For this assignment you are going to critique the views of Allan Bloom in his paper, “The Closing of the American Mind.”

This is a kind of self conscious assignment in that it concerns not only the moral issue of Ethical Relativism (ER) but also your attitude regarding it.
Part of the assignment is to give a clear outline of ER and in general say what the evidence and grounds are in its favor. Be careful not to allow any one example dictate either your outline of the theory or (more importantly) your opinion on the matter–you may be able to feel liberal towards some other society’s beliefs in the rightness of not working on the Sabbath or of eating only Kosher food, but can you be as open minded towards the practice of female circumcision or male-only suffrage?
A second task of the assignment is to lay out Bloom’s view of the influence of ER on American culture. A paragraph will suffice especially if you plan to fix on and discuss only one particular claim of Bloom’s. Of course, that particular claim would then need to be described and explained as well.
There are two levels that you might aim your paper at:
i/ at Bloom’s implied criticism throughout the notion of ER itself which you may or may not agree with. Either way, you should be offering grounds for your view (not just opinions).
ii/ At Bloom’s view that America has indeed “bought into” the ER agenda and that it is not only mistaken in this, but is surely the worse off for it. Again, you may agree or disagree with his assessment of the American situation. How open to alternative views of “right” are Americans? To what extent, for example, does foreign policy reflect such openness? And what are the consequences for American itself and its relations with other countries, of accepting the liberalism of ER?
Do not confuse i/ and ii/ in your paper and deal with one or the other only. You need to restrict yourself in order to get to grips with one or the other topic.
Do be clear what your chosen topic is- -and stick to it. Say clearly in your introduction just what your topic is- -the reader shouldn’t need to guess. One way to do this would be to fix on one particular statement of Bloom’s (some claim you strongly object to or agree with) and use that as your theme.
There are faxes for this order.