Company/Product Research

This paper must be no less than 1,000 words and should demonstrate a thorough awareness of the topic as well as the ability to engage in philosophical reasoning.

This paper requires you to do a small amount of outside research. Please be sure that you have competency with any material you include in your paper. In other words, you need to actually understand what it means, and be able to have a conversation about it. If there’s any question, I may reach out to you for a chat to help ensure that you do properly understand the material, since we won’t have covered it in class. In other words, if you don’t understand a source, don’t use it!

You must also be able to provide your instructor with copies of your sources if requested. All sources must include complete citations. Failure to cite your sources is academic misconduct and will result in a failure of the assignment (for more information, see the academic honesty section of the syllabus and the handout on academic misconduct and proper citations). If you have any doubts about whether your paper is properly cited, I am happy to look at it for you in advance of the due date.

The Assignment: For this assignment, you will choose a company or product that you patronize or purchase regularly (Note: due to oversaturation, you may NOT write on any of the following companies: Amazon, Publix, Chick-fil-a, or Nike). Do some research into this company or product, through the lens of consumer ethics. How are the workers involved treated? If it makes use of animals or animal products, how are they treated? Are there environmental impacts to be considered? If a company, does it affiliate itself with political causes that you agree or disagree with? Does the company or its CEOs contribute money to causes or organizations that you agree or disagree with? Are there other factors that make you favor or disfavor this company or product, from a consumer ethics perspective?

Part I – Explain the results of your research. Did you learn information about the company that surprised you? (In this section, you should simply describe the results of your research. It should be no more than 1/3 of your finished paper).

Part II – Given what you’ve learned, do you believe you have a moral responsibility to change your purchasing behavior with regard to this company or product? Explain why, appealing to at least one moral theory we have studied in this course. Be sure to back up your statements with moral principles and arguments. (In this section, you will be evaluated based on your ability to give a reasoned moral response to as aspect of your own behavior, given research. You must make reference to specific theorists and concepts we have studied in this course).

Part III – Construct a counterargument to your view. Using the principle of charity, explain why someone would disagree with your argument in Part II. (In this section, you will be evaluated based on your ability to understand and explain a view that opposes your own).

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