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Critically discuss Suicide & Assisted Dying in terms of the four philosophical foundations of the module: its ontology, its epistemology, its ethics, and its aesthetics.

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Critically discuss Suicide & Assisted Dying in terms of the four philosophical foundations of the module: its ontology, its epistemology, its ethics, and its aesthetics.

Ontology, which concerns basic questions of definition such as ‘What is crime?’ and more specific inquiries into the causes of crime and criminal behaviour.

Epistemology, which concerns how crime is researched and measured and the scientific status of criminological research.

Ethics, which concerns moral questions of how criminal behaviour and criminals should or ought to be treated by society and by the criminal justice system.

Aesthetics, which concerns how crime is visually and linguistically represented in art and in popular culture (for example, in paintings, poetry, novels, advertisements and films).

Useful references:
• Aquinas, St. Thomas, 1273, Summa Theologica, in Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Anton Pegis (ed.), New York: Random House, 1945.
• Aristotle, c. 330 BCE, Nicomachean Ethics, Roger Crisp (trans.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
• Beauchamp, T. and A. Davidson, 1979, “The Definition of Euthanasia”, The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 4: 294–312.
• Bernat, J., B. Gert, and R. Mognielnicki, 1993, “Patient Refusal of Hydration and Nutrition: An Alternative to Physician Assisted Suicide or Voluntary Euthanasia”, Archives of Internal Medicine, 153: 2723–2728.
• Biggar, N., 2004, Aiming to Kill: The Ethics of Suicide and Euthanasia, London: Darton, Longman and Todd.
• Cicero, 45 BCE, De Finibus, H. Rackham (trans.), London: William Heinemann, 1914.
• Hume, D., 1783, Of Suicide, New York: Penguin, 2005. [Available online].
• Kant, I., 1785, Metaphysics of Morals, M. Gregor (trans.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
• Locke, J., 1690, Second Treatise of Civil Government in Locke’s Two Treatises of Government, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1960.
• Plato, c. 340 BCE, Phaedo, David Gallop (trans.), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1975.
• –––, c. 340 BCE, Laws, 2 vols., R.G. Bury (trans.), New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1926.
• Seneca, c. 60 CE, “On the Proper Time to Slip the Cable,” L. Annaei Senecae Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales, L.D. Reynolds (ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965.
• Walsh, A. (2015) Criminological Theory: Assessing Philosophical Assumptions. London: Routledge. Chapters 8-9
• Philosophy, crime, and criminology
Book by Bruce A. Arrigo; Christopher R. Williams c2006
Chapter 5
• Criminological theory: an analysis of its underlying assumptions
Book by Werner J. Einstadter; Stuart Henry 2006
• Criminological theory: assessing philosophical assumptions
Book by Anthony Walsh 2014

Marking Scheme
A - Answer the question
You must address all parts of the set question in a coherent, efficient and convincing way. It is worth referring to the set question when drafting your assignment. It is also important to ‘signpost’ your answers to the question in the text. This means that you should guide the reader to the theme of each paragraph and how this is relevant to the overall essay question. Make it clear to the reader what you want to achieve in each and every paragraph. Be mindful of the overall narrative. Think on the themes of the paragraphs and how they best might be ordered to convey your message to the reader. Avoid long, run-on, sentences, spelling errors and contractions. Always check your work for clarity. 

C - Critique and evaluate
Perform an objective analysis. A strong piece of work does not just describe or present information, but shows knowledge that research has limitations. No source of evidence is perfect and you should try to acknowledge both strengths and weaknesses to position your arguments. Tips: Present the evidence in context: 
i) What did the cited piece of evidence set out to demonstrate? ii) How did they do this? iii) What did they find? iv) Why should we trust this evidence? v) Any particular issues? It is rare that an essay will be an advocacy piece of writing where you will be asked to ‘win’ an argument. Therefore you will not‘lose’ any marks for showing awareness of weaknesses in the evidence raised. 

E - Explore the wider literature
The best assignments show independence on behalf of the author. Reading beyond the lecture materials shows you can find the best evidence to support the particular argument. To best critique and evaluate evidence quality, it is essential to read the primary sources of information (not just secondary citations of evidence, such as in textbooks). This allows a better understanding of how this evidence was obtained. Importantly, this involves an understanding of the hierarchy of evidence. Avoiding poor quality sources and citing more good quality sources are essential to good academic practice. Here, citation and referencing practice is also considered. Avoid over-quoting (quoting large chunks of text from another source).


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