Length:  approximately 500-600 words   The questions for the essay:  If a pharmaceutical company created an extremely

Length:  approximately 500-600 words


The questions for the essay:  If a pharmaceutical company created an extremely effective vaccine for Covid-19 and refused to sell the vaccine for anything less than 10x what it cost to produce the vaccine, would it be morally wrong for the U.S. government to take the vaccine, compensate the company at level of 1.25x cost, and then distribute it throughout U.S. society?  What would Locke say about this?  Would doing so violate rights of self-ownership, undermine incentives, or be unfair?  Or would doing so be an appropriate response to human need?  And, do you agree with Lockes position?  Why or why not?


To prepare for writing the essay it is highly recommended that you do the assigned readings for this module and watch the lecture videos! Locke can be difficult to follow.  The lecture videos are likely to help you organize your interpretation of the readings. 


Your essay should be clearly organized in 5 paragraphs (see below) and contain no grammatical errors:

In your 1st paragraph briefly introduce your topic.

This paragraph can be very short, a few sentences in which introduce the topic of your essay and your main claims (i.e. regarding what Locke would say and whether you agree with this).  

Feel free to use the first person I in formulating your essay.  For example, In this short essay I will discuss and explain etc. 

In your 2nd paragraph describe Lockes account of the original acquisition of property.

Here be sure to describe how Locke thinks persons come to acquire initially acquire property, what restrictions this process must abide by, and what principles justify initial acquisition of property for Locke.  

In your 3rd paragraph apply Lockes account to the hypothetical case described in the essay question.   

Here be sure to say whether, according to Locke, the pharmaceutical company would have legitimately acquired property rights in the vaccine, and whether the U.S. government would violate rights of self-ownership, or undermine incentives, or act unfairly in taking the vaccine with compensation.  

In your 4th paragraph develop and defend your own position regarding the hypothetical case.  

Here be sure to clearly state our own view about the whether the U.S. government would act morally rightly in the hypothetical case. 

Also, be sure to defend your view, say why this taking would be right or wrong, etc.

And, be sure to situate your defense in relation to Lockes position.  Do you agree with aspects of Lockes position? Disagree? Why?

In your 5th paragraph briefly conclude. 

            This paragraph can be very brief, 1 or 2 sentences. 


Do NOT number your paragraphs or include the assignment questions in your answer.  Your assignment should read like an essay, with appropriate transitions between paragraphs.  For example, you may want to the second paragraph with:  So, lets first say describe Lockes account of the original acquisition of property.

Each paragraph of the assignment will count for a portion of the final grade, as follows:

1st paragraph 5%

2nd, 3rd, and 4th paragraphs 30% each

5th paragraph 5%

The assignment will be graded for:

Completeness:  Be sure to answer each aspect of the questions asked. 

Accuracy:  Be sure to accurately explain Marxs position. 

Organization:  Your essay follow the 5 paragraph structure outlined above.

Clarity:  Your ideas should be clearly expressed and the reader should be able to easily follow your train of thought.  Avoid convoluted sentences.  Write concisely.  

Grammar:  Your essay should contain no grammar or spelling mistakes.

Length:  The assignment should be at least 250 words long.  There will be no penalty for assignments that go longer than the suggested approximate word count.


References:   This is not a research paper.   Unless you use sources outside those posted on our D2L site, it is not necessary to include a separate reference or works cited page.     But, DO internally cite any direct quotes or closely paraphrased content from our course materials.  For the Chapter 5, Of Property, of Lockes Second Treatise of Government use (Locke, par. x) where par. stands for paragraph (the paragraphs are numbered in our text).  For the lecture videos use, for example, (Oberdick, 4.1, 3:20). 

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