PHIL 224, Assignment 1, Value Map


This assignment is due Thursday, Sept. 29, 11:30 a.m., in class. It is worth 7 marks out of 100 for the course.

Late assignments will be accepted until Oct. 4 at 11:30, in class, but will receive a maximum of 5 marks.

After Oct. 4 at 11:30, assignments will not be accepted, except for documented reasons of illlness or family emergency.


Students will analyze an important issue in environmental ethics using value maps, a kind of cognitive-affective map.

Choose ONE of the three topics below.

Hand in a single page, two-sided, consisting of:

  1. Your last name, first name, student number.
  2. Title: topic question.
  3. Value map of the yes view.
  4. Value map of the no view.
  5. Discussion, 150-200 words, of the similarities and differences between the yes and no views. Provide a word count.
  6. Optional (no bonus marks): 50 words on the prospects for reconciling the yes and no views.


1. Is medical experimentation with non-human animals morally wrong? Yes or no?

2. Is the extinction of non-human animals morally wrong? Yes or no? NOTE: If you do this topic, the assignment MUST be handed in by Sept. 29.

3. Is the use of genetically modified organisms morally wrong? Yes or no?

Drawing Value Maps

Instructions for drawing cognitive-affective maps is available here, and will be provided in class Sept. 20.

Each map (maximum 1/2 page) must include:

  1. At least 5 positive concepts, represented by ovals.
  2. At least 5 negative concepts, represented by hexagons.
  3. At least 3 positive links between concepts, represented by straight lines.
  4. At least 2 negative links between concepts, represented by dotted lines.
  5. Color is optional: green circles and red hexagons.
  6. Recommended: include a node for the topic, e.g. MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION, ANIMAL EXTINCTION, GMO.

Tools for drawing value maps.

  1. EMPATHICA (requires a gmail account, but this will be the easiest.
  2. Any computer drawing program, e.g. Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, OmniGraffle, Illustrator, etc.
  3. Hand drawing - a stencil will help.


1. Pro-vegetarian value map

2. Anti-vegetarian value map


Each value map will be worth 2.5 marks.

The discussion will be worth 2 marks.

Phil 224

Paul Thagard

Computational Epistemology Laboratory.

This page updated Sept. 27, 2011