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Spring Term Essay Questions

Optional Non-Assessed Essay

Deadline: please consult your seminar tutor.

The essay must be no more than 1500 words in length. It should be based on a range of sources, include full references for any passages cited or views attributed, as well as a bibliography. It should also be word-processed. In the treatment of your chosen topic, you should strive to present your thoughts by means of a coherent and sustained argument, backed by textual evidence whenever appropriate. Click here for guidance on essay writing.

Unless a special title is agreed with your seminar tutor, the essay title should be chosen from the following list:


1. ‘Democracy is not intrinsically just’ (Arneson). Discuss.

2. ‘The law can be legitimate even if it is unjust.’ Explain and evaluate this claim.

3. Is justice compatible with gender inequality?

4. What difference, if any, should the mother’s responsibility for getting pregnant make to the moral permissibility of abortion?

5. Is it morally permissible for a state to restrict inward immigration in order to preserve its national culture?

6. How can a war of self-defence be justified when the aggressing country wants merely to annex our territory?

7. Do the rights and duties of soldiers vary depending on whether the army of which they are a part had just cause to enter the conflict?

8. A non-human animal’s interest in continuing to live outweighs a human’s interest in eating meat. It follows that we ought to be vegetarians.’ Discuss.

9. Can future persons possess rights against their predecessors? If so, what sorts of rights are they?

10. Past generations that polluted the planet are now dead. Does this mean that their ancestors are off the hook with respect to bearing the costs of their pollution?