Paper #2

Due date: April 9, handed in electronically by 11:59 pm Central Time.


Paper topics

Topic A. Westlund and Nozick.

Briefly summarize Nozick's view of romantic love in terms of the formation of a "we". Then discuss how Westlund's view builds on Nozick's, and the ways in which it differs from Nozick's. For each of the differences you identify, try to give the best original argument you can for which of the two is right. For at least one of these arguments, you should discuss how the other author, you think, would respond to the argument.

Topic B. Marriage and unconditionality of love

Make the best case you can for the idea that permanent marriage vows make no sense, are wrong, or are ill-advised (choose one of these three options), without simply re-using one of the arguments Martin considers (you can take one of the arguments he considers and build on it, though). Then, discuss how you think Martin could best respond to the argument. In the end, which side in the debate that your paper engages in has the stronger argument, and why? 

Topic C. What is marriage good for?††

Our society has an institution of marriage.Why might one think this institution is a good thing?What might one think the institution of marriage is good for?(Use at least two of the readings we did for class.)Do you agree?Why or why not?What do you think should be the point of the institution of marriage as distinguished from other kinds of relationships?Or do you think that it is an institution that by and large we should get rid of? Make sure you argue for your view and connect it with philosophical readings on love.

Topic D. Expectation, Intention, Contract and Covenant (Not easy, but interesting)

The lecturer has distinguished these four concepts in class.  Explain the distinctions.  Are the four concepts indeed distinct?  What sorts of logical connections are there between them?  (Does an intention always involve an expectation?  Does a contract or a covenant always involve an intention?)  Which of these might be involved in "committed" non-marital live-in relationships?  Which of these might be involved in marriage?  Do these considerations allow you to distinguish committed non-marital live-in relationships from marriage?  Does this shed any light on the question of the moral preferability of one over the other relationship?  What do any of these have to do with love? (Feel free to draw on Scruton's article, but remember that Scruton uses different terminology.)

Topic E. Premarital sex

Carefully summarize one of the arguments by May or Punzo against premarital sex, making clear all the assumptions in the argument. Next, offer the most powerful objection you can to this argument. Then do your best to respond on May or Punzo's behalf to the objection. Which side in the argument wins?

Topic F. The bachelorís argument

Carefully summarize Mollerís bachelor argument.Then offer your best two objections against the argument, and discuss how Moller could respond to them.Which side wins the argument?