First Paper Assignment: Prompt 2
Though Nietzsche suggests that moral values are arbitrary, both Kant and Mill
disagree by showing moral values to be rooted in an innate human faculty, which is not
arbitrary. Kant and Mill do, however, disagr
Questions for Rachels, Psychological Egoism
Adopted from lists created by W.O. Stephens, PhD (Creighton University)
a.) Explain the theory of Psychological Egoism
b.) How do psychological egoists use the strategy of reinterpreting motives to explain
I will choose seven of the following questions, and you will be required to
provide responses to five of my selections. You will be given twenty-five
minutes in class. You will not need a blue book.
Introduction to Philosophy: Morals and Politics
First Paper Assignment
Provide a clear and concise response to one of the following questions in a 2-4 page paper (500-1000
1. In Happiness and Morality, Steven Cahn describes the case of Kate
Introduction to Philosophy: Morals and Politics
Final Paper Assignment
Provide a clear and concise response to one of the following prompts in a 4-6 page paper (1000-1500
1. Philosophical anarchists attempt to persuade us that we have no ob
I will choose seven of the following questions, and you will be required to provide
responses to five of my selections. You will be given 25 minutes in class. You will
not need a blue book.
Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals
Where do our evaluative concepts (good and evil)
What is the value of these values themselves?
According to Nietzsche, the earliest usages for the
evaluative concepts of good and ba
Questions for Mill, Utilitarianism
-In the General Remarks introducing the original text of Utilitarianism, Mill writes the
following: Though in science the particular truths precede the general theory, the
contrary might be expected to be the case with a
Mill's theory is a a species of a type of ethical theory called
Consequentialism: The view that the moral status of an
act is determined solely by its
What kinds of conseq
UTILITARIANISM (J. S. MILL)
Mills theory offers the following responses to the challenges we have seen to moral philosophy:
To the Challenge from Prudence: The end that we should have in mind when making our moral
decisions is the cultivation of happiness
Hobbes says our equality is based on physical and mental capabilities
-Locke says its a moral equality
-No one has a natural right to rule others
Hobbes says the Law of Nature commands us to treat each other well, but its a
prudential command, only
Reading questions for Kant, The
-According to Kant, there is only one thing that can be called good
without limitation. What is it?
-What does it mean to say that something is good without
-What does it mean to say that
Kant: Duty-based Ethics
There is no possibility of thinking of anything at all in the world, or
even out of it, which can be regarded as good without qualification,
except a good will.
What does it mean for something to be good without qualification?
Film Journal, Gone Baby Gone
At the beginning of the film, Patrick states, I always believed it
was the things you dont choose that make you who you are. Your
city. Your neighborhood. Your family. Do you agree with this?
Do you think Patricks view abou
Film Journal, V for Vendetta
Throughout the film V is described as a terrorist. In your view, is
this accurate? What is terrorism, and how does it differ from other
forms of rebellion?
In his first television broadcast, V states that there are probl
PHIL002: Introduction to PhilosophyMorals and Politics
Film Journal: A Clockwork Orange
As we watch the film this week, Id like you to consider some philosophical questions
and problems that it raises. Ive offered a few questions to complement each
What is Cultural Relativism?
Is Cultural Relativism true?
What can we learn from Cultural Relativism?
What is it?
Rough idea: There is no universal truth in ethics. There are only
customary practices specif
Questions for Rachels, The Challenge of
-What, according to Rachels, is the Cultural Differences Argument?
-Why does Rachels think that the Cultural Differences Argument
-Rachels gives three reasons that Cultural Relativism
Questions for Plato, Crito
-Why, according to Socrates, should we not be concerned the opinion of the majority
when it comes to moral issues?
-Why does Socrates think that he is obligated to obey the Athenian laws?
-Do you believe that Socrates would have
Two separate issues that Crito and
Socrates discuss, both pertaining to
whether or not Socrates should escape
*Whether the majority opinion should
matter in our decision making
*Whether it would be just for Socrates to
Questions for Cahn and Murphy, Happiness and
-How might Murphy attempt to convince Fred that he is not happy?
-Can the adulterous physician ever be truly happy?
Questions adopted from Cahn, Exploring Ethics, p. 69
Argument Paper Description
As indicated in the syllabus for our course, you may earn up to 3 extra percentage points
toward your final grade with the submission of an optional argument paper. These papers
do not need to be structured formal
Questions for Plato, Apology
-What are the formal charges against Socrates? (hint: these are the charges leveled
-What are the old charges that Socrates addresses? (hint: these are the charges
leveled by the old accusers)
-Socrates argues that
The Charges Against Socrates
2 sets of accusers:
1. The old accusers
2. More recent accusers (formal charges)
The Charges from the Old
1. Socrates busies himself studying things in the
sky and below the earth
-Here, Socrates is cha
Philosophical anarchism: The view that there is no duty to obey the state, and that the
State is not morally legitimate
We should be careful, first and foremost, to distinguish this view from other views that
might be called anarchist. The philosophical a
Notes for Wolff, 46-55
If social contract theories are untenable (because it is not possible to conclusively
establish the relevant kind of consent in the real world), then we might be tempted to
endorse philosophical anarchismthe view that the
Hobbes and the State of Nature
Hobbes fundamental view: Nothing could
possibly be worse than life without the
protection of the state. We need strong
government to prevent the state of nature.
What exactly is so bad about the Hobbesian state of nature?
On consent (wolf pgs. 34-46)
The Social Contract:
Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau all seem to think that we are obligated to obey the
law because we are contractually obligated.
Why is this an attractive theory?
We want a theory of political obligation to be u
Intro: Weve discussed the nature of legitimate punishment, and part of our discussion
focused on what you might call the rights of offenders (i.e. we discussed certain
restrictions on how we can treat offenders). One objection to Alex treatment was that h