PHL REFLECTION PAPER
That’s the link to the reading “the shallowest man’ by Woody Allen.
First Reflection Paper Assignment
Woody Allen’s “The Shallowest Man”
Even though there are good reasons why he is not the morally shallowest person in the story, Lenny Mendel does not engage in deep ethical reflection, especially after he visits the hospital and meets the nurse. The questions of whether it is right to use a dying man as a means to lure an engaged woman away from her fiancé and whether it is good to do so by deceiving both Iskowitz and Miss Hill in the process are moral considerations that seem worthy of deep ethical reflection. Such reflection–and the duties, virtues, motives, choices, intentions, and results it can enable —may empower us to overcome obstacles to moral growth and progress such as fear, being overly judgmental, selfishness, not judging, desire, low self-esteem, vice, and shallowness.
The topic is for you to judge whether intellectual moral growth and personal moral progress are important enough for you to engage in the sort of deep ethical reflection that Mendel did not, and to support why this is or is not the case. Like Mendel, you can try to avoid ethical reflection. The normative question of this paper is whether you should attempt to do so. Specifically identify what deep ethical reflection involves and requires and then support why it is or is not the case that intellectual moral growth and personal moral progress are important enough for you to engage in such demanding, complicated, and time-consuming reflection. What exactly are these forms of growth and progress, and why are they, or aren’t they, worth the time and effort they require?
Your purpose in writing this paper is to explore the thoughts, questions, confusions, and insights you have had throughout our discussions on the story in even greater depth. It is important that you share your thinking process with me, rather than simply the conclusions you reach as a result of this process. The issues you will grapple with are difficult but you will write a better paper if you allow yourself to become entangled in these difficulties rather than avoiding them. Your paper will not be judged on the basis of its results but rather on how thoroughly you respond to the topic, the seriousness with which you have read and considered the reading, how deeply you explore the ideas and questions raised in class, and how thoughtfully you support your position. It should not re-tell the story nor should it be a report on the story or its author. I am looking for your reflections on the story within the context of our ethical discussions about it.
Remember that this paper must be typed and should be at least three full pages in length. Please double-space and use 1” margins so that I can more easily share comments. Please use 12 font or smaller. You need only an original title and your name and date as headers on your paper. There is no need for additional space between paragraphs other than the one that double-spacing automatically provides. All paragraphs should be indented. You must follow the citation protocol as articulated on the plagiarism handout for all quotes. All quotes, including definitions and ones based on my words, must be quoted and cited, both in the body of the paper and in a work cited listing at the end.