Discuss the legitimacy of positive law versus natural law.

Unit 8 Final Project: Opposing Views

Listen to (or read) the speeches by Martin Luther King and George Wallace concerning the issue of segregation and analyze the transcript of those speeches and then relate the views of philosophers or philosophical theories discussed during the term that relate to these speeches.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the following speech on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The text for this speech is available through the Kaplan Library.

King, J. (2009). I Have a Dream Speech. I Have A Dream (Primary Source Document), 1.

Audio Recording

Governor George Wallace delivered the following speech on January 14, 1963 during his inaugural address.

The text for this speech is available at the following website:

Source: Inaugural address of Governor George Wallace, which was delivered at the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama: ADAH Digital Collections. Retrieved from http://digital.archives.alabama.gov/cdm/singleitem/collection/voices/id/2952/rec/5

You can listen to the speech here:

Source: George Wallace’s 1963 Inaugural Speech January 14, 1962: Alabama Archives [Web video]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMDWov-kGcQ

After listening to and analyzing each speech, construct the opposing arguments Dr. King and George Wallace would be likely to make, based on their statements in the speeches, regarding each of the following five philosophical issues we have discussed in this class:.

  • the legitimacy of positive law versus natural law
  • a subject’s duty to obey the law
  • how law should or should not be used to promote the common good
  • harm to others principle as justification for his views
  • the role morality should play in determining the aims of law

Identify the statements in the speech that support your position. Justify your arguments by referencing the views of philosophers or philosophical theories discussed during the term. Supplement your discussion with material from two sources other than the textbook.

Your paper should be at least 1,000 words in length, exclusive of references.

In addition to fulfilling the specifics of the Assignment, a successful paper must also meet the following criteria:

  • Length of each summary should be at least 1,000 words excluding cover page and references.
  • Viewpoint and purpose should be clearly established and sustained.
  • Assignment should follow the conventions of Standard American English (correct grammar, punctuation, etc.).
  • Writing should be well ordered, logical and unified, as well as original and insightful.
  • Your work should display superior content, organization, style, and mechanics.
  • Appropriate citation style should be followed.

Submit your summary to the Dropbox by the end of Unit 8 in the basket titled Unit 8 Final Project.

Assignment Checklist

The checklist is a tool to help you evaluate whether you have met the goals of the Assignment. Take the time to review the checklist both before and after you have completed the Assignment. This will help you become familiar with your instructor’s expectations and provide you with direction in meeting the Assignment’s outcome.


Did you:

  1. Construct the opposing arguments Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s and George Wallace would likely have made regarding each of the five issues, supporting such arguments with statements in their speeches?
  2. Justify your arguments by referencing the views of philosophers or philosophical theories discussed during the term?
  3. Use internal citations in the body of the text as well as a proper list of references at the end of the paper, following APA format?
Type of paper Academic level Subject area
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