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Likelihood of an applied ethics essay (AQA a level philosophy)?

Obviously can't predict questions but applied ethics hasn't come up before. A full essay on it feels quite mean though - to do it justice I feel like I'd need to include a discussion of all of the other 4 topics in the ethics unit (Kantianism, Aristotelianism, utilitarianism, and meta-ethics) which is a lot to cover in one essay. I've got a generic essay plan that would fit any of the specific ethics problems on the spec but is it worth preparing the full essay? Do you think we'd get it as an essay?
My teacher said it could be the first year it could come up 😭 hopefully not though
Reply 2
You absolutely do not have to do all 4 topics in one essay for applied ethics - 2 is fine.

See here:
https://alevelphilosophyandreligion.com/model-essay-plan-for-applied-ethics/
Original post by Libbyfx
Obviously can't predict questions but applied ethics hasn't come up before. A full essay on it feels quite mean though - to do it justice I feel like I'd need to include a discussion of all of the other 4 topics in the ethics unit (Kantianism, Aristotelianism, utilitarianism, and meta-ethics) which is a lot to cover in one essay. I've got a generic essay plan that would fit any of the specific ethics problems on the spec but is it worth preparing the full essay? Do you think we'd get it as an essay?

THERE BETTER NOT BE ISTG IT WOULDNT BE FAIR. my teacher is convinced one would not come up and hasn’t even mention anything about it becuase aqa people say it would be hard to do also i think you would just use a reg essay plain and then in the intro and maybe the first objection can be applied directly to the issue and the other objections can be indirect but it doesn’t matter? i don’t know how you would do an essay that includes 2 theories???? what would an essay plan that does that look like 😭
So it can’t come up right? Is it worth making 25 marker for . Also how’s everyone’s revision goinf
Reply 5
Original post by lovelyprincess16
So it can’t come up right? Is it worth making 25 marker for . Also how’s everyone’s revision goinf

It can come up - but it's nowhere near as hard as people seem to think. Just look at the advice about how to structure it on my website. It's not that different from a standard normative ethical theory 25 mark essay structure.
Original post by Joe312
It can come up - but it's nowhere near as hard as people seem to think. Just look at the advice about how to structure it on my website. It's not that different from a standard normative ethical theory 25 mark essay structure.

hey i was a bit confused about the nozick utilitarianism objection because on the section in you're website you argued that it was a weaker objection and can be overcome, but in the applied ethics section you said that it was one of the strongest objections. if i was writing a 25 marker on just utilitarianism, would you say to list it as a weak objection, writing about it at the start of the essay, or at the end of the essay as the strongest objection?
Reply 7
Original post by sienna09263
hey i was a bit confused about the nozick utilitarianism objection because on the section in you're website you argued that it was a weaker objection and can be overcome, but in the applied ethics section you said that it was one of the strongest objections. if i was writing a 25 marker on just utilitarianism, would you say to list it as a weak objection, writing about it at the start of the essay, or at the end of the essay as the strongest objection?

Sounds like you are getting weighting and evaluation mixed up.

The weighting of an objection refers to how strong or weak it is in comparison to other objections if it succeeds.

Nozick attacks a foundational premise of Utilitarianism. This makes it a more serious issue than the calculation issue, which only attacks Utilitarianism's practicality.

However evaluation refers to judging whether the objection actually succeeds or not.

So we could say Nozick makes a more serious objection than the calculation issue - but during evaluation we could still argue that the calculation issue is successful and Nozick unsuccessful.

This is the main thing that stops students getting above 19/25 - just using the same concept of 'strong/weak' to describe both weighting and evaluation.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Joe312
Sounds like you are getting weighting and evaluation mixed up.
The weighting of an objection refers to how strong or weak it is in comparison to other objections if it succeeds.
Nozick attacks a foundational premise of Utilitarianism. This makes it a more serious issue than the calculation issue, which only attacks Utilitarianism's practicality.
However evaluation refers to judging whether the objection actually succeeds or not.
So we could say Nozick makes a more serious objection than the calculation issue - but during evaluation we could still argue that the calculation issue is successful and Nozick unsuccessful.
This is the main thing that stops students getting above 19/25 - just using the same concept of 'strong/weak' to describe both weighting and evaluation.

omg thank you!!!!! this has helped me so much😭
Reply 9
Original post by sienna09263
omg thank you!!!!! this has helped me so much😭

Good! Weighting marks can also be gained by comparing the relative strength of theories. E.g. rule stronger then act - infallibilism seems stronger than standard JTB (though you might end up evaluating that it fails).

See the model essay plans on my website for examples of weighting points you can make - and see how they differ to the 'evaluation' section of a paragraph.
Original post by Libbyfx
Obviously can't predict questions but applied ethics hasn't come up before. A full essay on it feels quite mean though - to do it justice I feel like I'd need to include a discussion of all of the other 4 topics in the ethics unit (Kantianism, Aristotelianism, utilitarianism, and meta-ethics) which is a lot to cover in one essay. I've got a generic essay plan that would fit any of the specific ethics problems on the spec but is it worth preparing the full essay? Do you think we'd get it as an essay?

this would finish me off if it came up. im hoping and praying its utilitarianism since that hasnt come up since 2019, but aqa are evil so u never know ..
Reply 11
Original post by marleym56
this would finish me off if it came up. im hoping and praying its utilitarianism since that hasnt come up since 2019, but aqa are evil so u never know ..

But if they ask an applied ethics question you can basically use your utilitarianism essay and sprinkle in some application to the applied ethics issue!

AQA aren't evil they just make it impossible to predict what's going to come up. This means the best strategy is to learn an essay plan for every topic. Most of which you'll need for lower mark questions anyway! So just do that.
Original post by Libbyfx
Obviously can't predict questions but applied ethics hasn't come up before. A full essay on it feels quite mean though - to do it justice I feel like I'd need to include a discussion of all of the other 4 topics in the ethics unit (Kantianism, Aristotelianism, utilitarianism, and meta-ethics) which is a lot to cover in one essay. I've got a generic essay plan that would fit any of the specific ethics problems on the spec but is it worth preparing the full essay? Do you think we'd get it as an essay?

I think its likely as well, you'll be expected to cover two or three ethical theories. The safest bet is utilitarianism, Kantian deontology, and Aristotle. But I think doing a paragraph on a meta-ethical theory would make u stand out because most people would just completely ignore it (myself included). They could also ask you how a specific ethical theory applies to applied ethics.
Original post by joe312
But if they ask an applied ethics question you can basically use your utilitarianism essay and sprinkle in some application to the applied ethics issue!
AQA aren't evil they just make it impossible to predict what's going to come up. This means the best strategy is to learn an essay plan for every topic. Most of which you'll need for lower mark questions anyway! So just do that.

anyone involved with alevels is evil to me :frown:
but thanks for your advice its very helpful
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by Joe312
It can come up - but it's nowhere near as hard as people seem to think. Just look at the advice about how to structure it on my website. It's not that different from a standard normative ethical theory 25 mark essay structure.
If I wrote a really good meta ethics essay would I be able to apply that to all of the questions?would it be like ‘emotivism correctly demonstrates that lying is wrong as moral statements refer to subjective emotions’ and then evaluating emotivism?
Reply 15
Original post by Af13456893
If I wrote a really good meta ethics essay would I be able to apply that to all of the questions?would it be like ‘emotivism correctly demonstrates that lying is wrong as moral statements refer to subjective emotions’ and then evaluating emotivism?

If it's a general applied ethics question like 'is lying wrong? [25]' then yes.

But if it's specific you'll have to focus on the selected normative theory like 'how convincing is Kant applied to the issue of simulated killing? [25]'.

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