSAY / DIALOGUE 1
For the essay / dialogue, choose a topic from the appropriate list, and write either an essay or a philosophical dialogue (in either case, 2,000 words in length) addressing that topic. (A philosophical dialogue is a fictional discussion between two people with opposing views on the topic at hand.)
Topics for Essay / Dialogue 1:
1. “‘Rules of war’ are a sentimental absurdity; once war begins, the gloves are off, and one should fight by any available means”. Discuss.
2. Choose either (1) the invasion of Iraq in 2003, or (2) the current war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Was/Is this a just war? Why or why not?
3. Is Just War Theory outdated in today’s world of ‘counter-insurgency operations’ and ‘the global war on terror’? Or does it still have relevance in guiding our moral thinking about armed conflict?
4. Could it ever be morally permissible to use strategic nuclear weapons? Is it morally permissible to stockpile strategic nuclear weapons (even if they are never used)?
5. “Pacifists are hypocrites and free-riders, who benefit from military defence without contributing to it”. Discuss.
6. “War is always morally wrong”. Discuss.
7. “Terrorism is morally legitimate in those cases in which it is the only realistic way of achieving a great good, or preventing a great evil”. Discuss.
8. How should the term ‘terrorism’ be defined?
• Each essay/dialogue should be 2,000 words in length (including quotations, but excluding the bibliography). It is acceptable to be within ±10% of the word limit.
• Each essay/dialogue should use a recognised system of referencing correctly and consistently, and should include (at the end) a reference list of all sources used.
Each essay or dialogue will be graded holistically by the extent to which it meets the following criteria:
1. It is logically-structured and well-written, and addresses the topic in a manner which is clear, concise, effective, and imaginative.
2. It demonstrates a critical grasp of the main arguments contained in the relevant literature.
3. It supports claims with good quality evidence and reasoning (such as the use of scholarly sources rather than poor-quality, non-peer-reviewed sources).
4. It makes adequate and consistent use of scholarly apparatus (such as notes, references, citations, bibliography).
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