Ethics and Regulation.

2,000 words + referencesDeontological tips: laws and regulationsEitherCite specific laws and regulations “word for word”.Reference the legislation, the section and the page number.All this means is – convince the marker that you have read and understood the relevant laws, rules or regulations. Or,Find a source that explains the law, regulation or code.But then have the wisdom and humility and honesty to tell the marker that you are relying upon another source to explain the technical detail.•uses
threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour,
or•displays any writing, sign or other
visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,••within the hearing or sight of a person
likely to be caused harassment, alarm or
distress thereby.(1) A person (A) harasses another (B) if— (a) A engages in unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, and (b) the conduct has the purpose or effect of— (i) violating B’s dignity, or (ii) creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for B.9.2 Articles of Governance “academic staff of the University have freedom within the law to question and test received wisdom, and to put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions, without placing themselves in jeopardy of losing their jobs or any privileges they may have at the University.”Specific requirements, please refer to the WORD document, and PPT within the specific requirements
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Lecture 6: my concerns about the coursework
Key issues covered
Non attendance and non interaction
Writing a classic “for and against” essay is unlikely to achieve strong marks
You might drift too far away from the module teaching
Please read the coursework briefing notes in the module guide
A message to Chinese Students about academic freedom and protection
Use subheadings for clarity and structure
Should I use one theory or several?
Referencing theory
Have a section entitled: a demonstration of weak form existential self-reflexivity
Use the theory taught in the module to analyse the case.
Simple ways of pulling your mark up
Possible topics
Fairness and Equality
You might need to cover a key issue that we haven’t covered in the module
Finding a super “useful” article or source
You might find it helpful to analyse a specific case and not an abstract idea
A possible structure if you are really worried about the essay
Non attendance and non interaction
We have covered a lot of technical issues in the module. I am concerned that students who
have not come to all the lectures and seminars might have underestimated how much
technical awareness will be required to gain the higher marks.
Writing a classic “for and against” essay is unlikely
to achieve strong marks
I am concerned that many students are going to think “oh, all I have to do is write a standard
essay on an ethical topic”.
I am concerned that such an approach will lead to lower marks than students are hoping for.
You must demonstrate a strong interaction with the theories taught in the module to do well.
It is the application of theory to the case under review and the critique of theory as
applied that matters. We are NOT INTERESTED in a regurgitation of text book theory!
Be careful not to drift too far away from the module
teaching
I am concerned that some students (especially those who have not come to all the lecture
and seminars) will attempt to “game” the essay by writing a standard essay on a topic that
interest them.
All I can say here is that to get a good mark: you must demonstrate a clear ability to use
the theory taught in the module and in the set text books!
You need to demonstrate that you can apply this theory to analyse the question or
case that you have chosen to analyse.
Please read the coursework briefing in full
Please ensure that you have read all the briefing notes on the coursework included in the
module guide. This covers
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Notes on referencing
Tips on style
Incorporating definitions
How we mark the essay
General comments
To Chinese students
In the UK you can enjoy “free speech” within the bounds of UK law.
Unless UK law forces us to disclose information with regard to
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safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults
terrorism
any other matter covered by UK law
We will never show your coursework to the Chinese authorities.
You are safe to express your opinion without fear of harassment from the Chinese
authorities in this country.
Use subheadings for clarity and structure
Please use subheadings to structure your essay. This will help your understand and
communicate the flow of your argument.
Should I use one theory or several?
Until you start writing I think it is impossible to work out if you should concentrate upon one
theory, or use several. However, regardless of whether you concentrate upon one theory, or
use several, I think every essay needs:
1. a laws and regulations section, and
2. a demonstration of weak form existential self-reflexivity section
1. I think that every essay must refer to the laws and regulations that are associated with
the case under discussion. This is because law and regulation is so important that if you fail
to talk about it, you are missing out a massive component of a standard piece of ethical
analysis. You will need to use the internet to find what key laws and regulations are most
relevant to your case. Reference them carefully. However, this does not mean that you have
to concentrate upon a deontological argument for all of your essay.
2. I think that every essay needs a section entitled “a demonstration of weak form
existential self-reflexivity”. This is explained below. However, this does not mean that
every essay has to be written from an existential perspective.
Finally, if you structure your essay like a standard A’ level essay using a FOR and AGAINST
argument, be very careful. If you take this approach you are using a version of teleological
ethics. If this is the case you must explain so, and recognise the limitations and weaknesses
of this approach.
Referencing theory
Remember to read through the Ethical Theory Pack to understand the basic theory.
However, it is not good practice to reference this pack.
The easiest way to demonstrate good referencing practice is to get a text book you like eg.
Fryer and reference the theory from this text. Use page numbers to increase the authenticity
of your referencing.
Have a section entitled: a demonstration of weak
form existential self-reflexivity
I think that every essay needs a subsection entitled: “A demonstration of weak form
existential self-reflexivity”.
In this section you should explain how your background and beliefs might be impacting
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your choice of subject
your choice of theories and sources
your use of theories and sources
the overall conclusion that you have reached.
The Existential seminar has many valuable materials to help you write this section. I cannot
stress how important this section is to include. In my opinion, this is a fairly “easy” section to
write but is capable of conveying expctionally sophisticated thought at the same time.
If you are “turned off” by ethics and “feel nothing” then it would be appropriate to discuss this.
Feeling nothing might have as much an impact upon your writing than if you feel strongly
about something!
If you are basing your essay upon another piece of work that you have done in the past, or
are adopting a style of another piece of work that you feel confident about, you need to
explain this and realise the strengths and weaknesses of this approach.
You will not lose marks for holding opinions or views that are different from the
markers. However, you will not gain the higher marks if you are unable to express why you
feel the way that you feel about something.
Use the theory taught in the module to analyse the
case.
The key to doing well is to explain the case in a way that allows you to analyse it using
theoretical ideas taught in the module.
I have several concerns.
1. I am concerned that some students who have not come to the lectures or bought the set
text book will not realise how sophisticated and intricate much of the theory is. You must
demonstrate that you understand the theory taught in the module to do well. This will
involve active reading and quality referencing of sources.
2. I am concerned that some students will read about the theory but struggle to link it to the
case under discussion. The key to getting a good mark is to use the theory to analyse the
case. It is vital to work hard on connecting the theory with the case. You will get very low
marks if all you do is quote theory but do not apply it.
3. I am also concerned that some students will read this briefing and think “I must put loads
of theory in”. Some students might put so much theory in that they fail to construct a clear
and flowing argument. Concentrate upon creating a clear flowing argument. This might mean
that you cannot put as much theoretical discussion in as you would like to. If you have spent
loads of time learning about the theory be confident to adopt a “less is more” approach. If
this is the case and you are desperate to add theoretical discussion: use footnotes – these
are not included in the word count.
Simple ways of pulling your mark up
1. An easy way to look intelligent is to criticise your own work. Demonstrate the:
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weaknesses
biases, and
omissions
in your essay. Strangely this is likely to lift your mark rather than reduce it!
A simple way of doing this is to have a section entitled “limitations”.
2. Convince the marker that you understand what ethical perspective you are arguing from at
any particular point in the essay.
3. Show sensitivity to
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different viewpoints
subtle differences within a viewpoint
how your feelings might influence your analysis, discussion and conclusion
4. Do not disguise other writers influence on your essay. If you want to stay close to another
source:
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introduce the source
include the quote “in inverted commas”
comment critically upon the quote
5. If you want to paraphrase a source, think very carefully why you want to do this. Do not
use paraphrasing as a way of disguising another person’s thoughts as your own.
6. If you do paraphrase other sources reference the source in EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE
you use the paraphrased source. Leave the marker in no doubt where it is the source
speaking! This means that you may reference a source lots of times.
5. If you are applying theory yourself, make sure the marker knows that it is your analysis.
Do not assume the marker will realise it is your analysis. When students start using other
sources without referencing them fully it becomes increasingly difficult to work out when a
source is speaking and when a student is speaking.
Possible topics
Please note @EthicsAndGlory has helpful links and resources for many of these suggested
topics. To search the feed use the Twitter search box within Twitter (not Google) and search
“@ethicsandglory” and also “key word”.
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Should the sale of tobacco be a legal business activity?
Should the sale of soft drugs be a legal business activity?
Should betting be a legal business activity?
Should the sale of ‘unhealthy drinks and food’ be a legal business activity?
Should the sale of alcohol be a legal business activity?
Should prostitution be a legal business activity?
Should the sale of Higher Education be a legal business activity?
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Should lady tennis players be paid the same prize money as male tennis players?
Should lady footballers be paid the same wages as male footballers?
How should Premier league footballers be paid?
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Should Directors is large companies receive large bonuses if employees do not
receive even an inflationary pay rise?
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Should supermarkets be allowed to give away out of date food to homeless people?
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How should an employer react to a heavily tattooed interview candidate?
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Should the Chinese government allow Google and Facebook in China
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Should a mental health charity accept large donations from an alcoholic drinks
manufacturer?
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Should large technology and social media brands (eg. Apple, Google and Facebook)
release confidential data on customers when requested by a democratically elected
Government?
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Should large social media brands be regulated in the way that they filter “news
content” to users?
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“Uber push regulatory boundaries”. Is this the case and is Uber’s approach to
regulation ethical?
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You can’t expand overseas without a little bit of bribery! Is there an argument to
justify Rolls Royce’s alleged use of consultants and facilitation payments in overseas
markets?
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Was it the correct decision to sack Sam Allardyce as the England football manger?
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I can’t see what all the fuss at Sports Direct was about. Zero hours contracts are
legal and Sports Direct should be allowed to sue them.
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Should large multinational companies seek actively to reduce their tax burdens in
high tax jurisdictions?
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Is “money the root of all evil”? (PS: this is a misquote….the actual quote is “the love
of money is the root of many kinds of evil.)
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Is there any time when it would be admissible for a Director to lie?
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A critical discussion of the following image:
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What can we learn from an analysis of the transcript of Mike Ashley’s Commons
Select Committee hearing into Working practices at the Sports Direct warehouse at
Shirebrook?
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Why is there a link between those who risk committing adultery and firms that breach
SEC regulation?
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Was Martin Luther right about Aristotle?
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Should large pharmaceutical companies actively pursue an agenda of accessible
pricing in poorer countries?
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What did Paul McCartney mean when he said “John & I literally used to sit down and
say, ‘Now, let’s write a swimming pool.”
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Is Capitalism “the belief that the nastiest of motives of the nastiest men somehow or
other work for the best?”
Fairness and Equality
Some coursework questions might refer to the notions of fairness or equality.
Be very careful if you use any of these words! If you use these words you need to define
what you mean by fairness or equality.
If you do use these concepts you might want to consider using John Rawl’s Social Contract
theory – which is outlined in the Ethical Theory Pack and summarised in these briefing notes.
Rawl’s understands justice (ie. the application of what is right) to be fairness. Set out below
is a brief summary of Rawls
Rawls and fairness: is one way of looking at fairness
One way of looking at fairness is to use John Rawl’s social contract approach. He defines
justice as fairness under the following two principles.
First Principle of justice as fairness: Each person has the same indefeasible claim to a
fully adequate scheme of equal basic liberties, which scheme is compatible with the same
scheme of liberties for all;
Second Principle of justice as fairness: Social and economic inequalities are to satisfy
two conditions:
a. They are to be attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions
of fair equality of opportunity;
b. They are to be to the greatest benefit of the least-advantaged members of
society (the difference principle).
Sourced from: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rawls/
Fair
Rawls is not the only ethicist who has consider the notion of fairness. Here is one way of
defining and beginning to discuss what fair means.
The dictionary definition of Fair is: without cheating, distorting, or trying to achieve unjust
advantage.
Here are some reflections on some other matters connected to the notion of fairness.
If cheating can exist – then there must be some benchmark that governs what is cheating.
In Corporate Governance fair often means “representing the performance of the company
without distorting the representation. The rules that govern this representation are
accounting rules”.
In the Chaired Groups fair typically means “representing the discussion of the group without
distortion”.
If distortion can exist – then there must be an undistorted (or fair) way of representing
something (‘the original’). There are several ways that philosophers argue we can know that
a representation is fair. A representation is fair if:
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it corresponds with the original (a correspondence theory of the truth)
a consensus of people accept the representation of the original (a
consensus theory of truth)
the representation maintains the usefulness of the original (a
pragmatic theory of truth)
If something can be unjust then justice must exist. Justice is the administration of that which
is right and good. Again we need to know what right and good before we can assess
whether something is just or unjust, fair or unfair.
The connection between fair and equal
Note. Many people use the word fair to mean equal. When this is the case, the “rules” that
govern fairness are assumed to be based upon some form of equality. There are two main
forms of equality:
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Equality of opportunity
Equality of distribution of benefits
Note. The word fair gets used a lot in common conversation. If you choose to use the word
fair in an ethics essay it is advisable to explain what you are assuming is fair.
Further reading on equality: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/equality/
You might need to cover a key issue that we haven’t
covered in the module
Having talked to several students about their choice of topic I am beginning to notice that
students are often not realising that there are “issues” within their question that they are not
spotting. Let me explain.
One student wanted to look at “should lady tennis players be paid the same as men”? A key
issue here is that a lot of the money tennis players receive is prize money, not wages.
Because they receive prize money, employment law has little relevance to this topic. This is
a key point, and an essay that did not realise this would be a lot weaker than one that did.
Another student wanted to look at “should International students pay the same fees as home
students”? There are several major issues here. For example:
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the notion of free markets
national protection of home markets
the UK government regulation of university fees
It would be important for a student to demonstrate an awareness of these issues if they
chose to look at this topic.
However, regardless of whatever “issues” might be in your question – you must
demonstrate a clear ability to use the theory taught in the module and in the set text
books!
Finding a super “useful” article or source
I am concerned that some students might find a really “useful” article or source about their
topic and rely heavily upon this source.
1. Markers want to be convinced that you have learnt about the theory taught in the module.
If markers start reading about wonderful theories not included in the module then they will
almost always assume that you have “grabbed” these from another source. If an essay relies
upon such “grabbed” sources and demonstrates little interaction with the theories taught:
you will receive a low mark. We are not interested in students “copying” “copying and
disguising” “selectively borrowing” from other people’s analysis. We are interested in
students using the following theories to analyse the case:
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teleological ethics
deontological ethics
existential ethics
virtue ethics
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John Rawl’s social contract theory
perhaps Rights Theory – even though it is not taught but links so strongly to much of
the above
2. You can use other articles and sources that discuss your case from an ethical perspective,
but you must
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Acknowledge every time you use such a source, by using a full reference. This
means that you might reference a key source lots of times in an essay.
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If you keep relying upon a key source then I think that you should try to explain
what ethical perspective your key source is using. If you do not know what
perspective a source is using: say so. We would rather a student admit that they
cannot understand the perspective another source is adopting, than naively “use it”
without realising that the source will carry implicit ethical assumptions within its
arguments.
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You are allowed, even encouraged, to criticise any source you use. Just
because you have found a “helpful” article does not mean it is perfect. An easy way
to criticise a key article is to (i) demonstrate its limitations and (ii) expose its “hidden”
ethical assumptions.
You might find it helpful to analyse a specific case
and not an abstract idea
Consider if your question is phrased in the abstract or around an empirical case. Empirical
means “you can touch it and feel it with your senses”.
You might find it helpful to analyse a specific case and not an abstract idea.
eg. You might find it more helpful asking the question: “Was Sir Martin Sorrell paid too much,
when he received £70 million as CEO of WPP in 2015” than asking “Is it ethical to pay CEOs
in millions?”
eg. Here is another empirical framing. I have made up the situation. “A 25 year old lady who
works full time falls pregnant. She is suffering from “morning sickness” and is struggling to
be polite and cheerful at work. Sometimes she finds it hard to focus on her work tasks.
She works for a small company that is struggling to maintain p …
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