Citation expectations:

It’s essential to use quotation marks or block indentation when you incorporate any language from any other source, including all AIS readings. This requirement also applies to a “deceptive” or “patchwork paraphrase” (changing or adding occasional words, but otherwise using the author’s core ideas and phraseology without attribution).

Click here for guidance from the University of Wisconsin on the difference between permissible and impermissible paraphrasing.

Click here for guidance from Harvard University on the kinds of “common knowledge” you are not required to quote or cite. If in doubt, it’s always prudent to include quotation marks and a citation.

Contact your AIS tutor if this instruction is unclear or if you have any questions.

Why are rules against plagiarism so important? AIS wants you to be successful.

Successful students:

[1] Learn how to think for themselves and express their own creative ideas (a critical capacity as routine work is computerized worldwide);

[2] Learn how to enrich and improve their own writing;

[3] Participate in collaborative scholarship by alerting readers to other sources of insight and information;

[4] Honor other writers and thinkers by giving them credit for their work.

Writing is a discipline critical to any profession. To learn how to be a disciplined writer (much as an athlete learns and perfects a physical skill) you must form disciplined writing habits.

No formal citations or “works cited” list required. Just be sure to identify the author in your answer, using appropriate quotation marks or block indentation as needed. You’ll find additional guidance about avoiding plagiarism here.

Please remember: our questions are designed to elicit your analysis and opinion. Be sure to explain your reasoning. When you use any excerpts, use short selections only.

Identity verification: Please be prepared to discuss these questions and your answers in person with a university administrator, upon request. Be sure to bring your university identification (photo ID) with you. Your university, not AIS, will make the final decision about seminar completion status.”

Here are your assigned readings (links to the readings are also provided in the question text):

[A Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan’s 1999 Harvard University Commencement speech (backup PDF here).

[B] Meditations of Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius.

[C] “Lincoln’s Great Depression” by Joshua Wolf Shenk

[D] Excerpts from the book An Anatomy of Life in the Death Camps by Terrence Des Pres (the focus is on what we can learn about human behavior and adaptation in the most extreme conditions).

Some tips on answering the questions:

1. Please make reference to the readings in your answers. We’ll want to see, for example, that you’ve given careful thought to Alan Greenspan’s views about the ”value added” characteristic of business ethics.
2. There are no length requirements, although high quality will be expected. Please print and keep a copy of your answers.

3. You are expected to complete these answers on your own. It is not acceptable to discuss your answers with other students.

4. Don’t forget to sign the pledge (at the end of the questions).

5. Read the example answers here.



1. Is it naive for business leaders to try to be honest?

Please pay particular attention to Alan Greenspan’s Harvard Commencement Speech. (backup PDF here).Provide a key quotation from the speech. You are not obligated to agree with any perspectives in Mr. Greenspan’s speech, but you are expected to consider the question with care; state a clear conclusion; and support your conclusion with convincing arguments.

2. Please read and think about this quotation:

“The mind is fickle and flighty, it flies after fancies and whatever it likes; it is difficult indeed to restrain. But it is a great good to control the mind; a mind self-controlled is a source of great joy.”

Buddha’s Teachings (Penguin Classics, p. 8).

Identify three strategies you use (or recommend) to strengthen self-control. This optional reading may give you some ideas:
An interview conducted with Roberto Assagioli by Sam Keen.

3. Please read Book One of the Meditations of Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius. Then write a concise statement of gratitude (400 words or less) identifying the ethical and intellectual debts you owe to family members, teachers, or friends. Fictitious names are permitted, but the statement of gratitude should be genuine.

4. First, please consider this list of failures and successes in the life of Abraham Lincoln. We’re suggesting that one of Lincoln’s greatest attributes was his ability to recover and learn from failure. The quality of
perseverance seemed especially useful to Lincoln as he struggled with “melancholy” (what might now be called depression)
Please read this related article by Joshua Wolf Shenk.

For Lincoln, learning how to persevere also meant learning how to adapt. Based on your reading of Shenk’s article, please identify three of Lincoln’s most successful adaptation strategies (skills, habits, or ways of thinking) that helped him use his struggle with depression to accomplish worthy goals.

5. The Declaration of Independence refers to the ”pursuit of happiness.” Should the word ”pleasure” be substituted for ”happiness”? Why/why not? Explain your answer.

6. Please read this decision by the Iowa Supreme Court in an attorney discipline case and answer these four questions:

[a] Should judges care if attorneys submit legal briefs or written motions that are plagiarized? Please explain your answer.

[b] Attorney Peter Cannon was punished by the court and by the attorney disciplinary board. Do you think these punishments (taken as a whole) were too lenient, too severe, or about right? Please explain your answer.

[c] The Iowa Supreme Court referred to another case involving attorney plagiarism (Iowa Supreme Court Board of Professional Ethics & Conduct v. Lane). In that case, the punishment for attorney Lane (suspension of his license to practice) was more severe than the punishment imposed on attorney Cannon. What distinction did the court make between these two cases? Do you agree with the court’s reasoning? Please explain your answer.

[d] The state of Florida requires “personal appearances before the [disciplinary] board for public reprimands for disciplined lawyers” [italics added]. Do you think this kind of public shaming is appropriate or too harsh? Please explain your answer.

7. What advice do you have for your fellow students about the best way to avoid committing an act of academic dishonesty?

8. Please review the assigned excerpts from An Anatomy of Life in the Death Camps by Terrence Des Pres. Kindly respond to this question:

“Does Terrence Des Pres think the human moral sense is an
idealistic illusion or an
evolutionary survival strategy?”

Please explain your answer, agreeing or disagreeing with Des Pres’ analysis. Cite at least one of the numbered paragraphs for support.

9. How is a good life defined, and what is your plan to achieve it? Please refer to the assigned readings (above) to support your answers.Citation expectations:

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