SCSU Summer A 2012 May 21, 2012 - Jun 24, 2012
Professor Pettigrew EN D212 x26778
PHI 120 01 Ethics
MTWR 10:15am -12:15pm EN B210
Phase II Written Assignment
Due: June 18, 2012
In this written assignment you are to discuss Kant's moral theory in the context of the war and genocide in Bosnia (1992-1995). Continue your reflections on the relation between dehumanization and genocide.
In the first part of the paper address the historical dimensions [e.g. the Ottoman Empire (the 1389 battle of Kosovo Polje), the Austro Hungarian Empire, and the Ustaša in WW II, etc.] that were manipulated by Milosevic in his speech at Kosovo Polje in order to provoke ethnic fear and hatred. Then provide details on the dehumanization and human suffering in Bosnia during the genocidal war (eg., the massacre of men and boys at Srebrenica in July 1995, the mass graves, the concentration camps, the targeting and shelling of civilians, etc,.) Incorporate relevant details in this regard from Elizabeth Neuffer's book, The Key to My Neighbor's House (including quotes with page numbers), details from the film Welcome to Sarajevo, as well as details from the Bosnia pages in our course-dedicated website. You are required to refer to three separate pages from the Bosnia pages of the website. For example, you could refer to the "Obstacles to Reconciliation" presentation and "Secondary Mass Grave" found on the Srebrenica page, and one of the "Klotjevac" pages, or you could refer to the "Višegrad" report, the "Sarajevo Tunnel", and the "National Library" pages. Finally, you are required to make reference to the documentary film: "The Geography of Genocide in Bosnia: Redeeming the Earth," presented in class.
In the second part of the paper lay the groundwork for discussing Kant's moral theory as the basis for a response to dehumanization and genocide. Focus on Kant's position that the possibility of a universal morals must be grounded in something that in its very existence has absolute worth, and that the human being as rational existence provides the ground of that absolute worth. Further, discuss the practical implication in the formulation of the practical imperative that requires of absolute necessity that we always treat others as ends in themselves and never merely simply as a means to an end. In the case of each of the points you are required to incorporate a direct quote from the text. You can locate these quotes in the reading guide (sentences #10, p. 45; #11, p. 45; and #12, p. 46), but you should also study each sentence in its specific context in the text.
In the conclusion of the paper discuss Kant's moral theory as a basis for the identification of the dehumanization of the Bosnian Muslims as such. Further, discuss Kant's theory as a basis from which to protect their sovereignty as autonomous rational beings who exist as ends in themselves. It is required that you address the two questions about in your conclusion. (For 1-5 points of extra credit, you can incorporate a discussion of the 1948 "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" in the concluding section: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/) The discussion of the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" is not to be added separately as an addendum or an appendix but must be woven into the conclusion of the paper as part of the discussion.
Your paper must have an introduction (including a topic sentence and sentences delineating the parts of the paper) and a conclusion. Your paper must be no less than four pages and no more than six pages, typed and double-spaced. I encourage you to ask questions about the assignment in class, meet with me in my office (by appointment) to discuss the paper, and/or to bring me a draft of your paper for review. Please be certain to include all the required references in your paper. If you are not clear about what this requirements means or what it entails please let me know. The required sources include, Elizabeth Neuffer's book, The Key to My Neighbor's House... (including quotes with page numbers); the film Welcome to Sarajevo; details from three separate pages in the Bosnia section of our course-dedicated website; the documentary film: "The Geography of Genocide in Bosnia: Redeeming the Earth"; and Kant's Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals.
Students are encouraged to bring first drafts of any of the papers to me for my review during office hours.